• Tilley makes budget pitch

    ALL YACK: Beechworth Chamber of Commerce president Elizabeth Mason talks with Bill Tilley (MLA, Benambra) in Beechworth yesterday.

    BILL Tilley (MLA, Benambra) has pitched for bricks-and-mortar funding in next week’s state budget for campus rebuilding works at Beechworth Secondary College and Rutherglen High School.

    The two projects are priorities on the Liberal parliamentarian’s wish-list ahead of the May 2 budget.

    “We’d expect that, flush with cash from leasing the Port of Melbourne, (the Labor government) should include some of the outstanding projects in Benambra that have been overlooked in recent years,” Mr Tilley said.

    “In education (the government) has already funded planning (for campus works) at Beechworth and Rutherglen.

    “That should be followed up with the money to make those improvements.”

    Mr Tilley is also seeking $250,000 to enable Indigo North Health to update its kitchen.

    “I have some hope for Indigo North Health to get much-needed funding for its antiquated kitchen,” he said of the service – which operates in Rutherglen and Chiltern.

    “(It) has missed out on successive rounds of grant funding despite warnings that the kitchen is almost certain to fail a food safety audit.

    “The kitchen, which produces 55,000 meals a year, has one oven and one cook-top, two upright freezers and no air-conditioning other than a pedestal fan.”

    Mr Tilley said he was also “acutely aware” that Indigo, Toowong and Alpine shires had large road networks which relied for maintenance on small rate revenue.

    “When we (Liberal-Nationals’ coalition) was in government we provided $1 million a year for the country roads and bridges program,” he said.

    “I think all councils would tell you that money was vital to their ability to meet those demand and financial viability.”


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