editors letterEditor Nathan Johnston

THERE appears to be a growing trend for governments to re-announce funding for projects that we thought were already locked in; for example the proposed Trade Training Centres announced by the former Labor Government.
The centres are to be built at local secondary colleges to help students begin a trade whilst still at school.
It’s a great initiative that will help fill the void in the industries that need more resources. It sounds very much like the reason tech schools were built, but that’s beside the point.
Schools were well underway with planning for these centres when a huge cloud of doubt was cast over their funding by the new Abbott Government.
Principals were receiving mixed messages from Canberra and many thought the scheme would be totally abandoned.
But lo and behold, the Coalition last week sends out its local MPs to announce funding for Trades Skills Centres. Same thing, but different name.
While it’s a huge relief for our schools and students interested in a trade, it’s easy to see the re-announcement as a cheap point-scoring stunt.
While on the subject of funding, it’s pleasing that local government and industry bodies have stepped up the push to the State Government for upgrades to the South Gippsland Highway.
The Gippsland Local Government Network, the Committee for Gippsland and the recently launched Gippsland Freight Infrastructure Master plan have called for heavy vehicle routes through Leongatha and Korumburra, and the realignment of the highway at Koonwarra to eliminate the treacherous Black Spur bends, the latter a $40 million project.
All projects have been spoken about for years, but with very little action.
How much clout these groups have will be revealed when the State Government releases its 2014/15 Budget in May.