Russell Northe, together with Gary Blackwood, has called on Daniel Andrews to do something to guide infrastructure investment across the State after the Premier distanced himself almost immediately after yesterday’s release of an Infrastructure Victoria report.
Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the report contained just 11 out of the total 134 recommendations to assist regional communities.
‘Regional Victorian infrastructure investment has fallen behind under the Andrews Labor Government and for only 11 of the 134 recommendations specific to regional Victoria it shows just how city-centric this Premier has become,’ said Mr Northe.
‘Daniel Andrews said he would take the politics out of infrastructure planning with Infrastructure Victoria however he has cherry picked projects before the final report is even released.
‘Regional rail services continue to suffer and are in desperate need of investment, there is no plan for more public housing which is under immense pressure in regional Victoria and recommendations for better road connections between regional Victoria and metropolitan areas is being pushed back.
‘The report also contains no timeline or decision on how or when Gippsland may be given a dedicated line to improve punctuality or frequency of services to and from Melbourne which needs to be delivered as a priority.
‘Instead, the report still recommends terminating Gippsland V/Line services at Pakenham to create a shuttle services which would be an unacceptable outcome for Gippsland commuters. Daniel Andrews must again rule out this recommendation so local commuters are not left with a second class service compared to other regional centres.
‘Daniel Andrews needs to start being Premier to all Victorians, regardless of where they live,’ Mr Northe said.
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said Daniel Andrews’s pattern of commissioning reports and then ignoring their recommendations is further proof that Labor cannot manage money.
‘Minister Allan early yesterday morning said the Government would take its time to respond to the Infrastructure Victoria report and 90 minutes later Daniel Andrews ruled out major recommendations,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘One common comment from locals I receive regularly is that the Andrews Government is dysfunctional and the Premiers attempts to distance himself from Infrastructure Victoria’s report despite contradicting Minister Allan, is a reflection of that.
‘Residents here in Gippsland want to see new major infrastructure built that will deliver better connections between other regions and the metropolitan area as well as new projects to drive growth in the Latrobe Valley.
‘Daniel Andrews needs to stop wasting money by commissioning reports that he ignores and start delivering major road and rail infrastructure to help guide the future expansion of regional Victoria including Gippsland.’
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