Time for a reset and renewed focus on Regional Victoria

Following the resignation of Daniel Andrews as Premier of Victoria, I reflect on the words of my late father who said, “if you can’t find something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all”.  I will leave others to comment on the former Premier’s character.”

The Premier’s policies have created challenges, increased suffering, and compromised the health and well-being of many Victorians.

We have endured the longest COVID lockdown in the world and the global embarrassment of a cancelled Commonwealth Games.

Victorians are suffering the pressure of rising cost of living and paying for an obscene waste of taxpayer funds – $30 billion cost blowouts on major city projects.

Rural and regional residents drive daily on deteriorating and decrepit roads.

Our wonderful hospitals struggle with overworked staff and ballooning surgery waitlists. Fed up, essential police, teachers, nurses are leaving their noble professions in never-before-seen numbers.

We are paying the price of 50 new or increased taxes with small businesses and mum and dad investors shouldering much of the burden.

State debt is slated to reach $171 billion over the next three years and we have a housing and rental crisis.

We have witnessed the closure of traditional industries including the ideologically driven cessation of our sustainable native timber industry and the failure of promised industries to materialise, like SEA Electric car manufacturing plant in Latrobe Valley.

Labor has grossly mismanaged of our public land and allowed forest fuel loads to build to a dangerously high bushfire risk.

And in transitioning to renewables, the Premier has ignored natural gas as a reliable energy resource, and his lack of planning means Victorians can now expect summer blackouts.

We are told the return of the SEC will be the panacea, however, many feel it is a mere headline that will not solve our energy crisis.

For the incoming Premier, it is time for a reset, time for a greater focus on governing for ‘all Victorians’ including those outside the tram tracks.  Genuine investment in regional Victoria is well overdue.

It is time to right the neglect of the people who produce our food and fibre, respect our CFA volunteers, and refocus on achievable outcomes for affordable homes with a reliable energy supply.

Victoria needs a Premier who makes sensible decisions, not based on ideology and spin.

The Nationals for Regional Victoria know our rural and regional communities deserve nothing less.


Melina Bath

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria