Senator John Madigan slams 'hostile' budget

John Madigan

John Madigan

THE budget will hit Ballarat hard despite the investments in some infrastructure, according to local politicians. 

Federal Senator John Madigan has hit out at the budget, saying it is “hostile” to families. 

“Those with the least will be hit the most,” he said. 

The government had asked everyone to help pull their weight during the tough economic climate, however Senator Madigan said it was hard to compare the different situations people were in. 

In particular, Senator Madigan said the increase in fuel costs would hit families across the region. 

“A bloke who lives in Creswick and works at Mars or McCain, has no alternative but to drive (and) they will be slugged,” he said.

“Most of the lifting here is at the expense of the people who can least afford it.

“We are talking about people here, not entries in a ledger.” 

Ballarat MP Catherine King labelled the budget as devastating for the region.

“Overall, it is a terrible budget for Ballarat families,” she said. 

Ms King said pressure would be put on doctors and the Ballarat Base Hospital Emergency Department, where it would be possible to charge for people who might attend the facility.

In particular, Ms King said the change to benefits for young people out of work “were some of the harshest she has seen.”

“There is nothing new ... just more pressure on families,” she said. 

Ms King said she was disappointed there was no assistance for struggling businesses, following the collapse of the car industry.

Senator Michael Ronaldson said the infrastructure spending that Ballarat would receive bring job opportunities, boost the local economy and make roads safer for motorists.

“Projects like these will relieve pressure on existing infrastructure and unlock the economic capacity of Ballarat, making it an even better place to live and do business,” Senator Ronaldson said.

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