Media Release by:
Daniel Andrews
March 8, 2013

Napthine’s Neglect Of The Bendigo Community

Bendigo families need answers from Victoria’s new Premier Denis Napthine on what his vision and plan is for the state’s regional communities, Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews said today.

Mr Andrews joined Maree Edwards, Member for Bendigo West, together nurses, teachers and members of the Bendigo community today to call on Premier Napthine to fund the much needed redevelopment of the Bendigo Hospital.

Mr Andrews said that the new hospital was months behind schedule with the tender process in disarray and that the Bendigo community needed stability and certainty from Premier Napthine.

“The Bendigo Hospital redevelopment will provide better services and facilities for all families in the region, that’s why Labor invested $473 million into the project,” Mr Andrews said.

“Ted Baillieu failed to deliver for Bendigo families, and Premier Napthine must step up to deliver the vital services needed in rural and regional Victoria.

“In over two years the Napthine/Baillieu Government has done nothing to improve health care for local families,” Mr Andrews said.

Under the Napthine/Baillieu Government the Bendigo community has also seen large cuts to the Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE (BRIT). The cuts will impact on 39 courses including those in business management, finance, graphic design, visual arts, hospitality and retail and the certificate II in agriculture and shearing.

Mr Andrews said that through the government’s cuts to BRIT had been forced to scale down from five schools to three and reduce the amount of courses offered.

“These cuts will have a devastating effect on young people in the Bendigo region and will not encourage them to remain in the community into the future.

“As we are seeing daily, the Napthine/Baillieu Government’s budget cuts across regional and rural Victoria are very real; they are impacting on local families’ right across the state,” Mr Andrews said.

Ms Edwards said that as a result of the Napthine Government’s cuts to Bendigo TAFE, local jobs had been lost.

“The Liberal National Government may have changed its leader, but these cuts remain and will continue to hurt local families.

“Despite being Minister for Regional Cities for over 2 years, Denis Napthine has done nothing for the Bendigo community,” Ms Edwards said.