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Victorian Nationals

Tim Bull – Funding for veterans’ museum off the table

Tuesday 28 May 2024


State funding for the proposed new National Vietnam Veterans’ Museum in Phillip Island is uncertain after a stunning funding admission by the Allan Labor Government.


Veterans’ Minister, Natalie Suleyman, has conceded funding for the building of the new museum in Newhaven was removed from this year’s Budget.


Under questioning at a Budget review hearing, Ms Suleyman said a “$5 million” commitment to the museum had been “paused” in the budget.


The fact that money has been removed is concerning enough, but confusion about the funding sum is also a disturbing development.


Labor originally promised $10 million, not $5 million, for the museum.


Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Tim Bull, said the Minister spoke of a $5 million commitment on three occasions and it was not a one-off slip-up.


“So we have gone from $10 million, halved it $5 million and then taken that off the table,” Mr Bull said.


“The Minister has described it as a ‘pause’ and then begrudgingly agreed the funds wouldn’t be in the budget, saying ‘it won’t appear, but we do have a commitment’.


“Labor can’t manage money and Victorians are paying the price.


“Apart from the concern over the $5 million reduction, it is hoped the planning issues the Minister referred to will be resolved mid this year, but the money is no longer there.


“What we need is for the Minister to clarify two points – that the commitment is in fact $10 million as promised and the money will be made available immediately the time the project can proceed.

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