Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King has tonight slammed the Turnbull Government for failing the people of Ballarat in the 2017/18 Budget, outlining two key areas in particular where our community has been let down.
School funding cuts
The Turnbull Government has cut $22 billion from Australian schools. This equates to an average of $2.4 million from each school, or 22,000 teachers.
“Great schools are not just great for our children, but they are also good for our future economy”, Ms King said.
“There is nothing better for our society than well educated, well trained Australians in good, well paid jobs. You don’t get there by cutting education funding.”
“In conversation with the Catholic Education Office I have been told first-hand the impact that this will have on Catholic primary schools across our community.”
“The simple truth is that fees for these schools will have to rise, and there are serious concerns that funding provided for students with disabilities will be drastically reduced, falling by roughly half. This is a disgraceful outcome.”
“Our schools need fair funding, not more Liberal cuts. Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals are frauds when it comes to schools’ funding.”
Ballarat has once again seen its long list of ready-to-go infrastructure projects miss out on the funding they need and deserve.
“We have significant projects crying out for funding – with job creating projects like the Waste-to-Energy projects in Hepburn and Ballarat and the Racecourse Reserve in Bacchus Marsh ready to go,” Ms King said.
“The Ballarat Sports and Events Centre is a major project that has again been overlooked by this government. With proper federal funding it could become a major regional hub, bringing jobs, tourists and facilities to Ballarat.”
“Again all these projects have missed out.”
The only funding offered to Ballarat seems to be the re-announcement of $9million that Labor committed towards the construction of the Ballarat Freight Hub and for the ongoing project to duplicate the Western Highway through to Stawell.
“Another major disappointment is in railway funding”, Ms King said.
While the Government does appear to have backed down somewhat in its refusal to provide Victoria with the funding that is rightfully it’s through the Asset Recycling Initiative, it is still leaving Ballarat behind. If it received the full funding that it deserves the Victorian State Government had committed to funding improvements on the Ballarat rail line.
“While the Turnbull Government has said it will provide these funds to most of Victoria’s regional rail lines, it has offered none to Ballarat. Our state and in particular the Ballarat region is once more being short changed. The State Government wants this project, the Ballarat community wants this project, but the Turnbull Government has once more let us down.”
“The Geelong line is getting an upgrade, the Gippsland line is getting an upgrade, the North East line is getting an upgrade, the Murray Basin line is getting an upgrade, so why isn’t the Ballarat line getting an upgrade?”
May 9th 2017