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State budget ‘fails Southbank’

15 May 2012

Labor and Albert Park MP Martin Foley has savaged the Baillieu Government’s May budget, saying it had failed Southbank.

“This budget provides no action on the key issues facing the Southbank community,” Mr Foley said.

A claim refuted by Treasurer Kim Wells, who suggested the budget had put money aside for Southbank and inner city Melbourne, but had no help from the Federal Government.

“Victoria is reliant on Commonwealth funding for vital projects like Melbourne Metro which would be of huge benefit to Southbank residents and businesses. The Coalition Government has set aside $50 million for the project in this year’s budget but without Commonwealth money we cannot get this project off the drawing board,” Mr Wells said.

He also pointed out the investment being made for the arts, saying: “In this year’s budget the Coalition Government has allocated $3.7 million for critical works at the Arts Centre, a further $7.3 million for Hamer Hall and an additional $4 million for the orchestra pit at the State Theatre.”

“This year’s budget also continues the investment the Coalition Government is making in the redevelopment of the Southbank cultural precinct,” he added.

Mr Foley argued the budget had failed to deliver any resolution for the ever-pressing education issues arising in Southbank.

“The budget does nothing to assist our schools or early childcare services under pressure: There is no funding for a further primary school in Southbank or South Melbourne,” Mr Foley said.

“The very real prospect of Southbank – having already been cut out of Albert Park College’s zone for 2013 – being zoned out from a primary school in the near future.”

Mr Wells pointed out that Southbank businesses have been helped: “Southbank businesses will also benefit from the Coalition Government’s efforts to reduce business costs by slashing the cost of workplace insurance premiums,” Mr Wells said.

Mr Foley concluded that while the state was happy to take money from Southbank, it wasn’t looking after the community there.

“Ripping millions out of the services Southbank needs and ignoring the community needs has failed Southbank.”

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