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A ‘bleak’ budget McCurdy slams lack of funding

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May 10, 2017

State Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy says he is ‘‘bitterly disappointed’’ following last week’s Victorian budget, which was a ‘‘bleak’’ offering for the region.

State Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy says he is ‘‘bitterly disappointed’’ following last week’s Victorian budget, which was a ‘‘bleak’’ offering for the region.

Mr McCurdy said Ovens Valley electorate residents were being taxed more, but getting less in Labor’s 2017-18 State Budget.

‘‘The Labor Government spruiked a promise now, deliver later, budget that will do nothing to assist regional Victorians,’’ he said.

‘‘While Labor is taxing Ovens Valley residents more, we’re getting less.’’

Mr McCurdy said a 25 per cent payroll tax cut for regional businesses would do little to assist local businesses who were reeling from massive increases in gas and electricity prices, due to the Andrews Government’s actions.

He also said an increase in the stamp duty on new cars would encourage buyers to cross the border to NSW to shop around for a vehicle.

Mr McCurdy had been calling for funding to upgrade Scott Oval facilities, Cobram Secondary College and local roads.

‘‘This is a budget that fails to understand the needs of regional Victorians and will no doubt leave Ovens Valley residents feeling cold.’’

However, Moira Shire chief executive Mark Henderson said the budget delivered a number of statewide funding programs which would flow through to Moira Shire residents as well as some local funding initiatives.

‘‘We welcome the funding announced for our local schools, particularly smaller ones like Wunghnu and Tungamah, and local State Emergency Services,’’ Mr Henderson said.

The $10million to begin planning and pre-construction work for stage one of the Shepparton Bypass, linking the Midland and Goulburn Valley highways and providing a second river crossing across the Goulburn, was welcomed by Mr Henderson.

‘‘This will open our shire up,’’ he said.

‘‘For us the next logical step is the construction of the Strathmerton bypass which will support the town’s ongoing private sector investment and development as an important logistics hub in northern Victoria.’’

Mr Henderson said Moira Shire residents would benefit from a large number of statewide measures.

‘‘The budget included significant funding to help councils deliver support to their communities, particularly young children and families, including $87.1million for kindergartens — we’d like to see some of that go to kinders in Moira Shire to support our children and families and await the detail.

‘‘With the centenary of maternal and child health services just around the corner I welcome the government’s continued support for this vital service, with $81.1million which will allow MCH nurses to provide greater support to local families, however, we will need to wait and see the details of this as to how we will benefit.’’

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