Rural City of Wangaratta communities missing out under Daniel Andrews, VAGO report
Friday 3 May 2019
Country communities in the Rural City of Wangaratta which received a bigger slice of funds under the Liberal Nationals are missing out under Labor, a new report has confirmed.
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Outcomes of Investing in Regional Victoria report is a scathing assessment of the Andrews Government’s failure to properly administer the Regional Growth Fund.
It found Labor has failed to address problems, including with slow application lead times, inaccurate data and by not adequately accounting for administration costs.
Tim McCurdy MP, Member for Ovens Valley, said The Nationals in government delivered for our communities, with 30 per cent more invested in the Rural City of Wangaratta under the Liberal Nationals compared to that under Labor.
“Our communities are already seeing the benefits of projects funded by the former Liberal Nationals government, including,” Mr McCurdy said.
"Daniel Andrews isn’t willing to make the same strong investment in the future of our community, instead we've had to drag him kicking and screaming for every cent under this city-centric Labor Government. It shouldn’t be this hard."
Since it was established, the fund has assisted with masterplans, tourism initiatives, festivals and events, walking and cycling trails and other important community assets.
The existing regional development fund will expire on June 30 and Mr McCurdy said it was critical that further funds were allocated in the upcoming State Budget.
Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said targeted investment in regional communities worked.
“You only have to imagine what our regional communities would have missed out on over the past eight years to understand the huge benefits that this $1 billion of investment has delivered,” Mr Walsh said.
“Businesses would not have expanded, jobs would not have been created, and community infrastructure would not exist.
“Daniel Andrews is already more concerned with spending in Melbourne and it is disappointing he hasn’t done a better job demonstrating the value of regional investment programs to the Auditor-General.”
The report also confirms what’s long been suspected – the incoming Andrews Government failed to properly cost its own election commitments before the 2014 State Election, meaning funds fell $226 million short.