Two weeks ago The Courier called for funding commitments to 10 projects and programs Ballarat needs.
Since then, Labor candidate Catherine King has announced money for the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre and will announce funding for the Parwan Employment Precinct in Bacchus Marsh on Saturday.
Other priorities – like mental health services and youth unemployment schemes – could be addressed by national pilots from the Labor Party and previously-announced Liberal Party projects but nothing local has been made public.
From our wishlist, Labor has put $6.5 million into projects for the electorate but the Liberals have not made any promises from the list, and made no other major commitments for the electorate so far.
Mayor Des Hudson said the commitments so far had been disappointing.
“I’ve been quite intrigued at the lack of investment into Ballarat,” he said.
“We’ve had a significant investment for basketball, which is really appreciated. That will go towards the full completion of the centre.”
The City of Ballarat has pushed for $12 million for the Civic Hall library project, $32 million for the Emergency Services Hub at the airport and $2.5 million to help get the waste to energy plant built at the Ballarat West Employment Zone.
Cr Hudson said he had put these projects and more before Ms King and Liberal candidate Sarah Wade well before the election.
He said Ballarat was watching other electorates get strong commitments from both sides.
“We’re getting the sense the battleground is in other areas,” he said.
The timing is particularly strange since many in the Ballarat electorate will have already voted.
Nationally, it is expected between a third and a half of all voters will have decided before July 2.
When asked about the paucity of Liberal promises, Ms Wade said it was about being fiscally responsible.
“The commitments I make to Ballarat are fully costed, unlike Bill Shorten and Labor who can’t say how they’re going to pay for all of their promises which makes their commitments hollow,” she said.
Ms Wade has not previously confirmed which projects she is pushing for, calling into question Labor’s spending instead of detailing her plan for Ballarat.
Ms King will announce $1.5 million on Saturday for the Parwan Employment Precinct in Bacchus Marsh.
The money will go towards putting in natural gas lines for the project, which Moorabool mayor Allan Comrie told The Courier would cost about $3 million.
“This project is an economic shot in the arm for Bacchus Marsh, Moorabool Shire and our entire region. Only Labor is committed to the Precinct and the jobs it will create,” Ms King said.
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