YEARS of talk about surpluses are a thing of the past in Victoria with the opposition calling on the state government to spend up big in its coming budget to support tourism.
Opposition treasury spokesperson and Ripon MP Louise Staley and opposition leader Michael O'Brien have released their plan to get the state's economy moving again, which was launched by Ms Staley at the Ballarat Wildlife Park.
The Liberal Nationals' plan to get Victorians back to work includes cutting payroll tax until June 30, 2022 and to establish a $1 billion fund to bring manufacturing home to Victoria, and fund 'Road Trip for Victoria' vouchers to stimulate Victorian tourism.
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"This is exactly the type of business that we will and we want the government to support as we get people back to business," Ms Staley said.
"This facility is such a great place for families and we just want to see people back here.
"What we believe the government needs to do in the upcoming budget is put forward a forward a significant amount of money.
"Our plan is for $400 million into significant tourism assets. In terms of a business like this, we think there are clear opportunities given they have been closed for so long, to give them a hand. Some are going to find it very difficult to get back to business without assistance, and this is the time for the government to step up."
Ms Staley wanted to be clear that this was not an election push, rather than a call to arms to get Victoria up and running again now.
"With Victorian treasury forecasting that up to 325,000 jobs will be lost this year, there is no time to wait to implement these bold measures," she said.
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Ballarat Wildlife Park managing director Greg Parker said any additional funding coming the way of tourism providers would be welcomed.
"It would be very welcomed by regional tourism operators," he said. "For us, we were just about to embark on our next five year plan, but this year has set everything back.
"We want to develop into an attraction for regional Victoria and anything would be welcome assistance to us, we've lost so much along the way.
"We've just embarked on our global conservation precinct here at the park, which we started with the Sumatran tigers, it's a $1.2 million development when completed.
"To complete that concept, we'd love an area where we could seat about 100 people, have catering facilities, commercial kitchen, VIP facilities.
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Ms Staley said tourism wasn't just an important employer, but part of life.
"It's so important to get people out of Melbourne, they've been cooped up for a long time," she said. "We want people to come here."