Member for Morwell Russell Northe is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to provide more jobs and funding for rail in next week’s state budget. Mr Northe said our region desperately needs jobs, with the Latrobe region having one of the highest unemployment rates of all Victorian municipalities.
“Under Daniel Andrews unemployment has risen from 7.3 per cent to 11.2 per cent an increase of more than 50 per cent in just two years,” Mr Northe said.
“1,352 more local people have joined the unemployment queue since December 2014.
“The Andrews Labor Government is more focused on its own issues than supporting Latrobe Valley residents.”
Mr Northe said with the closure of Hazelwood Power Station just last month it is critical now more than ever that new jobs are created for our region.
“Daniel Andrews just last year disgracefully betrayed Latrobe Valley employers and its workers by imposing an extra $252 million of taxes on Latrobe Valley generators,” Mr Northe said.
“It’s little wonder that Latrobe Valley businesses have little faith in the State Labor Government when they make such outrageous budget decisions in a region already experiencing high unemployment.”
Mr Northe said commuters were seeking a major investment in the Gippsland rail services including additional peak services as well as upgrades and duplication of the Gippsland track, something that the Liberal National Coalition committed to in 2014.
“Daniel Andrews has neglected commuters on Gippsland’s public transport network for too long,” Mr Northe said.
“The Andrews Labor Government has failed to listen to Gippsland passengers frustrated by constant delays to our local rail services and ongoing capacity issues.
“It’s time the city-centric Andrews Labor Government stopped putting Melbourne rail projects before these critical improvements to our regional rail services,” he said.
“In this budget we need Labor to prove that it cares about rural and regional Victorians by investing in projects outside of Melbourne.”
Media contact: 5133 9088