Category Archives: Business

Andrews Labor Budget Fails Narracan Again

Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said Premier Daniel Andrews has left many critical Narracan projects off the map in this year’s State Budget, only investing the bare minimum in the region.

In responding to the Victorian Budget Mr Blackwood said Daniel Andrews has misled Gippsland about potential V/Line improvements announcing funding he simply does not have, increased taxes to prop up the Budget  bottom line and delivered only a token spend for regional road maintenance.

‘Todays Labor State Budget proves Daniel Andrews announcement this week in Warragul of $435 million to improve the Gippsland rail corridor was nothing more than a political stunt,’ Mr Blackwood said.

‘Not one dollar of State Government funding is attached to the project and is solely reliant on Federal funding which Mr Andrews has been told he is not entitled to,’ Mr Blackwood said.

‘Treasurer Tim Pallas also confirmed today that if the Federal Government do not respond to Labors demand for funding then the upgrades will not proceed at all.

‘This is an insult to long suffering Gippsland V-line users and Daniel Andrews should apologize for misleading them about the project which he said would start immediately.

‘We have real demands for funding in this region in all areas from road and rail to healthcare and local government and games like this will not be forgotten by locals.

’39 new Velocity carriages have been funded in this Budget and I will be advocating strongly for the Gippsland line to receive their fair share.

Much needed increases in road maintenance funding are also missing from the State Budget which is desperately needed to improve local roads across our region.

‘Todays budget contains a real lack of detail about funding to support road maintenance in the Gippsland region at a time when VicRoads are reducing speed limits to ensure motorists safety.

‘Road maintenance is one of the most common concerns raised with me as I travel around the electorate and the failure of Daniel Andrews to provide details about adequate road maintenance means it is taking longer and costing more for locals to travel in safety on our roads.

‘Longwarry and Darnum have received funding to upgrade local bridges which will assist heavy traffic who rely on those access routes but again there is very little detail in the budget papers regarding these announcements.

The Andrews State Budget also neglected to fund the critically important West Gippsland Hospital project, which has been committed to by the Victorian Liberal-National Coalition.

‘In 2016, together with Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, I was very proud to announce that the Victorian Liberal-National Coalition supported the building of a brand new West Gippsland Hospital between Drouin and Warragul.

‘Our region is growing at a rapid rate, and the failure of the Andrews Labor Government to commit to this project shows just how out of touch they are with the needs of local families and our community.

‘The existing West Gippsland Hospital does an exceptional job with the facilities it has but the time has come for a new hospital to be built. The longer Daniel Andrews stays silent about this project the more obvious it becomes that he is not concerned about the future of healthcare in our region.

‘In the 2016-17 Budget $1 million was allocated to start planning for the redevelopment of the West Gippsland Hospital and there is nothing more allocated in this budget which is very disappointing.

‘Either Daniel Andrews supports funding for a new hospital to deliver the critical health needs of our growing population,  or he is willing to force residents to drive more than an hour to Melbourne or Latrobe Regional Hospital for treatment, essentially reducing local services by stealth.

There was also no additional funding for local early learning, kindergarten, or primary schools in Narracan in this State Budget.

‘Trafalgar High School will finally receive funding announced last November for a long overdue upgrade promised by the Coalition in 2014.

‘At every level, right from early learning to the final years of secondary education, we need a consistent stream of funding to ensure facilities provide the best teaching and learning environment for our Teachers and Students.

‘Many schools in Narracan are not even receiving basic maintenance funding from this Labor Government  including for essential works such as boundary fencing around the school grounds of Moe Albert Street and Thorpdale Primary.

‘With so many young families choosing our region to call home we need to be investing now in these school upgrades before it is too late and educational standards suffer.

One key area that will affect every Narracan household in todays Labor Budget are new and increased taxes which will hit every resident across the region in one form or another.

‘Daniel Andrews promised Victorian’s that taxes would not increase under a Government that he leads but todays budget clearly breaks that promise.

‘Under Daniel Andrews and Labor Victorian families face more costs including increases to land tax, yearly valuations on their properties that will see council rates and fire services levy rise faster than ever before and new taxes on car purchases.

‘At a time when Victorian households are struggling with the cost of power from Daniel Andrews policy to tax Hazelwood out of existence these additional tax increases will only increase pressure on household budgets.

‘Many local residents will rightly be asking where has the $10 billion gone from the sale of the Port of Melbourne because we are not seeing the ten per cent of proceeds from the sale allocated to regional projects as required by legislation.

The first three State Labor Budgets delivered by Daniel Andrews are in stark contrast to the Victorian Coalition.

Over 4 years the Victorian Coalition Government funded key infrastructure projects including the Sand Road Interchange upgrade, Warragul Railway Station precinct upgrade, West Gippsland Hospital Emergency Department upgrade, Lardner Level Crossing upgrade, funding to deliver a new Science Wing at Neerim District Secondary College, a new Early Learning Centre at Drouin Primary School and Education Hub at Yarragon, just to name a few.

‘These were projects promised, funded and delivered, on time and on budget.

‘The Victorian Coalition has a track record of making commitments and delivering them here in Narracan, in stark contrast to Daniel Andrews and Labor who rely on broken promises and spin to hide their mismanagement and waste,’ Mr Blackwood said.

