Regional Victoria infrastructure Port of Melbourne lease | February 23, 2018

Port of Melbourne regional funds last seen in St Kilda Road

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath says the Premier for Melbourne Daniel Andrews owes regional Victoria $723 million – and a massive apology.

When the Port of Melbourne (POM) lease deal was negotiated in 2016, Daniel Andrews promised to invest 10 per cent of the $9.7 billion proceeds into new transport infrastructure projects in regional Victoria.

But under questioning in a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing last week, Department of Treasury and Finance Secretary David Martine admitted the last budget acquittal for the POM lease proceeds was wrong, and Daniel Andrews has dudded regional Victoria to the tune of $723 million.

“The Premier has been caught red-handed and must return the funds to regional infrastructure projects immediately,” Ms Bath said.

“Daniel Andrews has lied to regional Victorians and has dudded us out of funding we were promised and deserve.”

“It’s just another example of Daniel Andrews thinking Victoria stops at the end of Melbourne’s tram tracks.”

“The Port was built and grew off the back of regional Victoria’s industries, but now we know Daniel Andrews has not kept his word to spend at least $970 million of the lease proceeds on new transport infrastructure for our rural communities.”

“This is another disgraceful show of contempt for country Victoria from Daniel Andrews and his Labor mates. It’s clear Daniel Andrews is the Premier for Melbourne only, and couldn’t care less about regional Victoria.”

“There are countless worthy projects across Gippsland waiting for funding, but if it doesn’t involve trams or Metro trains, Daniel Andrews isn’t interested.”

“Projects include duplication of the remaining sections of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale, the South Face Road to Mt Baw Baw and upgrading the Port of Hastings.”

“There are a number of other projects identified under the government’s own Gippsland Regional Plan 2015-2020, but instead with Daniel Andrews, it’s all about Melbourne’s rail and roads.”

“Country Victorians want to see the $723 million spent as promised.”


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