Abbott must not short-change Bendigo in Budget

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP, said the Victorian Labor Government has delivered more funding to Bendigo in its first six months than the Abbott Liberal Government has in two years.

“The State Labor Government has delivered a Budget which shows real vision for Bendigo, putting money - and hope - back into health and education after four years of Coalition cuts. 

“Next Tuesday’s Federal Budget is an opportunity for this Government to follow the lead of the Victorian Labor Government by funding projects which will create jobs and drive growth here in Bendigo,” said Ms Chesters. 

Ms Chesters said people were still reeling from last year’s shocker of a Federal Budget which slashed money from community organisations and made it more expensive to access basic healthcare and a decent education. 

“Last year’s Federal Budget was just about cuts, cuts and more cuts.

“In education alone, we saw more than $200 million slashed from schools in the Bendigo electorate. 

“In contrast the State Labor Government is investing $324.6 million in the much needed upgrade and rebuild of Victorian schools, giving students here in Bendigo the quality learning environment they deserve.” 

Ms Chesters said those marked for renovation and rebuild included Castlemaine Secondary, Kyneton’s primary and secondary schools, Epsom Primary, Bendigo Senior Secondary College and the rebuild of Kalianna Special School.

 

Ms Chesters also welcomed investment in numerous regional initiatives such as the upgrade of Bendigo Stadium and the Harcourt Mountain Bike Trail which would lead to job creation and attract more people to the region. 

“Last year’s Abbott Government budget was also an attack on the most vulnerable in our community – the aged pensioners, the unemployed, families and anyone struggling to make ends meet. 

“This year the Abbott Liberal Government has an opportunity to show a little humanity by reinstating funding to the crucial services which keep the Bendigo community going, and most importantly, by making no further cuts. 

“It’s a large budget and I want to ensure Bendigo gets its fair share,” she said.

Job creating projects across Bendigo and district include:

  • $5 million for Bendigo Stadium
  • $5 million for Bendigo Aspire Project
  • $1 million for Harcourt Mountain Bike Trail
  • $500,000 for Wedderburn Streetscaping
  • Upgrades and rebuilds at Bendigo Senior Secondary, Castlemaine Secondary and Epsom Primary
  • Up to $220 million for the Murray Basin Rail Project once the business case is finalised, which is expected to occur in coming months. $30 million was fast-tracked in February to get work started.