Ted Baillieu's key election promise was "No more neglect in the West". Baillieu's Budget this week neglects the West more than ever before - his promise has been broken!
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The Baillieu Government's budget is bad news and broken promises for the West.
No money for public transport, bikes budget reduced to zero, dental waiting lists to increase by 30%, no money for kindergartens, no Truck Action Plan or rail freight, and the list goes on. Sunshine Hospital will get an overdue intensive care unit and there is some welcome investment in child protection, but the bucks stop there.
Public transport promise broken
Ted Baillieu promised to "fix public transport" but the budget provides no new bus, train or tram services to meet the growing demand and ease over-crowding. Caroline Springs did not get it's shovel-ready station, there's no buses for Point Cook residents to get to their nearby station, and no money to duplicate the Altona Loop single track.
Rather than fixing public transport as promised, Ted Baillieu is simply making it worse by failing to fund improvements needed to match demand.
More congestion, more pollution, $15 million wasted
Rather than smart investments in public transport and bike infrastructure, Ted Baillieu has chosen to spend $15 million on plans for a dirty big tollway that will do nothing to relieve traffic congestion and will only direct much needed funds away from public transport. We need trains not tollways.
Dental care cut
The Baillieu Government plans to allow dental waiting lists to blow out by around 30 percent. Just when you thought the budget couldn't get any worse, you get this kick in the teeth (pardon the pun). That means an increase from an average waiting time of 17 months to an average of 22 months for general dental treatment as well as dentures.
Education cut - new prison gets funded
We know the best way to reduce disadvantage and end cycles of poverty is education. But Ted Baillieu's budget spends twice as much on prison upgrades as it does on school upgrades! There's no money to build or upgrade kindergartens and TAFE is facing huge cuts. Ted Baillieu has his priorities completely wrong.