Baillieu Backflips On Bungled Library Blunder

An overwhelming community backlash has forced the Baillieu Government to reverse its decision to dramatically cut funding from public libraries, Shadow Minister for Local Government Richard Wynne said today.

In what was a major embarrassment for the Baillieu Government, Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell finally has effectively conceded she was wrong to slash funding for public libraries.

“After threatening to strip millions of dollars from Victorian public libraries, Ms Powell has finally buckled to public pressure,” Mr Wynne said.

“There are still worrying signs as Ms Powell used today’s backflip to unveil yet another review, clearly with the intention of delaying the cut to library funding until 2014.

“Ms Powell and Mr Baillieu need to understand the community will not let this Government undercut Victoria’s public libraries.

“Ms Powell was silenced by a passionate community campaign, and if she tries to short-change our libraries again, she will meet the same fierce resistance.”

Mr Wynne said it was shocking that Mr Baillieu was still avoiding taking responsibility for these cuts.

“Ms Powell was briefed by her department when she took office last year, and curiously she failed to take the opportunity to address library funding agreement this in the May Budget – either she doesn’t understand the budget process or worse, she doesn’t care,” he said.

“Mr Baillieu needs to understand that when he took office he also became responsible for his decisions.

“He blames the former State Government, he blames the current Federal Government – you name it, and he will blame it.

“Mr Baillieu’s excuses just don’t wash with the community – he needs to stop dithering and get on with the job, enough is enough.”