Posted on 14. Jul, 2011 in Clayton Update

The Baillieu Government has been caught stripping money from community libraries, Member for Clayton Hong Lim said today.

“The small print in the new Libraries Funding agreement has revealed the Baillieu Government is cutting up to $4.95 million from our public libraries,” Mr Lim said.

“The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is seeking answers from the Baillieu Government, and has called on councils across the state to not sign the new libraries funding agreement.

“The MAV found that even though Council were now paying more than under previous agreements, Mr Baillieu is trying to avoid paying for public libraries.

“Mr Baillieu has been caught red handed helping himself to the funding that keeps our libraries open and available to all.

Mr Lim said Labor proudly supported libraries across Victoria through the Living Libraries program, investing over $34 million on over 138 projects.

“Victorians are visiting libraries in record numbers, with more than 33 million visits each year and more than 48 million items borrowed,” Mr Lim said.

“Given almost half of all Victorians belong to a library; it makes no sense to cut their funding.

“Labor recognises the importance of libraries in our communities, but Mr Baillieu’s attempt to fleece these institutions of funding demonstrates he just doesn’t get it.”

When in office, Labor upgraded, built or replaced 66 libraries, funded major refurbishments to another 58, and either replaced or upgraded 14 mobile libraries which service remote communities.

“Mr Baillieu should continue from where Labor left off, and build bigger, better libraries with even more resources to meet the needs of the community,”he said.

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