‘‘After years of neglect by consecutive governments, I am happy to finally see some investment and attention being given to the Shepparton district.’’
This was the comment State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed made in her Victorian Budget reply in Parliament last week, more than four months after the May 2017/18 budget was handed down.
Ms Sheed expressed gratitude for the funding from the state government across the last two budgets, including a $170 million Goulburn Valley Health redevelopment and a more than $40 million to additional Melbourne to Shepparton public transport services and essential works needed to secure more.
But the state MP also stressed on the need for the second and third parts of these funding pledges to be coming in future budgets.
Ms Sheed spoke about the city and surrounds being ‘‘forgotten’’ and Shepparton being left behind as the state’s fifth major regional centre, arguing ‘‘build it and they will come’’ had proved an effective strategy. ‘‘I am pleased to see some of the government’s beneficence now appears to be extending to our area,’’ she said.
The state MP, elected in 2014, remained confident with the introduction of more faster and better train services between Shepparton and Melbourne ‘‘our region can grow and prosper’’. But, there was plenty more to be done, she added, citing the need to improve opportunities for young people in the region.
‘‘The Shepparton district started from a very low base, and there is still so much more investment our community needs, but this government investment has proven to be a stimulus for reinvigorating private investment in our town.’’
She stressed the need for remaining funding for passenger rail, the bypass and the second stage of Goulburn Valley Health to be coming. Ms Sheed concluded citing the ‘‘devastating impact’’ a lack of water security was having on local communities, before commending the budget to the house.
Following the reply in Parliament, Ms Sheed this week stressed she ‘‘wanted the government to know how welcome the investment they’re making to date is.’’
She added these were ‘‘large, ongoing projects’’ which needed ‘‘commitments further down the line, so they’re able to be achieved fully’’.