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Media Highlights – 3 September 2023

Victorian Nationals

Media Highlights – 3 September 2023

Disability advocates are celebrating the reversal of a government decision to cut a highly valued disability support program. In late July education minister Natalie Hutchins announced 85 of 117 teachers in Victoria’s decades-old visiting teacher service would be sacked. The visiting teacher service provides one-on-one specialist support to students with disabilities and includes teachers with sign language and braille skills.

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education Melina Bath said

“Pretty much every MP went out after the meeting and talked about the issue. Because we’ve been approached by the community group, the Nationals were able to advocate as a team on their behalf.”

Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said

“I remain incredibly grateful for those who joined us for sharing their stories and allowing The Nationals to advocate on their behalf. Together, we continue to make a difference.”

Member for Shepparton Kim O’Keeffe said

“The VT program has been around since the 1970s and while it may need updating, axing a service that has been one of the only fundamental support systems available in mainstream schools with special needs in regional Victoria is disheartening.”

With the mood in Victorian timber towns at what seems to be an all-time low due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding native timber families and businesses caused by the Andrews state Labor government – Agriculture Minister Gayle Tierney has recently succumbed to common sense community pressure to announce changes to the Victorian Forestry Worker Support Program including increased worker top up payments and the including access to guitar makers, firewood sellers and seed collectors as well as other forest produce users to participate in the program.

Member for Eastern Victoria Tim Bull said

“This is a step in the right direction, but what I have been calling for is the government to give clear timelines for when the supports will be received and to set up an in-person presence in these timber towns where impacted persons can go and have a face-to-face chat and get some answers.”


Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron says Premier Daniel Andrews and Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan must face the music after it was revealed the Commonwealth Games cancellation will cost Victorians at least $380 million. Mr Cameron said Labor was continuing to cover up the true extent of its financial mismanagement by including a gag clause in the settlement contract.

Member for Morwell Martin Cameron said

“At the very least, Victorians deserve answers about why Labor has ignored the advice of experts and set them up with a bill for hundreds of millions of dollars – in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. This is $380 million that could have been spent on bricks and mortar to address the housing and homelessness crisis sweeping the Latrobe Valley.”


Victorian MPs have united to call out the state government on what they say is a complete failure to maintain regional roads. Shadow Minister for Roads, Danny O’Brien said the Victorian Government had abandoned its regional resurfacing and maintenance activities due to the state’s financial woes.

Shadow Minister for Roads Danny O’Brien said

“The fact no contracts for road resurfacing have gone to tender this year is alarming for all Victorians. Without a resurfacing and resealing program, the deterioration of our roads will only accelerate.”

Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said

“The state is broke and those of us in regional Victoria are left to pay the price. We cannot afford to continue to neglect and cut funding to regional roads the cost is far more than just money.”

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