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State Budget

May 3, 2017

 Last night's State Budget has contains quite a bit of good news for rural and regional Victoria including communities within the Murray electorate.

The section of Murray held by Suzanna Sheed Independent MP for the District of Shepparton in the State Parliament is set to benefit greatly, with many overdue projects receiving funding:

- $43.5 million towards better transport connectivity between Seymour and Shepparton.

- $10.2 million towards the Shepparton Bypass.

- Funds to upgrade and regenerate our schools, including Bourchier St Primary School, Ardmona Primary School, Kialla West PS, Mooroopna Park Primary & Wunghnu Primary School (as well as Nanneella Estate Primary School towards the centre of our Federal electorate.)

- Money for the Shepparton Education Plan.

- Investment in maximising irrigation and groundwater availability based on the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District Master plan.

- Funding towards the Mobile Blackspots Program.

- A specialist Family Violence Court in Shepparton.

- Funding to further develop on-farm technologies for the Murray–Darling basin and the Serpentine, Victoria region.

- $85 million to protect Victoria’s agriculture sector from bio-security risks and to maintain market access.

- Eligible regional Victorian businesses will now have the lowest payroll tax rate in the country.

- Funds towards a new residential drug rehabilitation treatment facility for the Hume region.

Elsewhere, in Murray, there is money for a continuous barrier on the Hume Freeway from Seymour to Barnawartha which will improve road safety for the communities of Avenel, Longwood, Euroa & Violet Town. Audio-tactile-line marking and run-off road-crash treatment will be applied to the Midland Highway, also - presumably including the stretch from Elmore to Benalla - taking in the communities in and around Corop, Stanhope, Mooroopna & Shepparton East.

The elation of last night's State Budget was soured this morning with the news that Murray Goulburn will close it's plant in Rochester. Whilst confidence is low, I hope that the Federal Budget due next week will contain support for those individuals, families and communities impacted by the ongoing milk crisis and that MG's cost cutting allows them to raise the milk price in the new financial year.

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