When the Andrews Labor 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 $6.71 million for Bayside P-12 College, with students to benefit from upgraded labs and classrooms, including the Maths and Science Block.
As we recover, we also want our state to come back stronger than ever, delivering the biggest investment in inclusive education in our state’s history.
This includes a $5.47 million upgrade for Yarraville Special Developmental School, supporting students and the wider community. The Government’s investment will also support local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state.
A further $1.6 billion will transform support for students with disability, doubling the number of students receiving extra support to 55,000, and creating up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025.
We’re also delivering the biggest investment in public and community housing in Australia, ever. This investment will build more than 12,000 new homes – making sure thousands of Victorians have a place to call home, and thousands more Victorians have a job. The City of Maribyrnong is a priority area for investment, with procurement starting straight away to build new homes.
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.
A new Skills and Jobs Centre will be established at the new Footscray Hospital build, providing onsite advice for Victorians who want to be a part of the project. The Centre will connect Victorians with available opportunities, while also providing advice on training and apprenticeships.
In the mighty West, funding will also go towards transforming Whitten Oval, supporting the women’s and men’s teams, while also backing the Bulldogs’ Community Foundation programs, including the highly successful Sons and Daughters of the West, which tackles emerging physical and mental health issues in the local community.
We’re also getting local commuters where they need to go, with funding to continue the Westgate Punt ferry service, allowing workers to cross the Yarra.
This year we’ve come to appreciate our local parks and playgrounds more than ever. As Victorians spend more time outdoors with the people they love, this Budget invests in our community spaces, including Point Gellibrand Heritage Park. This investment will deliver safer walkways – and better access to our beautiful local park – giving us more opportunity to connect outdoors together.
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 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 into summer and beyond.
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.
We’re also investing more than $1 billion for children and families at risk, including targeted support to help families stay together.
A further $235 million will build our Recovery Workforce, creating 500 new jobs across mental health, family violence, health and child protection with hundreds more new training opportunities, so Victorians have the support they need as we recover from this pandemic.
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 Williamstown Melissa Horne
“With extra training places, more support for apprentices and investments to create new jobs, we’ll help locals train, retrain and find new opportunity.”
“This Budget invests in the West, making sure we recover stronger and fairer.”