New skills, good jobs, more schools, better roads in Central Victoria

01 May 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is getting things done, investing in the big projects that Central Victoria and the Macedon Ranges need 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.

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 and 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 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, Gisborne Primary, Riddells Creek Primary, and Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School Bullengarook Senior Campus.

The Budget also includes $3.2 million for the Romsey Regeneration Project to investigate expanding Romsey Primary School from a P-6 to a P-9 and to upgrade and modernise facilities.

Right now, mental illness is hurting 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 Central Victoria this includes $19 million to upgrade the Calder Highway and a new roundabout and pedestrian upgrades at the intersection of Barry Street and Melbourne-Lancefield Road in Romsey.

This year’s Budget also includes $704 million to give Victorians in regional areas more reliable public transport, including $130 million towards track and signalling upgrades on the Maryborough and Ararat lines, to enable the future expansion of these lines including the 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 Gisborne and Trentham.

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 Central Victoria will also 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.

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.

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 Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“The Labor Government is again getting things done for the Macedon Ranges – schools rebuilt from the ground up, new and improved bus services and local businesses to benefit from a further payroll tax cut.”

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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