The Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal future funding has failed to rate a mention in the federal budget beyond an initial $3.2 million for preparatory work.
Budget papers reveal significant 2021-22 allocations for similar arrangements in regional centres including Geelong, Launceston, Townsville and the Barkly region in the Northern Territory, but nothing for Albury-Wodonga beyond the initial amount confirmed last year.
A statement of intent of deal partners, the federal, Victorian and NSW governments and Albury and Wodonga councils, has been signed since last year's budget.
But there has been no formal sign-off the deal is happening even though there has been a Murray River tracks and trails project worth close to $1 million announced last week.
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"I am really disappointed there appears to be no funding in the budget for the Regional Deal," Dr Craig Underhill said last night.
"I'd love to hear a statement from our federal, state and local government leaders on the status of the deal.
"Many have been involved in developing excellent proposals which would enhance business and health outcomes for the region."
Regional Development Assistant Minister Nola Marino confirmed the Regional Deal was still being negotiated and had not yet been signed.
"Each of the deal partners are working together, with the deal expected to be signed later this year," she said.
Member for Indi Helen Haines declined to comment when asked about the status of the Regional Deal.
But Dr Haines welcomed a $250 million expansion of the Building Better Regions Fund announced in the budget
"There are over half a billion dollars' worth of shovel-ready projects in Indi that could be funded through the BBRF" she said.
"Cash on the table is good but we will get more value for money if it addresses regional needs.
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