The Andrews Labor Government is helping Central Victoria recover from the jobs crisis and four years of Coalition cuts to local schools, hospitals and services.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests in the things that local families need to live a healthy, safe and comfortable life, and funds the projects that communities and businesses need to create jobs and drive growth.
In the jobs crisis that gripped our state over the last four years, regional Victoria fared the worst. Iconic businesses closed down, many more teetered on the edge, and young people packed up and left town in search of jobs.
The Budget invests $500 million in a Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund. Within it, the $200 million Regional Jobs Fund will support projects to give established industries a real future and emerging industries a real chance.
The $250 million Regional Infrastructure Development Fund will support the development of new centres and attractions to boost business and bring more visitors to regional Victoria.
TAFE cuts hit regional Victoria the hardest. The Budget invests $300 million to provide the TAFE Rescue Fund, which will help regional campuses like Bendigo TAFE, GoTAFE and Federation University TAFE re-establish themselves and offer more courses.
Crucial regional Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) such as Central Ranges LLEN, Goldfields LLEN and Highlands LLEN have had their funding secured, to ensure disengaged kids are supported to get the skills they need for the jobs they want.
The previous Coalition Government cut funds for new school buildings by half. Across Central Victoria, kids were learning and teachers were working in unsafe, uncomfortable and crowded classrooms.
The Budget invests $324.6 million to rebuild, renovate or refurbish Victorian schools, including 21 in regional Victoria. Castlemaine Secondary, Kyneton Primary and Secondary, New Gisborne Primary, Bacchus Marsh College, Romsey Kinder and Swinburne Avenue Kinder in Gisborne will be rebuilt or upgraded.
Secondary students deserve a head start on a hands-on vocation. The Budget provides $12 million to support and establish Tech Schools across the state including one in Bendigo.
The Budget also prioritises funds to ensure that Central Victoria retains its position as a premier visitor destination with funds for the Bendigo Stadium upgrade and the Harcourt Mountain Bike Trail, as well as planning money to kickstart the Bendigo to Wandong rail trail.
Central Victoria’s National and State Parks will be supported as part of an $11 million program to upgrade dilapidated buildings, toilets, paths and roads.
Victoria’s wine industry will also be supported with a $1 million package to boost investment and tourism opportunities, growing jobs across the Macedon, Ballarat, Sunbury, Heathcote and Bendigo wine regions.
Job creating projects across Central Victoria include:
- $5 million for Bendigo Stadium
- $1 million for Harcourt Mountain Bike Trail
- Upgrades and rebuilds at Castlemaine Secondary, New Gisborne Primary, Kyneton Primary and Secondary Schools and Bacchus Marsh College
- $100,000 for Kyneton Showgrounds Lights Upgrade as part of a $542,000 project.
The Budget invests $650 million, much of it in regional Victoria, to fix roads and public transport and upgrade freight corridors, so businesses can get their goods to market sooner and regional families can get to their destinations safer.
The Budget allocates funds towards a major investment in 21 new VLocity carriages to carry more passengers on the V/Line network.
Under the Coalition, millions of dollars were cut from our health system and thousands of regional families were left behind. That’s why the Labor Government is investing $1.3 billion into Victoria’s hospital system.
On top of funding to upgrade medical equipment state wide, $10 million will be provided to Ballarat Base Hospital for a new catheterisation lab, so locals don’t have to travel to Melbourne for urgent heart assessment.
The Budget provides almost $100 million to fix the ambulance crisis by reducing response times and upgrading ambulance stations, equipment and vehicles across the state.
An additional $50 million is to be spent across regional Victoria to reduce bushfire risk through better fuel management on public land.
Users of ice and their distraught families will get the help and support they need, under the Labor Government’s $45.5 million Ice Action Plan. This includes $15 million to provide Victoria Police with new drug and booze buses.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“Over the last four years, too many young people have packed up and left home in search of jobs. That’s why we’re investing in schools, skills and local industries, to get regional cities and towns back to work.”
“Dedicated regional funds will create the jobs of the future, whilst the TAFE rescue fund will ensure that kids can get the training they need for the job they want.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas
“Labor promised to deliver on the vital Kyneton Education Precinct and rebuilding Daylesford Secondary and we have delivered. This is great news for the community who have campaigned hard for better schools.”
“The Liberals cruelly cut all financial support to hard pressed families to help with the costs of education. We are putting families first and restoring help for uniforms, school camps and excursions.
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards
“It’s fantastic news that Castlemaine Secondary will get the funds needed to complete the next stage of its rebuild – kids simply cannot get a first rate education, in a second rate classroom.”
“We’re also keeping the community safe with new CFA trucks and equipment to support our firefighters and a cash boost to help fix the ambulance crisis and reduce response times.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020