Projects worth $14 million across Wangaratta, Chiltern and the Alpine areas have been pushed forward to start in the next six months in an effort to boost the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
The biggest project from the Victorian government's $2.7 billion building works package was $5.235 million to deliver the next stage of the Wangaratta District Specialist School and Appin Park Primary School masterplan.
The specialist school will get a new building that it has needed for years because it has outgrown its current facilities and new hardcourts will be built at Appin Park.
In the Alpine areas, $4.2 million will be spent on the first stage of a commercial and recreational precinct at the Mount Hotham Resort
This will involve the development of the architecturally designed Alpine gateway.
The gateway was part of a Mount Hotham masterplan developed back in 2015.
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Another $2.1 million will go to the Alpine area to re-open Tawonga Caravan Park, which was closed due to a failing septic system.
Alpine mayor Peter Roper spoke to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in March, telling him the council wanted to see the caravan back up and running after the bushfires.
Works on the Chiltern Community Hub will be brought forward, to enable a major makeover to the old municipal building, which will be home to community-based services including kindergarten, childcare and library services.
The projects were announced yesterday as part of the Victorian government's $2.7 billion building works package, which Premier Daniel Andrews said was made up of new and previously announced projects across multiple sectors.
"Some of them, the public housing maintenance for instance, will begin next week. The rest of them will be under way over the next three to six months," he said.
The money will be included in the 2020-21 state budget, to be released later in the year.
"By investing in our schools, we're giving our kids the classrooms they deserve - and importantly, creating thousands of new jobs," Mr Andrews said.
Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes said that package was "about kickstarting our economy in regional Victoria that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and supporting locals in their recovery efforts".
"Right across the North East we're getting on with major projects that will create hundreds of jobs and create a critical boost to our region - from supporting our primary producers to tourism operators, support for schools, transport and our environment - this is a package that benefits everyone," she said.
Wodonga-based Liberal Democrats MP Tim Quilty described the building works package as a "sugar hit".
He said it seemed like a necessary response on the surface, but was worried it would add to Victoria debt and be dependent on government spending.
"This government likes to exert control over us, we've seen this clearly demonstrated in the excessive restrictions forced on us during the coronavirus lockdown," he said.
"We are seeing Mr Andrews ignore fiscal responsibility and, having destroyed small business, spend in such a way as to replace the private sector with state-controlled spending."