As kids get back into the classroom, this Budget delivers the single biggest investment ever in schools - making sure students have the classrooms, libraries and learning spaces they deserve.
This includes an additional $7.56 million to upgrade Hampton Park Secondary College, investing in this fantastic school community. Students at Strathaird Primary School will also benefit from $10 million to upgrade and modernise the school including building a new eco cubby and toilet block.
The Government's investment will also support local jobs, with the school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state.
Roads connect people to work, school and family. That's why the Budget invests in a local roads blitz, improving our metropolitan road network, and creating jobs. This includes $12.63 million to upgrade the South Gippsland Highway between Lynbrook Boulevard and Dandenong Bypass, improving traffic flow and getting locals where they need to be sooner, and safer.
This Budget recognises that as the State grows, the infrastructure needs to grow too - that's why the Growing Suburbs Fund will be extended. On top of the $25 million boost earlier this year, an additional $50 million will help build new local facilities, from playgrounds to sporting pavilions, which will bring communities together while also supporting local jobs.
To help get more Victorians back into work, the Labor Government is setting itself an ambitious target - creating 400,000 new jobs by 2025, half of them by 2022.
The new Jobs for Victoria initiative will help locals find a new job - and with it, security, stability and certainty. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to cover the wages of at least 10,000 new workers.
These positions will be for Victorians hardest hit by this pandemic, including women, young people, retrenched workers and people who have been long-term unemployed. This investment will also deliver targeted and tailored support for those who need it - such as mentoring, career counselling or more intensive support.
The Andrews Government will invest $5 million to develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme. Once in place, the two-year pilot will provide up to five days of sick and carer's pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries. This scheme will help prevent many workers choosing to go to work sick rather than losing wages.
This year's Budget will also help nearly one million families save hundreds on their power bill. Concession card holders, such as Victorians receiving JobSeeker payments, will be eligible for a one-off $250 payment to help cover the cost of their energy bills.
An extra 250,000 low-income households will benefit from new more efficient heating and cooling, while heating, cooling or hot water systems will be upgraded across an extra 35,000 social housing homes - reducing bills for tenants and making winter and summer more comfortable.
The State Government's Solar Homes will also be expanded to an extra 42,000 rooftop solar rebates plus 14,500 solar batteries, cutting power bills for local families. And for the very first time, small businesses will also be eligible.
The Victorian Government is also delivering the biggest investment in public and community housing in Australia, ever. This investment will build more than 12,000 new homes - making sure thousands of Victorians have a place to call home, and thousands more Victorians have a job. The City of Casey is a priority area for investment, with procurement starting straight away to build new homes.
Even with kids back at school, the balancing act that many families know all too well isn't easy. That's why this Budget will make kinder free in 2021 and deliver outside school hours care at up to 400 extra schools, saving parents money and giving them greater flexibility when it comes to work and care.
2020 has also reminded everyone of what matters most in life - the health and wellbeing of the people we love. As the state begins its recovery, this will continue to be a focus.
There is nearly $870 million for mental health, including funding to implement the Royal Commission into Mental Health's interim report findings and recommendations and deliver care for local families.
The Budget will also invest more than $1 billion for children and families at risk, including targeted support to help families stay together.
A further $235 million will build the Recovery Workforce, creating 500 new jobs across mental health, family violence, health and child protection with hundreds more new training opportunities, so Victorians have the support they need to recover from this pandemic.
This is a Budget to repair, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget, and a Government, that puts people first.
Quotes attributable to Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas
"We're helping make sure that no worker is left behind by providing dedicated individual support to those that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic."
"Hampton Park Secondary College is a terrific school and this funding will complete their 3 Stage masterplan which will deliver improved spaces for its students, staff and teachers. It will also create new local jobs."
“Upgrades to Strathaird Primary School will ensure their continued delivery of first class education, while also teaching environmentally sustainable practices and responsibilities with their new eco cubby.”
24 November 2020