New skills, good jobs, more schools, better roads in Bendigo

01 May 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is getting things done, investing in the big projects that the Bendigo region needs and the people we need to deliver them.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 delivers $4.3 billion for regional Victoria, making sure regional communities have reliable roads and rail, good schools and quality healthcare.

As we build our state, thousands of new jobs are being created. We want to make sure Victorians are first in line for these good new jobs.

Skilled workers are in demand across regional Victoria and more than ever, the skills required for these high-demand jobs are learned at TAFE. To ensure that cost never stops people from getting the right skills, it includes $172 million to make priority TAFE and pre-apprenticeship courses free – helping us fill skills gaps and get Victorians into work.

TAFE campuses in regional Victoria will be upgraded to give Victorians the best facilities to learn their trade, with $59.9 million for a new education precinct at the Bendigo Kangan Institute McCrae campus.

More students will be able to access this training and get these good jobs, with $304 million to open new classes and fund more than 30,000 new training places.

More young people will be able to get a trade and go straight into a job with new Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships giving students the option to undertake an additional year of high school, and graduate with an apprenticeship or traineeship, ready to work in a high demand or high growth industry.

An extra $44 million will also update learning materials, introduce independent assessments and bring back trade papers to make sure our apprentices are trained to the same high standards with recognised qualifications.

We’re also overhauling careers education in our state’s secondary schools to make sure our kids get better and earlier advice, so they can make the right choices for their future.

Because every family, in every community, should have a good school close to home, this Budget includes $181 million to build, plan and upgrade 60 regional schools.

Local schools to benefit include Castlemaine Secondary, Spring Gully Primary, Dunolly Primary and Kerang Primary. The Budget also includes $500,000 to undergo master planning at White Hills Primary School to boost capacity.

Right now, mental illness is effecting communities and leaving families heartbroken, so the Budget invests a record $705 million to give Victorians the treatment they need.

It includes more rehab beds, more mental health support workers, new and upgraded specialist facilities across the state.

A further $50 million will boost the Labor Government’s flagship Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, to make sure regional Victorians can get the best healthcare, in the best facilities, wherever they live.

And because our regional roads are not up to scratch, $941 million will get on with the job of fixing Victoria’s regional road network. The biggest road maintenance blitz our state has ever seen, this investment will fix hundreds of regional roads and establish a dedicated country roads body, Regional Roads Victoria.

Across Bendigo and Central Victoria this includes $19 million to upgrade the Calder Highway, $3.5 million to plan capacity and safety upgrades for the McIvor Highway between Harley Street and Bennetts Road at Junortoun and a further $3.5 million to plan safety upgrades on Bendigo-Redesdale Road.

This year’s Budget also includes $704 million to give Victorians in regional areas better public transport, including $130 million towards track and signalling upgrades on the Maryborough and Ararat lines, to improve the reliability of the regional rail network – which is an essential requirement for any future return of passenger services to Dunolly.

The Budget includes $22.2 million for extra buses and more services across the regional bus network including in Junortoun.

Our state is booming – by building big and buying and hiring local, we’ve created thousands of jobs and helped Victoria achieve the fastest economic growth of any state in Australia.

New government procurement offices in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Shepparton will make sure regional businesses get more opportunity, while businesses in Bendigo will benefit from additional payroll tax cuts. The regional payroll tax rate will be 2.425 per cent – half the metropolitan tax rate and the lowest rate in the nation – helping local businesses expand and growing local jobs.

The Labor Government is also listening to regional Victorians, delivering almost $760 million for local priorities identified by our Regional Partnerships including $16 million for the Bendigo GovHub to bring government jobs to Bendigo and $760,000 to establish a Cross Border Commissioner.

The Labor Government is investing a further $11 million to reduce the digital divide and better connect regional and rural communities – another key priority from our Regional Partnerships – with the Mitiamo community also getting a more secure water supply thanks to a $10.2 million investment.

The Budget also includes $5 million to upgrade Echuca’s Court House, alongside funds to buy land for Bendigo’s much needed new law courts.

This is a Labor Budget that delivers on the things that matter most to regional Victoria. This is a Budget that gets things done.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Wherever you live, this is a Labor Budget that delivers on the things that matter – new skills, good jobs, more schools and better roads.”

“It’s an investment in the big projects that regional Victoria needs and the people we need to deliver them.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

“This is another big Budget for Bendigo that delivers a new TAFE campus, upgraded schools and better roads. This is Labor yet again getting things done for Bendigo.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

“Whether it’s building the next stage of Castlemaine Secondary or delivering a local GovHub, we’re ensuring that our area is home to great schools, new jobs and a TAFE system rebuilt after being smashed by the Liberals.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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