Media Release by:
Daniel Andrews
March 7, 2013

Napthine Must Stand Up For Regional And Rural Victorians

Regional and Rural Victorians need answers from Victoria’s new Premier Denis Napthine on what his vision and plan is for the state’s regions, Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews said today. 

Mr Andrews said that Dr Napthine, a senior member of Ted Baillieu’s former cabinet which presided over millions of dollars of budget cuts to the states health and education systems needed to outline whether he fully supported all of the former government’s policy. 

“Regional and Rural Victorians must not forget that Dr Napthine was not only Minister for Regional Cities under the Baillieu Government, but also a member of the former Kennett Government”, Mr Andrews said. 

“It was the former Kennett Government who referred to regional and ruralVictoriaas the ‘toe nails of the state’. 

“Victoria has come to a standstill with thousands of construction jobs lost and thousands more at risk as big infrastructure jobs finish, with no future plans under Dr Napthine as Minister for Major Projects.   

“For the last two and a half years Dr Napthine as Minister for Regional Cities has presided over millions of dollars of cuts across regional and rural Victorian communities,” Mr Andrews said.  

Under the Napthine/Baillieu Government regional and rural Victoria has seen. 

  • $616 million worth of cuts to the state’s health budget -including vital mental health support services, rural midwife positions and blow outs in hospital waiting lists.
  • $300 million cuts to the TAFE training sector that has seen regional and rural campus closures and courses scrapped
  • Over 200 frontline Department of Primary Industry jobs lost and office closures
  • $41 million cut from the Country Fire Authority
  • $100 million scrapped from the states road maintenance budget
  • $65 million cuts to Victoria Police/justice services and over 800 jobs lost. 

Mr Andrews said that Dr Napthine’s track record in regional and rural Victoria was concerning. 

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

“Despite being Minister for Regional Cities, Dr Napthine has done nothing except cut Labor ribbons and orchestrate budget cuts.   

“Regional and Rural Victorians deserve a government that will deliver and not once again make them the ‘toe nails’ of the state”, Mr Andrews said.