The Brumby Government lacks the vision required to lead Victoria, according to Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan.
Responding to the State Budget in Parliament, Mr Ryan said the 2010–11 Budget was the product of a tired and lazy government that had run out of steam.
“The word ‘vision’ does not appear in the Treasurer’s speech and is it any wonder because this Budget has no vision, nor has this government,” Mr Ryan said.
“Labor cannot manage money. It has never been able to manage money and nothing has changed. Labor has wasted more than $10 billion on major project cost blowouts over its time in government and we now have debt levels rising to $31 billion by 2014.
“In the past 11 years violent crime has risen by 40 per cent and assaults have increased by 70 per cent.
“At the same time Victoria has the lowest number of operational frontline police per person of all Australian states and spends the least per person on police resourcing of all Australian states.”
Mr Ryan said the Coalition had responded to community concern and led the way in policing by committing to 2,640 additional Victoria Police officers and Victoria Police Protective Service Officers in its first term if elected in November.
“After denying for years that there was a problem with police shortages, Labor has cynically responded with a police policy that is more about bending to political pressure than listening to the community,” Mr Ryan said.
“The State Budget reveals Labor’s complete lack of understanding of the needs of all Victorians and shows an unashamed grab for metropolitan votes.
“The agricultural sector has been snubbed with the Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Department of Primary Industries suffering budgetary cuts. There’s also a drop in education spending and nearly $200 million less funding for TAFE training next financial year.”
Mr Ryan said there was little to cheer about in the Budget for much of country Victoria, with virtually no new funding for roads, rail or infrastructure.
“Furthermore, in bushfire-prone communities, Neighbourhood Safer Places have been drastically under-funded and there’s no funding or even a target for fuel reduction burns,” Mr Ryan said.
“Victorians will be left feeling underwhelmed by this cynical election Budget.”
Peter Ryan MLA
Member for Gippsland South | Deputy Premier
Minister for State Development | Minister for Regional and Rural Development