Her Maj misses out on budget funds

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DESPITE big bucks for the Ballarat Western Employment Zone and Ballarat High School, a variety of other projects were left out of Tuesday’s budget.

An array of high-profile projects including Her Majesty’s Theatre, Eureka Stadium and the Phoenix College all missed out on securing additional funding. 

However, Committee for Ballarat chief executive John Kilgour said the spending on Ballarat wouldn’t stop with the budget.

Marginal seats mean the city should draw some attention from all political parties in the lead-up to November. 

“It is good news for the community,” Mr Kilgour said. 

“We would expect both sides of politics to be making election commitments over the next few months.” 

Mr Kilgour applauded the government’s initiative in supporting the Ballarat Western Employment Zone with a $30.2 million funding to kickstart the project.

“Ballarat is clearly in focus,” he said. 

Mr Kilgour described the Murray Basin Rail Project as a sleeper project for Ballarat.

The $220 million project will involve converting existing broad gauge tracks in the state’s west to a standard gauge, helping with the movement of freight from Mildura. 

However, Mr Kilgour said he understood a business case study and feasibility study were being conducted to see if a potential transport hub in Ballarat West Employment zone could be utilised as part of the project.

Trains and public transport remained on the agenda on Tuesday with a passing loop near Bacchus March hoping to solve some of the problems. 

However, Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said the state budget was a missed opportunity that failed to improve regional public transport.

“This is a missed opportunity for Victoria,” Mr Barber said. 

“V/Line trains are already overcrowded and Victoria’s population is growing by 2100 people every week.

“V/Line passengers are forecast to grow by seven per cent in the coming year, but there will be less than one per cent increase in services. 

“This means even more overcrowding on V/Line.”

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