Goulburn Murray region schools were the biggest winners in yesterday’s Victorian budget.
The Victorian Government announced $230 million for school buildings and equipment in the budget.
It includes $1.5 million to rebuild the Toolamba Primary School which was badly damaged by fire in February.
There is funding to keep the Tawonga Primary School open and improvements to those at Euroa, Mansfield, Mount Beauty, Myrtleford and Tallygaroopna.
Visitor facilities at the Mount Buffalo chalet will also be improved and an Indigenous dance academy will be established in Mooroopna.
A total of $2 million will be spent planning the future needs of courts including those at Shepparton and Wangaratta.
The Government will also commit $136 million for fire and emergency services.
But Dr Harry Hemley from the Australian Medical Association says there is no mention of funding in the state budget for the Albury-Wodonga Health Service.
He says the Victorian Government is required to contribute its share of money to running the health service.
Dr Hemley says the Government also needs to better plan for growing demand on health services into the future.
“We’re growing at 100,000 people a year, we need to have a plan and how we’re going to address that growth,” he said.
“In the plan you would have things like the Albury-Wodonga cross border arrangement and all of the small hospitals and how they’re going to fit into it.
“That’s what I mean when I say we need a vision for the future – we need a plan for the future.”
Meanwhile, regional police stations have been granted $10 million for improvements, including money to buy land for a new police station in Echuca.
Campaspe Mayor Peter Williams says it has been a long time coming.
“It is very much a run-down facility and it’s undersized and it certainly doesn’t deliver what the police need to deliver – best quality service,” he said.
“It’s exciting that they’ve identified they’re going to purchase land to build the new station and we hope that that will now roll on to a new police station in the next few years.”
The Liberal Member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, says he is disappointed no money has been allocated to expand the Wodonga police station, which is overcrowded.
“We’ve heard the former chief commissioner of police talking about how she’s been working with this Government about the extensions for the Wodonga police station,” he said.
“[But] no certainty and no time line has been given or any money has been committed to Wodonga police station.”