Blackwood Calls on Andrews to Stand Up for Valley

Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today called on the Andrews Labor Government to support the Latrobe Valley with a real plan to deliver investment and jobs with only 50 days remaining until Hazelwood closes.   ‘Today marks 50 days until the closure of Hazelwood and increasingly the commentary I hear from local communities isContinue Reading

Hazelwood Loss a Blow for our Local Community, Local Business and Future of our State

Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in the Victorian Parliament to highlight the true impact of the closure of Hazelwood on the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland and wider Victorian community. Mr Blackwood said the closure of Hazelwood would have far reaching impacts on public and private sectors who have had access to reliable readilyContinue Reading

Closure of Hazelwood Marks Turning Point for Gippsland and Latrobe Valley

Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said today’s announcement by Engie that Hazelwood will close is a major blow to an already struggling Latrobe Valley and wider Gippsland community. ‘Hazelwood has been a core employer within Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley for generations and today’s announcement will fundamentally change the future of our region,’ MrContinue Reading

Call for State Gov to Support Local Dairy Farmers

Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the State Government to support the dairy industry after price cuts this week by Fonterra and Murray Goulburn. Mr Blackwood said a number of farmers had already spoken to him about how they would be negatively impacted by the drop in price and has called on Agriculture MinisterContinue Reading

Lack of Detail in Labor Budget

The Victorian Labor Government’s Budget has again missed the mark in Narracan for a second consecutive year under Daniel Andrews.   Four local schools will see upgrades after being forgotten by the Labor Government in the 2015-16 State Budget however many of the upgrades won’t be seen until 2018-19 and funds allocated fall well shortContinue Reading

Call for Tourism Signs to Support Jindivick Community

  Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the Andrews Government to support local tourism and businesses in Jindivick by providing directional tourism signs at the Sand Road & Princes Freeway interchange which is currently undergoing a major upgrade. The call for tourism signage comes following a petition by the Jindivick Progress Association whichContinue Reading

Grand Final Eve Public Holiday Feedback Clear

  The Grand Final Eve Public Holiday has not been well received by local businesses the Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has said today. Mr Blackwood used debate in the Victorian Parliament this week to highlight the feedback his office had received from local business through his 2015 Narracan Business Survey. ‘My 2015 Narracan BusinessContinue Reading

Concern Raised Over Port of Melbourne Lease Bill

  Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has raised concerns over the Andrews Governments haste in attempting to lease the Port of Melbourne. Speaking in Parliament on a Matter of Public Importance (MPI) Mr Blackwood said that the Government was attempting to block the Victorian Oppositions scrutiny of the Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction Bill 2015.Continue Reading

Business to Count the Cost of Public Holiday Mistake

Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has used debate in the Victorian Parliament to call on the Andrews Government to prove their support for business owners and roll back the planned additional public holidays on Grand Final Eve and Easter Sunday. Mr Blackwood said one local winery operator would face costs so high that they wouldContinue Reading

Labor’s Back to Work Plan Falls Short

Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood MP has raised concern over the Andrews Labor Government Back to Work Plan. Mr Blackwood said the Back to Work Act will establish a fund with an aim to provide financial relief to companies who hire unemployed or retrenched workers. "The Back to Work Plan will offer up to $1,000Continue Reading

Labors Back to Work Plan Farce

Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood MP has raised concern over the Andrews Labor Government Back to Work Plan. Mr Blackwood said the Back to Work Act will establish a fund with an aim to provide financial relief to companies who hire unemployed or retrenched workers. “The Back to Work Plan will offer up to $1,000Continue Reading


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News Archives

2017
May
02
Andrews Labor Budget Fails Narracan Again
“ Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said Premier Daniel Andrews has left many critical Narracan ...”
Feb
09
Blackwood Calls on Andrews to Stand Up for Valley
“ Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today called on the Andrews Labor Government to support ...”
2016
Nov
10
Hazelwood Loss a Blow for our Local Community, Local Business and Future of our State
“ Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in the Victorian Parliament to highlight the ...”
03
Closure of Hazelwood Marks Turning Point for Gippsland and Latrobe Valley
“ Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said today’s announcement by Engie that Hazelwood will close ...”
May
06
Call for State Gov to Support Local Dairy Farmers
“ Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the State Government to support the dairy ...”
Apr
27
Lack of Detail in Labor Budget
“ The Victorian Labor Government’s Budget has again missed the mark in Narracan for a second ...”
15
Call for Tourism Signs to Support Jindivick Community
“   Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the Andrews Government to support local tourism ...”
2015
Oct
22
Grand Final Eve Public Holiday Feedback Clear
“   The Grand Final Eve Public Holiday has not been well received by local businesses the ...”
Aug
10
Concern Raised Over Port of Melbourne Lease Bill
“   Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has raised concerns over the Andrews Governments haste in attempting ...”
06
Business to Count the Cost of Public Holiday Mistake
“ Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has used debate in the Victorian Parliament to call on ...”
Mar
18
Labor's Back to Work Plan Falls Short
“ Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood MP has raised concern over the Andrews Labor Government Back ...”
Feb
13
Labors Back to Work Plan Farce
“ Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood MP has raised concern over the Andrews Labor Government Back ...”


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