MPs react to State Budget

A mixed bag of reactions as the state budget mellows out days after the announcement. Picture: ON FILE.

South Eastern Metropolitan Region Labor MP Lee Tarlamis said the 2024-’25 State Budget was helping families with new classrooms and cost of living relief.

“That means providing direct support where it’s needed most – from our $400 School Saving Bonus to an expansion of our Glasses for Kids program.”

He noted new primary and secondary schools in Clyde Creek North, as well as $233 million towards completing the Metro Tunnel next year.

Funding for South-East Monash Legal Service’s Sporting Chance program will continue. The program teaches students about the justice system and integrates a school lawyer into schools’ wellbeing teams.

However, Liberal MP Ann-Marie Hermanns said “another horror budget” had “reinforced Labor’s waste and continued mismanagement” with “catastrophic” debt rising to a projected $187.8 billion by 2028.

“Victorians are facing a debt that is punishing our economy, our lifestyles and passing on further long-term pain for our children and grandchildren to have to deal with.”

She also criticised the government’s “obsession” with “projects it promises and then cannot afford to deliver, particularly the Suburban Rail Loop”.

Monash University politics expert Dr Zareh Gahazarian said he was expecting “a bit more” from the government. It was an opportunity for Jacinta Allan to “set new priorities” in her first budget as Premier, he said.

“That it hasn’t been done to a great extent suggests that the government was financially constrained.

“It could be a feature of the government to build its capacity to deliver bigger policies in the year leading into the 2026 election.”

Bass MP Jordan Crugnale said: “From better public transport network to our $400 School Saving Bonus, more funding for Lifesaving Victoria’s water safety program to Youth Live4Life continuing to deliver mental health and wellbeing promotion in our regional schools – we’re making sure families across Bass have the services and supports they need now and into the future.

“As our community continues to grow, so too does our commitment to delivering the world class schools families deserve – including a brand new school on Ballarto Road opening 2026 and a primary and secondary school for Clyde North opening in 2025.

“This budget focuses on continuing our cost of living support relief for our community; in addition to what is already available including regional capped fares, free rego for trade apprentices, Victorian Default Offer – we will have for example the $400 School Saving Bonus, triple the free Glasses for Kids program and extend the $200 Get Active Kids Vouchers making sure families in Bass are supported in these challenging times.

“This is great news for the Pearcedale and surrounding community who have long advocated for a skatepark to be included in the overall redevelopment of the Rec Reserve – it will be a wonderful sporting hub for young people and families to come together, be active and connect.

“I want to honour the dedication, commitment and sheer respectful pestering that the much loved late Cr Ray Brown did in his advocacy for better public transport for his community and am delighted that the Kooweerup – Pakenham bus services will have its frequency increased to better suit modern life and how the community actually move around today.”