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State Budget disappoints Mitchell Shire Council

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

Mitchell Shire Council has expressed disappointment over this week’s Victorian State Budget, stating that the shire has been left behind in comparison to other growth areas across the state.

Mitchell Shire Councillor Louise Bannister stated she was most concerned with the cuts to the funding streams that growth area councils have relied on for the timely delivery of essential infrastructure.

“The significant reduction in funding for the Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF), from $50 million two years ago to just $5 million this year, leaves Mitchell in a precarious position,” she said.

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“Once covering almost 50 per cent of new community infrastructure costs … this budget significantly reduces that contribution.

“This fund has been crucial to supporting infrastructure delivery across the shire and in particular the growth areas, and these cuts will impact Mitchell the most, as we are the last emerging growth area in Victoria.”

Ms Bannister said that despite the urgent need for new roads and health facilities, the State Government’s Budget did not include new investments in the shire and instead experienced significant cuts to growth area infrastructure.

However, the budget did confirm funding for several school projects, including construction funding for the Wallan East Primary School, and upgrade funding for both the Beveridge and Wandong primary schools, with the latter set to receive $10.1 million for much-needed upgrades.

The State Government’s Budget also announced that the Best Start Best Life reforms would be delayed, pushing the completion date to 2036/37, while the Watson Street interchange remained funded.

A topic of much contention, the Kilmore Bypass project has been delayed yet again, and has now been pushed to quarter 4, 2025/26. However, funding remains about the same at $35.3 million, with $2 million more added for planning, with most of this funding going towards a roundabout at Wandong Road.

Ms Bannister acknowledged the challenges facing the State Government.

“We understand that the Victorian Government is in a challenging financial position, with multiple priorities and constraints to consider. However, it’s disappointing there’s no new funding for much-needed road upgrades in our shire,” she said.

“For Mitchell, this budget presents a worrying outlook. As we embark on a journey of growth, infrastructure and grant funding is slowing.

“It’s good to see that Wallan East Primary School was confirmed for construction, however as Victoria’s fastest growing municipality we will need to see continued investments in new primary and secondary schools over coming years.

“To deliver on our community’s vision, the State Government needs to recognise the critical importance of investment in Mitchell. While we are disappointed in this budget, we will continue fighting for fair funding and advocate for our community’s future.”

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  1. Building Wallan East Primary but no roads to service it, 1 lane in 1 lane out!!! It’s stuffed now, wait till that gets built!!

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