MINISTERS STATEMENTS: REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (14:22): It gives me great pleasure to update the house about the government’s ongoing commitment to building infrastructure in regional Victoria. You may have heard some nonsense claims recently that just 13 per cent of infrastructure funding in the 2022–23 Victorian budget is to be spent in regional Victoria. That is in fact nonsense. This was followed by a promise by those opposite to spend 25 per cent of future infrastructure funding in budgets in the regions. Well, I have got some news. If next year’s budget invests just 25 per cent of asset funding in regional Victoria, that would be a 10 percentage point cut from the whopping 35 per cent of state infrastructure funding invested in regional Victoria.
Mr PALLAS: The Premier is right: they even manage to learn how to cut from opposition. That is right: 35 per cent in this budget, not 25 per cent and definitely not 13 per cent. I do not know who is doing their cherrypicking, but if they worked on any farm in the state they would be sacked from their job, which is about on brand because in their last four years of office they invested just $7.2 billion across regional Victoria compared to $36 billion under this government. You could say it is comparing apples and oranges. Let me try some other figures: $2.3 billion, which is how much we are investing in regional infrastructure in this budget alone, including $1 billion in regional health infrastructure; 3.4 per cent, which is the regional unemployment rate, nearly half of what we inherited from those opposite; and 1.2125 per cent, which is regional payroll tax relief, one-quarter of what those opposite left.