When the Andrews Government was elected, we promised to put people first. As our state begins its recovery from the global pandemic, people will continue to be our priority.
The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers on the investments that will see our community recover – and come back even stronger.
As kids get back into the classroom, this Budget delivers the single biggest investment ever in our schools – making sure students have the classrooms, libraries and learning spaces they deserve. This includes $12.43 million for Bayswater Secondary College for upgrades to the Main Classroom Wing, delivered as part of the Bayswater Education Plan.
Further to this, the Budget invests $4.33 million to upgrade Boronia West Primary School, with a further $2.5 million for Heathmont College to upgrade and modernise the school.
The Budget also backs in Fairhills High School with $8.07 million to upgrade and modernise their school, including the Auditorium, and Science & Technology facilities. These investments will also support local jobs, with school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state.
Sport has been hit hard this year. This Budget is helping local sports bounce back by investing in shovel-ready and job-creating projects to upgrade club facilities and community infrastructure.
This includes $110 million for the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program to build and upgrade community sports facilities across the state, partnering with local communities. An extra $27 million will deliver new and upgraded facilities, including new scoreboards, lighting and female friendly change rooms.
And we’ll invest an extra $6 million for the popular Sporting Club Grants Program, to support local sports clubs to purchase equipment and uniforms.
Funding of $105 million will be provided for the redevelopment and expansion of the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, creating one of Australia’s premier basketball facilities. The project will help meet growing demand and will support athlete development pathways and high-performance programs, as well new spaces for the local community.
Our hospitals have been on the frontline of our response to the pandemic. This Budget helps keep them strong into the future with $4.5 million to accelerate the planning and design for the expansion of the Angliss Hospital at Ferntree Gully.
Roads connect us to work, school and family, and the Labor Government is committed to getting Victorians to where they need to be sooner, and safer. That's why the Budget invests in a local roads blitz, improving our metropolitan road network and creating jobs. This includes funding to deliver a major upgrade around the intersection at Alchester Village to improve both safety and access for locals.
And in a boost to local businesses, a new $20 million Suburban Revitalisation and Growth package will help revitalise the centre of Boronia, delivering great local spaces and supporting local jobs.
And earlier this year, during the worst of the bushfires – our state again saw the incredible work of our firefighters. The Government is backing the men and women who keep us safe with funding to acquire land and build a new home for a new CFA station at The Basin, with $3.2 million locked in.
This builds on record investment into our community over the past two years, to now over $70 million into local projects, across education, transport, healthcare, local sport and much more.
To help get more Victorians back into work, the Labor Government is setting itself an ambitious target – creating 400,000 new jobs by 2025, half of them by 2022. Our new Jobs for Victoria initiative will help locals find a new job – and with it, security, stability and certainty. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to cover the wages of at least 10,000 new workers.
These positions will be for Victorians hardest hit by this pandemic, including women, young people, retrenched workers and people who have been long-term unemployed. This investment will also deliver targeted support for those who need it – such as career counselling or mentoring.
And because we know too many Victorians are having to choose between going to work sick and losing wages, the Labor Government will invest $5 million to develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme. Once in place, the two-year pilot will provide up to five days of sick and carer’s pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries.
This year’s Budget will help also nearly one million families save hundreds on their power bill. Concession card holders, such as Victorians receiving JobSeeker payments, will be eligible for a one-off $250 payment to help cover the cost of their energy bills.
An extra 250,000 low-income households will benefit from new more efficient heating and cooling, while heating, cooling or hot water systems will be upgraded across an extra 35,000 social housing homes – reducing bills for tenants and making winter and summer more comfortable.
The Labor Government’s Solar Homes will also be expanded to an extra 42,000 rooftop solar rebates plus 14,500 solar batteries, cutting power bills for local families. And for the very first time, small businesses will also be eligible.
Even with kids back at school, the balancing act that many families know all too well isn’t easy. That’s why this Budget will make kinder free in 2021 and deliver outside school hours care at up to 400 extra schools, saving parents money and giving them greater flexibility when it comes to work and care.
And because Victorians have well and truly earned a holiday, the Labor Government is offering up to 120,000 $200 vouchers to encourage families to take a break in regional Victoria. The scheme is expected to be up and running by December, supporting local economies and local jobs.
2020 has also reminded us of what matters most in life – the health and wellbeing of the people we love. As we begin our state’s recovery, that will continue to be our focus. This Budget will ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system.
That includes nearly $870 million for mental health, including to implement the Royal Commission into Mental Health’s interim report findings and recommendations and deliver care for local families.
This is a Budget to repair, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget, and a Government, that puts people first.
Quotes attributable to Member for Bayswater Jackson Taylor
“It’s been a tough year – but I’m so proud of the resilience our community as shown, and this Budget backs them in big time.”
“With kids back in the classroom, local sport kicking up and our community getting back to doing what they love most, investments in these areas will not just mean locals thrive, but good, well paying jobs are created when we need them most.”
“It’s a Budget that backs in Bayswater and puts people first – I can’t wait to see these important projects take shape.”