Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in the Victorian Parliament this week to highlight the lack of investment in Narracan by the Andrews Government.
Speaking in Parliament Mr Blackwood said that the West Gippsland Hospital had been forgotten by the Andrews Government and needed immediate support to meet growing population pressures.
‘In health there was the West Gippsland Hospital in the town of Warragul in my electorate, which is at capacity,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘We have projected population growth of 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent per year, doubling the population over the next 20 to 30 years.
‘This government has refused to accept the fact that this hospital is under enormous pressure and is struggling to cope with current demand let alone the demand that is going to occur as the population grows.
‘We committed to providing funds to build a third operating theatre at the West Gippsland Hospital.
‘We also agreed to commit funds for the upgrade of accommodation for visiting health professionals before the last election.
‘There is no mention of either project in the government's current budget.
Education was also ignored, Mr Blackwood said, with critical funding for towns such as Moe, Trafalgar, Warragul and Neerim South left out of the Victorian State Budget.
‘In education the Andrews government has made a big song and dance about Victoria becoming the education state.
‘The government needs to have a good look at itself in terms of what it has committed to education in Narracan, because it is zero — absolutely zero — in stark contrast to the plans of the coalition.
‘We committed to providing $2 million for an upgrade of the facilities and a security fence at Moe Albert Street Primary School. The security fence is a critically important issue for the school. But what has this government done about it? Nothing.
‘We also committed $3 million for stage 3 of Trafalgar High School, but there is nothing from this government. And we committed $7 million to Warragul Regional College, but there is nothing from this government.
‘We also committed $3 million to Neerim District Secondary College, but there is nothing from this government.
‘That college received $300 000 to upgrade its science wing over the four years of the Coalition Government.
‘In stark contrast to Labor, we committed and we delivered.
Mr Blackwood said public transport still remained a major concern for local residents and that many felt Labor had no projects to improve V/Line services to the region, choosing to focus on more plans rather than service delivery and improvements.
‘There is nothing in the budget for public transport in our area.
‘In the last couple of days we have seen an announcement of a planned review of public transport across Gippsland. What is that going to deliver? Another Rod Eddington report? A $38 billion transport plan with not 1 cent allocated to any works? The same thing will happen in Gippsland with the review of the public transport plan.
‘There is a desperate need for the extension of a bus service in the Warragul area, with its growing population. There is a desperate need to provide a town bus service for Drouin, which has a population of 10 000 people and is the largest rural town in Victoria that does not have a town bus service. This government has ignored it.
‘In terms of the V/Line service, the patronage on the line has doubled over the last 10 years. We are having enormous problems with catering for demand for the service.
‘The Coalition Government committed to the upgrade of the Warragul railway station precinct with a brand-new car park and a new underpass. It was a $26 million project. We promised it and we delivered it.
‘What is there in this budget for public transport on the Gippsland line? The regional rail project did not even recognise Gippsland as a regional area. It was dropped off the project, with preference being given to Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.
‘That is exactly how Labor members operate; they have form,’ said Mr Blackwood.
Mr Blackwood’s full contribution is available at www. hansard.parliament.vic.gov.au