Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said the Andrews Government needs to explain why it is not prepared to fund more country road programs for Gippsland.
Speaking today Mr Blackwood said it was disappointing to see the Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing had voted against reinstating the hugely successful former Coalition Government’s $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.
‘Regional Members of Parliament regardless of their political background should be voting for the best funding possible for our regions,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘In the first 12 months of the Andrews Government we have seen regional programs either reduced or simply left unfunded.
‘The Victorian Coalition had an outstanding record in regional Victoria delivering business investment, increased road funding and infrastructure investment to both Local and State Government led projects.
‘Here in Warragul we saw investment from day one of the Coalition Government with the Warragul Railway Station Upgrade, a third rail crossing for Warragul, the Lardner Level Crossing Upgrade and Sand Road Interchange funded just to name a few.
Mr Blackwood said that the Andrews Labor Government had promised one thing to regional Victorians in opposition but now in Government it is clear their priority is to fund Melbourne based projects.
‘In contrast the Andrews Labor Government has not allocated money to their own Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, abolished the Country Roads and Bridges Program and chosen to use funds identified for “regional benefit” to pay for metropolitan bridge upgrades in or around the Premiers own electorate.
‘The Andrews Government promised to spend $1 billion on country roads over 8 years and to date we have seen no major announcements about this in the budget or elsewhere.
‘I am extremely disappointed as are many other regional Victorians to today see that Ms Shing has opposed this recommendation.
‘The Andrews Labor Government continues to ignore regional Victoria and with substandard representation from Labor Member Harriet Shing it will continue in Gippsland,’ Mr Blackwood said.