Ovens Valley budget priorities

Monday 16 April 2018

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to provide funding for the Wangaratta District Specialist School, Myrtleford CFA and Cobram SES in the upcoming State Budget.

Mr McCurdy said these projects were his top three priorities for the Budget that will be released on 1 May.

“The need for the government to fund the relocation of the Wangaratta District Specialist School is even more critical than it was this time last year when I called on Labor to fund it in the budget,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Labor is well aware of the issues facing the school regarding an ever increasing enrolment and total lack of space for expansion and it is well past time for them to do something about it.

“The Nationals committed to start the process for a new school and to purchase a suitable site for the school in 2014 so it remains completely unfair on students, staff and families that the Labor Government continues to refuse this funding.”

Mr McCurdy said in December last year he asked the Emergency Services Minister in Parliament to provide funding for a new CFA station at Myrtleford.

“The Myrtleford CFA station is more than 30 years old and no longer meets the needs of the fantastic volunteers who serve this community,” Mr McCurdy said.

“A site has been identified which is ideal for a new building, and it already houses some of the brigades vehicles due to the lack of room to do so at the current fire station.

“This community has had some difficult times and is looking for government support to ensure the Myrtleford CFA is well positioned to fight fires and protect the community. I have asked the minister to prioritise the new Myrtleford CFA station for immediate construction, now is the time for the government to act.”

Mr McCurdy tabled a petition in Parliament at the end of last year, containing more than 1200 signatures, calling for the urgent need for a Victorian headquarters for the Cobram SES unit.

“The State Government needs to provide funding in this budget so the Cobram SES unit can have all of the unit’s equipment to its home town, Mr McCurdy said.

“The Cobram SES currently operates out of Tocumwal NSW, 18kms away, which adversely impacts the unit’s response times to emergency calls.

“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.

“Currently they house their vehicles in private sheds, rented sheds and at the Tocumwal SES.”

Mr McCurdy said that over the past 10 years the unit has provided vital assistance during and after two tornados and several floods as well an being called on for road crash rescue, storm recovery and assisting all other emergency services.

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