Member for Euroa Steph Ryan last week claimed the entire Benalla district received less from the recent state budget than the $76000 Labor MP Don Nardella paid after being accused of rorting government allowances by claiming an address in a caravan park as his primary residence and claimed $174000 of taxpayers’ money.
‘‘Don Nardella got $76000 from this budget while the entire Benalla district didn’t get a cracker,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘This is a Melbourne budget, not a Victorian budget.
‘‘While Daniel Andrews hikes our taxes, we are getting nothing in return.’’
Ms Ryan said for the third year in a row, the Andrews Labor Government had ignored the dire working conditions of police in Benalla.
‘‘The budget contains no new funding for works that are desperately needed to allow our police to continue their outstanding work in our community,’’ Ms Ryan said.
However, Police Minister Lisa Neville denied Ms Ryan’s claim that Benalla had been neglected.
‘‘These desperate claims by the opposition are simply wrong,’’ Ms Neville said.
‘‘We have provided $500000 to do a security and electrical upgrade of the Benalla Police Station, so the hard-working police officers have the facilities they need to keep the Benalla community safe,’’ Ms Neville said in a statement to The Ensign.
There will be security works undertaken at the Benalla Police Station that the Victorian Government has allocated $200000 to fund. There will also be an electrical upgrade, which will cost $300000. Works are due to start in the next month.
Ms Ryan also accused the Andrew Government of not setting any money for new trains or upgrades to existing rolling stock for the north-east line.
Ms Ryan said the news was a blow after Labor MPs claimed they were doing their bit for north-east commuters.
‘‘Daniel Andrews announced a grand $1.45 billion regional rail package, but then handed the entire bill to the Federal Government,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Even then, just 1.3 per cent of the spend Daniel Andrews claimed to be making was allocated to the north-east line.’’
Ms Ryan said Daniel Andrews’ and Jacinta Allan’s announce-first-ask-questions-later approach misled north-east rail users.
‘‘Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan spent a lot of time in the lead up to the budget saying they were ready to invest in regional rail, but budget day has come and gone and there is no money for rolling stock,’’ Ms Ryan said.