Labor hands Yarrawonga and Cobram a raw deal
Tuesday 1 May 2018
Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said the Andrews Labor Government had ignored local projects in its 2018-2019 State Budget.
Mr McCurdy said he was disappointed Labor had ignored important Ovens Valley projects, including upgrades to Yarrawonga Health and Cobram Secondary College, in this year’s Budget.
“Today I spoke in Parliament about the need for an upgrade at Yarrawonga Health in order for the health service to cope with the increase in the town’s permanent population as well as tourist numbers,” Mr McCurdy said.
“I am bitterly disappointed Yarrawonga Health has missed out again in a Labor budget that pours $25 billion into metro cost blowouts and goes nowhere to relieving the growing cost of living.
“It’s time Labor looked further into supporting regional towns other than Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.”
Mr McCurdy said the Cobram Secondary College had been neglected by the Andrews Labor Government.
“I recently met with the school principal and school council president to discuss the investment needed at Cobram Secondary College,” he said.
“Cobram needs a vital injection of funds to support this highly productive community and the 2018-19 budget was the opportunity to do so.
“The Cobram community has been left questioning if Daniel Andrews’ promised ‘Education State’ is for all Victorians or only for those in Melbourne metropolitan seats.”
Mr McCurdy said overtaking lanes on the Murray Valley Highway between Cobram and Yarrawonga were promised in last year’s budget but had not been delivered.
“Where is it? This commitment has not been started, let alone delivered,” Mr McCurdy said.
“A year down the track and still nothing has begun. Daniel Andrews is full of announcements but empty-handed on actually delivering.”
Mr McCurdy also questioned why Labor had spent three years delaying funding for a Cobram base for the town’s SES unit.
“And with the billions of dollars available from the sale of the Port of Melbourne and the Snowy Hydro Scheme, from a first glance it seems Cobram SES will only get the land component,” he said.
“The plight of the Cobram SES has been highlighted for several years. The unit currently operates out of Tocumwal NSW, 18kms away, which adversely impacts the unit’s response times to emergency calls.
“I tabled a petition in Parliament last year, containing more than 1200 signatures, calling for the urgent need for a Victorian headquarters for the Cobram SES unit.
“As I have long been saying - having an SES headquarters in Cobram will allow personnel to do what they are trained for, enhance flood response on the Victorian side of the border and continue to support their NSW partners.
“This Labor State Budget is nothing more than a raw deal for the Cobram and Yarrawonga communities.”