Budget benefits delivered

Member for MacKillop Nick McBride said the State Budget would deliver a range of benefits for the MacKillop Electorate.

“I am pleased to see the Labor Government following through on their election promises, in particular in the area of health infrastructure upgrades for the Limestone Coast,” he said.

“The Budget has provision to start planning and delivery of the $8m upgrade for the Naracoorte Hospital, this will be most welcome. The condition of the hospital has long been a concern.

“It was also good to see the delivery of an election promise with the budget commitment for the Keith Hospital; work will be needed to consider how the commitment of $5.3m over four years will be integrated into the delivery of health services.”

Mr McBride noted that some of the infrastructure builds had completion dates flagged for 2025 and beyond.

“Delays in works will need to be watched closely as delays result in cost blow outs,” he said.

“I will be seeking more detail in relation to budget commitments for regional roads and am concerned about the lack of clarity in the budget about funds to address regional mobile black spots.

“These are critical areas of funding for the MacKillop electorate, we know we have a significant backlog in road maintenance that needs to be addressed and good mobile phone coverage is fundamental for the operation of business and safety in our region.

“I will work to clarify these funding streams and continue to advocate for resources in these important areas.”

Mr McBride said, “while details are scant in relation to regional roads”, he welcomed the delivery of improvements planned for a turn off lane to the Teys Meat processing facility on the Wimmera Highway near Naracoorte.

“This is an important measure that was planned under our government that will improve the safety for motorists and workers alike on that stretch of highway,” he said.

“The allocation of an additional $20m to the ongoing works on the Princes Highway is also welcome.

“More detail too, is needed about the timing of the roll out of additional paramedic and ambulance services, while additional investment is most welcome, these are services that we need now.

“Our volunteer ambulance crews are under a lot of strain and additional resources are needed across the entire electorate from Pinnaroo and Lameroo in the north to Millicent and Nangwarry in the south.”

Mr McBride said he would be watching with interest the newly created role of a Cross Border Commissioner.

“I am hopeful the role will support our communities in the cross border area to improve coordination and cooperation between the states on issues such as health services, roads and school buses,” he said.

“I do not want to see this position create another level of bureaucracy for our community.

“The $6m investment in research in the forestry sector is welcome, the forestry sector is a powerhouse for our Limestone Coast Economy, for it to continue to thrive investment in research and development is needed.”

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