BALLARAT’s political leaders have called on the Baillieu Government to deliver on its outstanding promises for the region and help create jobs in next week’s Victorian budget.
MPs Sharon Knight and Geoff Howard nominated unfulfilled promises including the Mt Clear/Mt Helen fire station, the Ballarat Base Hospital helipad and the Western Link road as key priorities for the region.
Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells said yesterday that the state’s GST receipts had collapsed since December’s mid-year budget update, representing a $430 million hit to the budget.
Mr Howard said the promised fire station would reduce risk to the Mt Clear and Mt Helen communities during fire seasons, and called for upgrades to the region’s schools.
“I don’t think this was ever going to be a good budget for Ballarat, as the government hasn’t made many new promises for the region,” Mr Howard said.
“We have seen nothing in terms of jobs, and I think Ballarat people will be starting to ask questions about when the government will deliver.”
Ms Knight called for infrastructure projects to be funded.
“The upgrading of Eureka Stadium is something the Baillieu government needs to invest in, because of the cultural and economic impact of bringing AFL games to Ballarat,” she said.
“Before the last election the Liberal Party talked about Ballarat’s helipad being urgently required.
“But Mr Baillieu’s government has decided not to fund it. This needs to change.”
Ms Knight said government spending had the ability to lower Ballarat’s unemployment rate and increase quality of life.
A spokesperson for the Victorian government declined to comment on budget allocations ahead of the May 1 budget.