Treasurer and Premier media release 5 May 2015.
To improve the lives of Victorian families in the fastest growing state, the Andrews Labor Government will fix rundown schools, save TAFE, create 100,000 jobs and relieve the overwhelming pressure on our hospitals.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget is the biggest education budget in history, investing $3.3 billion so every Victorian, young and old, can get the skills they need for the jobs they want, in schools and TAFEs that are close to home.
For the first time, Victoria will meet Gonski funding levels up to the 2017 school year. The Abbott Government has failed to commit to its share of school funding for the 2018 and 2019 school years, but we’ll keep fighting for it.
Too many children are learning in rundown and overcrowded classrooms. Parents in growth areas don’t have enough choices for their kids’ future. That’s why the Budget invests $688 million for new and upgraded schools.
Investing $325 million, the Labor Government will rebuild, renovate or refurbish 67 rundown or overcrowded schools across the state. A further $10 million will provide works and equipment for students with disabilities.
The Budget invests $111.1 million for 10 new schools and $40 million to purchase land for new schools in Melbourne’s fastest growing suburbs, to give families more choice.
$35 million will deliver 120 new, safe relocatable classrooms for schools that are bursting at the seams, and $42 million will commence the first stage of a program to remove asbestos from schools across our state.
Early childhood education is the first step to success. The Budget invests $50 million in kinders so children get the best start, and $9 million to assist children with a disability or developmental delay.
The Labor Government will support families who are struggling to meet the extra costs of education, like uniforms and school camps, investing $178 million to help them through the most important years of their child’s life.
The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund will help 200,000 disadvantaged students, children in 250 primary schools will get free eye tests and glasses, and Breakfast Clubs will serve up free meals for 25,000 students.
The previous Government cut $1.2 billion from TAFE. The Labor Government will bring our TAFE system back from the brink, so all kids have the chance to get a job, start a career and build a decent life.
The Budget invests $300 million to complete the $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund, which will help campuses across the state reopen closed buildings, upgrade workshops and classrooms and get institutes back in the black.
The $50 million TAFE Back To Work Fund will help create new training courses with the needs of local employers in mind, and $32 million in funding will save Local Learning and Employment Networks once and for all.
Secondary students deserve a head start for a hands-on vocation. The Budget provides $12 million to support and establish 10 Tech Schools across the state, so students can learn skills alongside a comprehensive education.
Nothing is more important to families than the health and wellbeing of the people they love. The Budget provides $2.1 billion to relieve the overwhelming pressure on our health system, so people can get the care they need.
With this funding, which includes a $60 million blitz for elective surgeries and $200 million to increase hospital capacity in line with the Travis Review into hospital beds, hospitals can admit 60,000 extra patients.
The Budget provides $560 million to build and rebuild hospitals in suburban and regional areas across Victoria, because a growing state needs a health system that grows with it.
This includes $200 million to build the Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital. 237 beds and 39 special care nursery cots will reduce pressure on Sunshine Hospital, which is expecting 7000 births a year by 2026.
A massive, $106 million upgrade to Casey Hospital will grow the size of the facility by a third, so it can treat 12,000 more patients, perform 8000 more surgeries and support 500 more births.
Werribee Mercy Hospital will receive an $85 million expansion, and $20 million to build intensive care and short stay units at the Angliss Hospital means families in the outer east have emergency care close to home.
A $10 million cardiac Cath Lab at Ballarat Base Hospital will provide urgent heart treatment and care in the state’s west, and $15 million for planning and development brings the landmark Victorian Heart Hospital a step closer.
The Budget also saves the National Centre for Farmer Health, funds a helipad at the Monash Children’s Hospital, and provides upgrades to the Moorabbin Hospital and medical equipment in hospitals across the state.
Under a $25 million plan, hospitals and universities will work together to find a cure for our most debilitating genetic diseases. Late night pharmacies for late night emergencies will also be established, with $29 million.
The Budget invests $118 million to treat and support people with a mental illness and $99 million to upgrade ambulance branches and vehicles, cut emergency response times and end the ambulance crisis once and for all.
The Labor Government is protecting the people who protect us, giving firefighters and police the tools, support and resources they need to keep our streets and our homes safe.
The Budget invests $78 million in emergency services, which includes additional funding to begin recruitment of 450 more career firefighters, because more boots on the ground means more communities are safe.
The Budget also includes $33.5 million for 70 new CFA trucks, $9.6 million to fund a program that dispatches firefighters at the same time as paramedics, and $11 million to upgrade CFA stations and amenities.
In addition, $30 million will be provided to implement the recommendations of the Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Inquiry, including a long-term health study of the fire to give locals the answers they deserve.
The Labor Government will put more police on our streets, investing $149 million to recruit and accommodate 400 custody officers to guard prisoners at 20 police stations, so 400 police can return to the front line.
It’s part of the Budget’s $226 million investment in the safety of our community, which also includes $15 million for a new police station in Mernda and $15 million for new booze and drug buses.
Australia’s number one law and order issue lives in our homes. The Budget provides $81.3 million to support Australia’s first Royal Commission into family violence and relieve the overwhelming pressure on services.
A record 14.4 per cent funding increase for child protection will protect our most vulnerable and support families and carers. The $257 million plan includes $65.4 million to employ over 110 child protection workers.
With $45.5 million, the Labor Government can take action on the ice crisis that’s gripped our suburbs and regional cities and implement the Ice Action Plan that was developed with help from police and health experts.
The Budget also provides $40.3 million to help Victorians experiencing homelessness, $29 million to help Aboriginal Victorians maintain a better standard of living and $148 million to support responsible gambling.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“Putting people first means investing in the schools, hospitals, jobs and vital services that families need to live a decent and healthy life.”
“This is the biggest education budget in Victorian history. We’re fixing up unsafe, uncomfortable classrooms and building new schools in some of the fastest growing areas in Victoria.”
Quotes attributable to Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas
“The best health care close to home means everything to a growing family. That’s why we’re building new hospitals, relieving the overwhelming pressure on local services and ending the ambulance crisis once and for all.”
“We’re confronting the ice crisis that’s gripping our communities, providing record funding to protect our most vulnerable kids, and taking action on Australia’s number one law and order issue – family violence.”