Ballarat and region continues to face a savage shortfall in infrastructure funding from the Turnbull Government in the light of the latest evidence in Senate Estimates hearings, Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said today.
Ms King said a senior bureaucrat has confirmed the Turnbull Government is ripping off Victorians, with the state receiving a paltry 7.7 per cent of the Commonwealth’s infrastructure budget despite being home to 25 per cent of the Australian population.
The Senate Budget Estimates was told the Commonwealth would invest $2.045 billion on Victorian infrastructure between 2016-17 and 2019-20 out of a national programme worth $26.5 billion.
Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Mike Mrdak, agreed that Victoria had a high rate of population growth and was “facing significant infrastructure pressures’’.
“Ballarat is right in the firing line of this disgraceful shortfall,” Ms King said.
“We are one of the fastest growing regional cities in the nation as a result of Victoria’s population and economic growth.
“There are growing demands on the infrastructure and amenities of this city and region and yet this Government continues to ignore our pleas for funding.
“It has done so by reneging on its commitment to provide 15 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of the Port of Melbourne – about $1.4 billion – to Victoria.
“About two-thirds of this money was to be directed to regional infrastructure projects.
“It has also done so by not funding even one project in this electorate under the Stronger Regions Programme.
“The Government is punishing the people of Victoria and Ballarat. We pay our fair share of taxes. We deserve a return from the Commonwealth.”
February 28, 2017