Labor stays tight-lipped on regional job losses

The Allan Labor Government has cold-heartedly stonewalled questions on how many Regional Development Victoria staff will lose their jobs.

Amid redundancies, and fears 130 jobs will be lost, the Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney showed a complete lack of respect for the dire situation.

Regional Development Victoria has driven rural and regional economic development, providing jobs for the prosperity of rural Victoria and must be preserved at all costs.  

The Minister’s response in Parliament to probing from The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath, should have been a moment of leadership and empathy.

Instead, her refusal to provide any detail on mooted job cuts highlighted her detachment from the plight of those affected.

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Peter Walsh, criticised Minister Tierney’s lack of leadership and ambition for rural Victoria.

“Under successive Labor Governments, Regional Development Victoria has been stripped of funding and staff to the point where it effectively no longer exists,” Mr Walsh said. 

“When we go back to when the Liberals and Nationals were in government, we invested $1 billion for the Regional Growth Fund and it made a significant meaningful difference.” 

Melina Bath expressed disappointment in the Labor Government’s disregard for regional Victorians, particularly amidst those challenges they posed in the pandemic.

“Labor cannot manage money and regional Victorians are paying the price,” Ms Bath said. 

“The Labor Government need to wake up and realise the damage they’re causing regional Victoria by abandoning regional development.”