Budget rebuff for South East

GSEM chair Simon McKeon said more direct investment was required in the South East. 403587_14 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Advocacy group Greater South East Melbourne (GSEM) has criticised the State Budget for a lack of investment in the region.

Fresh after hosting a jobs and skills summit on 3 May, GSEM chair Simon McKeon said “better direct budget support to help the region’s growth would have been a good budgetary investment”.

“The GSEM region is an important economic driver for Victoria.

“It is disappointing that there is not greater direct investment in the Greater South East Melbourne region.

“Relief for families is welcomed – but more needs to be done to support residents of Greater South East Melbourne.”

McKeon welcomed the $555 million into TAFE and training system but “more needs to be done to ensure that this investment is getting to those who need it.”

More investment in “critical transport infrastructure” was also required.

“GSEM understands the need for sensible economic management to address state debt, however growth cannot occur without the foundational building blocks of community and transport infrastructure,” McKeon said.

“We appreciate that hard decisions have had to be made but, nonetheless, we must prioritise policies and projects that provide jobs and economic growth.”

GSEM welcomed several Budget projects, including the continued Pakenham roads package as well as new schools and upgrades.

He also praised the proposed intersection upgrade on Stud Road Dandenong, the Monash Medical Centre redevelopment, the $5 million Growing Suburbs fund and continuing the planning for a renewable energy terminal at Port of Hastings.

It also praised the $71 million initiative to support young people complete their secondary-school educations at TAFE.

GSEM includes eight council areas Cardinia, Mornington Peninsula, Casey, Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Knox and Monash.