Labor forgets country Victoria

Dear Editor,
I wish to express my disappointment that Daniel Andrews is wasting around $800 million to not build the East West Link in Melbourne, yet he can’t find the money to fund local projects and roads maintenance in our region.
I have spoken with relevant Ministers raising funding concerns for a number of key projects in the Lowan electorate. Some of these key projects include $1.2 million to refurbish the Dimboola Secondary College, $8 million for a new education precinct in Warracknabeal, $2 million to refurbish and rebuild parts of Baimbridge College in Hamilton and $15 million to the redevelopment of the Hamilton Hospital Emergency Department.
I have been pushing for Daniel Andrews to reverse his decision to cut the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program, and to reinstate hundreds and millions of dollars the Labor Government have slashed from VicRoads repairs and maintenance budget for regional roads.
This week Daniel Andrews confirmed the Labor Government would pay $420 million to cancel the contract for the East West Link. This in addition to approximately $400 million in sunk costs already incurred by the State Government including land acquisitions, project development and bid costs.
Country Victoria should feel completely ripped off by this Melbourne-focused Labor Government, which has continually made excuses to delay or abandon projects in regional Victoria – yet can justify spending around $800 million on nothing in Melbourne.
The Andrews Labor Government needs to understand the importance of ensuring rural and regional Victorians have access to quality education and health facilities. We all deserve quality services, whether we live in the city or the country, and it is important country communities are provided with first-class facilities.
The wasted $800 million could have paid for 47 new schools, 55 new 24-hour police stations, 400 new ambulance stations, including land or 36 brand new trains.
I will continue to stand up for the Lowan electorate to ensure the voices of our country communities are heard.
Emma Kealy
Member for Lowan.