Geelong is a big winner in the . It’s all about jobs, with a record investment in infrastructure and other projects to create new jobs and help workers gain a foothold in the fast-growing sectors that will define Victoria’s economic future. The Budget includes:
- A $325 million in jobs initiatives for infrastructure and services, which includes $5.5 million to providing planning for key projects to revitalise the centre of Geelong, such as a Conference Centre. The Government will prioritise support for retrenched automotive workers.
- Massive investment in public transport and roads, with more V/Line rolling stock ordered to support further Geelong and Warrnambool services and to address overcrowding issues.
- A new Tech School, and $35.6 million to upgrade ten schools across Geelong.
- A payroll tax cut for approximately 36,000 businesses across Victoria, with the payroll tax-free threshold lifted to $650,000 over the next four years.
In regional Victoria, safe and reliable transport is everything, and the Budget provides a massive investment to improve public transport and roads across rural and regional Victoria, as well as creating jobs.
The Budget invests $1.3 billion to make regional rail services more frequent and reliable, and position the whole system for the longer-term expansion that our growing regions will eventually need.
More services are coming. $280 million will fund 27 new VLocity carriages, and $131 million will increase passenger rail services for Ballarat, Traralgon, Geelong, Shepparton, Bendigo and Warrnambool. This means more than 50 additional services for Geelong weekly, and an additional return service for Warrnambool on a Sunday. There will also be an additional weekday return service for Warrnambool.
The Budget includes $3 million to investigate transport options for Armstrong Creek and $3 million to undertake the detailed planning needed to duplicate the line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds.
The Budget provides $260 million to repair unsafe and deteriorating road surfaces across regional Victoria. Further investment will fund measures such as flexible road barriers and centre line upgrades.
A centrepiece of the Budget’s regional roads package for Geelong is the Drysdale Bypass – a $107 million project to reduce congestion and improve safety on the Bellarine Peninsula. There is also $4 million for planning an extension of the Geelong Ring Road to the Bellarine Peninsula.
The Budget provides $51.6 million to build overtaking lanes on other major highways across the state. This includes $10 million for the Midland Highway between Bannockburn and Meredith. The Budget also funds $427 million in road safety upgrades, most of which will be spent in regional Victoria, as well as a $52 million package of works for the smaller, local roads that people rely on every day.
$151 million will be invested in modernising, upgrading and regenerating regional schools across the state. Local schools to be upgraded include Bellarine Secondary, Belmont High, Grovedale College, Manifold Heights Primary, Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary, Nelson Park Special School, North Geelong Secondary, Oberon High, Ocean Grove Primary and Whittington Primary. They will be improved to cater for growth, address disadvantage and ensure the regional schools in the worst condition are fixed.
Jobs start with skills. The Government’s $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund has already saved campuses across the state, including Geelong’s own Gordon TAFE. A $92 million investment in 10 new Tech Schools, including one in
Geelong, will bring a real, hands-on education into the secondary school curriculum, for students that want a head-start on their career.
Early learning gets a boost. The Government is investing $4.4 million to help struggling regional kinders keep operating and $133 million to make sure parents can access free Maternal and Child Health services.
The Budget invests $2.9 billion in our health system, so families in rural and regional Victoria have hospitals and services they can rely on. This includes $200 million for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which will ensure regional health services can get the funds they need for local upgrades.
Other investments include $132 million for clinical mental health services, $57.3 million to support vulnerable children and their families, and additional funding to confront the ice crisis that is gripping regional Victoria.
It’s a fact: there are higher rates of family violence reports in regional areas, and the Budget invests $572 million to implement the initial response to the Family Violence Royal Commission, including a housing blitz and more support for specialist services.
Country police deserve our support, too. The Budget invests $596 million in additional police, equipment, technology and services across the whole state, so police get the resources they need to keep us safe. $36.8 million will upgrade and replace rundown police stations across regional Victoria, including a new station for Colac and a refurbishment of Geelong Police Station.
Regional emergency services need the best training to deal with the threat of fire. The Budget includes $80.7 million to upgrade facilities at six emergency training centres, and $74 million to boost forest fire management. A further $37.1 million will be invested to continue and expand the Emergency Medical Response Program to 35 integrated Country Fire Authority brigades.
Victoria is the sporting capital. The Budget invests $46.6 million to support community sports and events, including country football and netball clubs and $14 million to protect Kardinia Park stadium. $6 million is invested to upgrade four Surf Life Saving Clubs across Victoria, including the clubhouse at Anglesea.
The Budget also creates a $20 million Regional Events Fund, to support a strong and sustainable calendar of regional events. The Geelong Performing Arts Centre gets a further $7 million for its upgrade, ensuring Geelong remains one of the great arts, sporting and cultural hubs of our state.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Geelong is a great city and we will ensure it has a strong future. That’s why we’re investing in its public transport, schools and roads to deliver jobs and prosperity for the years ahead. “
Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
"The much needed Drysdale Bypass will deliver a critical local link that will drive jobs and reduce congestion. We will also look at how to best connect the Geelong Ring Road to support the growing Bellarine peninsula."
Quotes attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“Schools rebuilt from the ground up, dedicated funds for Geelong’s revitalisation and increased V/Line services. This is the Labor Government delivering for the Geelong community."
Quotes attributable to Member for Lara John Eren
"This Budget is about creating great schools and more jobs for Geelong locals, giving hard-working families the opportunities they deserve."
Reviewed 19 August 2020