April 3, 2014  |  Members Statements

VicRoads Ballarat Relocation

Mr HOWARD (Ballarat East)— In the  first term of the Bracks government Labor identified the opportunity  to  relocate the State  Revenue Office to  Ballarat. Labor acted immediately  and the new site at Mount Helen opened within two and a half  years  of  its  coming to office. By contrast, this  government  has  done nothing for Ballarat in its three-plus years in office. On jobs, not only has it sacked nearly 500  government employees  in the  Ballarat area but it has sat on its hands while hundreds  of more jobs have gone. It has presented no jobs plan, and last week the Premier came to Ballarat and announced:

  … if the coalition is re-elected — we’ll be looking at doing expressions of  interest for the development of this site —

meaning the Civic Hall site —

  to provide accommodation —

for the VicRoads office. No costings were provided,  nor was  there a  time line for completion. This can only be described as a cynical stunt.

If this government were serious about providing jobs in Ballarat, it would  have acted  before  now. This government has no credibility on jobs provision, and it has  no credibility in working  with government staff involved to move VicRoads. This is why it is not acting now and is instead offering this up as a half-baked plan  as a desperate re-election ploy. This lacklustre  Napthine government does not deserve to be re-elected. The people of Ballarat deserve better.