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State must step up and fund Geelong Infrastructure

An inability to look beyond their own rorts, deals with union mates and the distraction of inner-city Green seats has resulted in a total neglect of regional Victoria’s infrastructure by the Andrews Government.

All of Victoria’s major construction works are in Melbourne.

Liberal Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, said regional Victoria has been brutally ignored.

“The Andrews Government is stymied by inertia and a reluctance to do anything regional.  It is so besotted by it’s marginal-metro and Green seats that it has literally forgotten regional Victoria”.

Mr Ramsay said the only major projects happening in Western Victoria have been funded by Coalition Governments, such as the Murray Basin Rail project and Princess and Western Highway upgrades.

“The Victorian Labor Government is very good at pointing, planning, posing and posturing and utterly useless at actually doing.

“With billions of dollars of Federal funding sitting waiting to be spent – this Government is still planning the Midlands Highway upgrade, the Waurn Ponds to South Geelong rail duplication and the Drysdale Bypass.”

Given the recent reassessment of the national GST allocation, Victoria is now getting more Commonwealth funding.

“This funding, plus the $2 billion from the sale of Victoria’s share of the Snowy Hydro, and the nearly $10 billion from the sale of the lease of the Port of Melbourne, means Victoria is primed to produce.

“But we’re just not seeing it here in the country.  It’s Melbourne or nothing at all for this Government”.

Mr Ramsay said the upcoming May 2018-19 Budget is crucial to regional Victoria.

“It’s a now or never scenario for this metro-mad Government.  Give it up to regional Victoria or get out.

“Inertia and rorting may suit Daniel Andrews, but they do nothing for the regions who are sick of the pointing to Canberra and the lip service to action.

To name a few, Mr Ramsay said the Geelong Convention Centre, the Railway Station upgrade, the Harbour precinct, the CBD revitalisation project and the electrification of the Melbourne-Geelong rail line remain projects in limbo.

“Given the population growth of the region, these priority projects can’t sit in the must-do pile any longer.

“This Government has to start doing something for regional Victoria.”