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No budget joy for GV says Scott

Shepparton residents should not expect much from the Victorian Government in terms of infrastructure funding ahead of next month’s budget. Victorian Opposition finance spokesman Robin Scott issued the warning during a visit to Shepparton on Wednesday.

April 21, 2014 3:30am

Shepparton residents should not expect much from the Victorian Government in terms of infrastructure funding ahead of next month’s budget.

Victorian Opposition finance spokesman Robin Scott issued the warning during a visit to Shepparton on Wednesday.

Mr Scott visited for the annual Bernie Moran Memorial Dinner, which honours the Shepparton ALP stalwart.

He said he expected marginal seats would be the Napthine government’s priority.

‘‘I’m not expecting that much for this area in the May budget,’’ Mr Scott said.

‘‘You only have to look at the approach about wi-fi (on trains to major regional centres except Shepparton) to see areas... more marginal get a better run.

‘‘Obviously I don’t have an insight into exactly what they’re doing but their record in a range of these areas speaks for itself.’’

Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien will hand down the state budget on May 6.

The budget is expected to include significant transport spending, including funds for the Melbourne airport rail link.

However, Mr Scott said he was not expecting the government to reverse almost $300million in TAFE funding cuts.

‘‘The National Party has their name on every one of these cuts,’’ he said.

‘‘TAFE and other private providers play a critical role in ensuring people get the skills they need to get into employment and jobs.’’

Labor Shepparton candidate Rod Higgins said he did not expect Shepparton to benefit from the budget, but the region needed funding for health, education and infrastructure.

‘‘We need general funds for health and also education, especially with education in the promotion of retention rates at schools,’’ Mr Higgins said.

‘‘The retention rates in regional Victoria and Shepparton are far below our metropolitan friends and we need to boost that up.

‘‘There’s nothing that has been announced that’s done anything for the rail situation.

‘‘That’s obviously a glaring gap for us because you’ve only got to look at the momentum of council and ratepayers in the promotion of more for rail.’’

Greater Shepparton City Council is lobbying the Victorian Government for five weekday return services for the city.

Shepparton has three return weekday train services to Melbourne.

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