Politi­cians plan budget wish lists

Trans­port, in­fra­struc­ture in top pri­or­i­ties

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - By JUSTIN JEN­VEY and LEAH TINDILL

THE Vic­to­rian and fed­eral bud­gets are set to be re­leased within the next two weeks with fund­ing for roads, mo­bile phone tow­ers and new emer­gency ser­vice head­quar­ters all on the wish lists of our lo­cal mem­bers.

The Vic­to­rian budget will be handed down next Tues­day and Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Val­ley) hopes it will in­clude fund­ing for the Myrtle­ford CFA.

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,” he said.

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

“I have asked the min­is­ter to pri­ori­tise the new Myrtle­ford CFA sta­tion for im­me­di­ate con­struc­tion, now is the time for the govern­ment to act.”

While the Lib­eral Na­tion­als have promised to fix coun­try roads and save coun­try lives if elected, Bill Til­ley (MLA, Be­nam­bra) wants to see fund­ing for roads from the cur­rent La­bor Govern­ment.

“I’m acutely aware that some of the shires within the elec­torate, namely Towong, Indigo and Alpine, have vast road net­works and a small rate base to deal with main­te­nance let alone up­grades,” he said.

Along with new trains and up­grades to the North East rail line Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) has a fur­ther three “big pic­ture top­ics” at the top of her fed­eral budget fund­ing wish list.

She said money from the fourth round of the mo­bile blackspots fund­ing pro­gram, fund­ing for a re­gional higher ed­u­ca­tion strat­egy and cash to de­velop ru­ral and re­gional part­ner­ships are high pri­or­i­ties for the Indi com­mu­nity.

“The mo­bile phone tower fund­ing will come out as a na­tional round and we’d be putting our hands up for some of the 200 black spots we will have in Indi,” Ms McGowan said.

The fed­eral budget is set to be re­leased on May 8.

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