Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay MP calls on both the state and federal governments to place key City Deal projects in their respective budgets.
Mr Ramsay said over the next few weeks both state and federal governments will be finalising their budgets and given it will most likely be the last budgets handed down before their elections, this may be the last opportunity to lock-in key project priorities for the Geelong Region.
The Geelong Convention Centre, Waterfront Safe Harbour precinct, Shipwreck Coast, GPAC, GMHBA Stadium stage 5, Central Geelong revitalisation and the Geelong/Melbourne rail link all await significant funding. All are supported by Geelong representative stakeholder groups. The Geelong Railway Station, Geelong Gallery and the Northern Arc Health and Wellbeing Hub while not current City Deal projects also await honourable funding mentions.
The Andrews Government is in a very fortunate financial position with the recent sale of state assets which includes $9.7 billion for the Port of Melbourne Lease, $2 billion from Victoria’s share of Snowy Hydro, increase in adjusted GST proceeds of $1.8 billion, as well as $6 billion in stamp duty filling Treasury coffers, the Geelong Region is ready to receive its fair share of the bounty.
Infrastructure investment has been boosted by the federal government’s announcement of $5 billion matching funding commitment for a Tullamarine rail-link and $1.5 billion for regional rail, there is no better time to tick off on some of these projects that have been much talked about but not funded.
Dan Andrews rips-up $1.2 billion in East West Link contracts, ignores $3billion federal funding put on the table for the East West Link, and faces financial blow outs in the millions for the North East Link, Metro Rail, Level Crossing removals and the Westgate Tunnel. He needs a financial windfall.
Regional Victoria is looking to this State Budget to right the wrong of 70 per cent of all Infrastructure project funding being spent in Melbourne.
We’ve all waited long enough, regional Victoria deserves better and eagerly looks forward to its share, a fair slice of both budget pies to get these projects moving.