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New skills, good jobs, more schools, better roads in North East Victoria

01 May 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is getting things done, investing in the big projects that North East Victoria 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.

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 Mansfield Secondary, Wangaratta District Specialist, Euroa Secondary, Tallarook Primary, Winton Primary, Don Valley Primary, Hoddles Creek Primary and Launching Place Primary. There is also $6.5 million for a new outdoor education campus for the Alpine School in Don Valley.

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 will include additional rehabilitation facilities established in Geelong, Gippsland and Hume regions.

A further $50 million will boost the Labor Government’s flagship Regional Health Infrastructure Fund – a fund that is upgrading hospitals in places such as Wangaratta and Benalla – 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 our regional road network. The biggest road maintenance blitz our state has ever seen, will ensure a local $56.6 million maintenance uplift and the establishment of a dedicated country roads body, Regional Roads Victoria.

The North East will also see important upgrades to vital connections with the Kiewa Valley Highway upgraded between Wodonga and Mount Beauty to improve safety, travel times and freight productivity. The Budget will also invest $20 million to progress the Kilmore Bypass.

This year’s Budget also invests in more reliable regional public transport, including funds to provide extra stabling and maintenance, alongside $15.8 million to finalise design and procurement for a new, modern regional train to replace the ageing Classic Fleet, continuing the work currently underway.

Seymour passengers will also get more rail services, better connectivity and less crowding thanks to a share in $10.8 million worth of investment to deliver 15 additional services.

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.

Businesses across the North East 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 $2 million for a business case for the Falls to Hotham Iconic Trail and $500,000 to develop the Murray River Adventure Trail.

The Labor Government is investing a further $11.6 million to reduce the digital divide and better connect regional and rural communities – another key priority from our Regional Partnerships – including the Wodonga Business Innovation Cluster and the Wangaratta Digital Hub.

The Budget also includes $760,000 to establish a Cross Border Commission to reduce barriers to services for Victoria’s border communities.

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 Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“Whether it’s rebuilding TAFE after the Coalition smashed it, upgrading local schools or fixing our roads, we’re getting things done. This is about boosting jobs and making sure the North-East remains a great place to live.”

“We’ve also fought hard to get the Kilmore Bypass project off the ground, now that we’ve got the right route, this investment will mean we can start the process of reserving land.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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