The Andrews Labor Government is getting things done, investing in the big projects that Geelong and the Surf Coast 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.
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.
Because every family, in every community, should have a good school close to home, this Budget includes $180.8 million to build, plan and upgrade 60 regional schools.
Local schools to benefit include Ceres Primary, Highton Primary Torquay P-6, Surfside Primary, Moolap Primary, Wallington Primary, Oberon South Primary, Northern Bay P-12, Teesdale Primary and Barwon Valley Special School.
The funding package includes $46 million to plan and build five new school projects in some of our fastest growing regional communities including $20.2 million for Armstrong Creek West Primary and $3.9 million for Armstrong Creek Secondary, giving families certainty and peace of mind about their children’s future.
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.
This investment will see Barwon Health get its very own emergency department crisis hub – one of six across the state – while additional rehabilitation facilities will also be established in Geelong, Gippsland and Hume.
And because our regional roads are not up to scratch, $941 million will get on with the job of fixing our regional road network. This will enable the biggest road maintenance blitz our state has ever seen with $77 million set to be spent in South-West Victoria and a dedicated country roads body, Regional Roads Victoria.
As part of the unprecedented road work blitz, urgently needed maintenance will be carried out on sections of Anglesea Road, Bells Beach Road and Belmont-Corio Road as well as dozens of other roads in need of repair.
The Budget also includes $39.9 million to upgrade the Princes Highway West between Colac and the South Australian border and there will be major works to vital connections like the Hamilton Highway, which will be upgraded between Geelong and Cressy to improve safety and traffic flow.
Key roads between Barwon Downs and the Great Ocean Road will also be upgraded including Birregurra-Forrest Road, Forrest Apollo-Bay Roads and Skenes Creek Road.
Planning work will commence on a potential upgrade to Drysdale-Ocean Grove Road between the Bellarine Highway and the Parade in Ocean Grove to improve traffic capacity and safety. The Budget also includes $500,000 for the Bellarine Rail Trail.
This year’s Budget also includes $704 million to give Victorians in regional areas more reliable public transport, including funds to provide extra stabling and maintenance, alongside the important design work and pre-procurement for the next generation of VLocity trains.
The Budget will provide $50 million to complete detailed planning of an airport rail link that will unlock the west and deliver fast rail to Geelong, while $22.2 million will see extra buses and more services across the regional bus network including in the Bellarine and Lara.
New government procurement offices in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Shepparton will make sure regional businesses get more opportunity, while also benefitting 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.
Construction of the new $689.5 million Lara Prison is also set to create hundreds of local jobs, with ongoing employment opportunities once the facility is complete.
The new 700 bed maximum-security men’s prison at the Lara Prison Precinct will double the size of Barwon Prison and follows the record investment by the Labor Government to recruit 3,135 extra police across the state.
The Labor Government is also listening to regional Victorians, delivering almost $760 million for local priorities identified by our Regional Partnerships. This includes $153.2 million towards our share of the Geelong City Deal to build a Convention Centre, start delivery of stage 2 of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan and revitalise central Geelong.
The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will have as a minimum, a 1,000 seat plenary hall and 3,700 square metres of multipurpose space configured to incorporate an exhibition hall, breakout rooms and banquet room. The Convention Centre will be designed to allow for future expansion as it cements its world class reputation.
This next stage of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan includes a Glenample Visitor Experience Centre, a shuttle service between Glenample and Loch Ard and infrastructure improvements to the Twelve Apostles National Park. The project is also expected to attract significant private sector investment in nearby towns.
The investment will also continue work on the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan – Malop Street Green Spine Project, to build a landmark linear park connecting a redeveloped Geelong Station precinct, Johnstone Park and the Arts Precinct to Geelong’s retail core, and ultimately to Eastern Park.
We will continue to engage with the Commonwealth Government on the landmark Geelong City Deal and seek matching funds to deliver these world class projects that will deliver jobs, visitors and economic prosperity to the region.
This is a Labor Budget that delivers on the things that matter in 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 Bellarine Lisa Neville
“This is another big budget for Geelong and the Bellarine, that is investing in schools, roads and TAFE. Whether it’s delivering new jobs and ensuring our area realises its true potential, Labor is once again getting things done.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“Whether it’s upgrading schools or rebuilding TAFE, we’re getting things done for Geelong – this is about jobs and making sure that kids can get the skills they need for the job they want.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Lara John Eren
“Thanks to the Labor Government, we’re going to ensure Geelong makes the most of its position as the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. This is about boosting jobs and increasing the number of visitors to our fantastic region.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
"We've heard the community and now Labor is delivering new schools in Armstrong Creek. We're continuing to rebuild TAFE after it was decimated by the Liberals so kids can get the skills and training they need."
Reviewed 19 August 2020