When the Andrews Labor Government was elected, we promised to put people first. As our state begins its recovery from the global pandemic, people will continue to be our priority.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers on the investments that will see our community recover – and come back even stronger.

As kids get back into the classroom, this Budget delivers the single biggest investment ever in our schools – making sure students have the classrooms, libraries and learning spaces they deserve.

This includes $11.6 million for Mill Park Secondary College, with students to benefit from a new 200-seat Performing Arts Centre for the school. The Government’s investment will also support local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state.

This Budget is also investing in new bus connections for Lake South Morang College. This investment will make it easier for kids to get to and from school, while also making it easier for parents juggling work and care. This year’s Budget will further improve our local bus network with a new bus service to connect Mernda and Craigieburn. Scheduled to start in 2022, we’ll deliver the service even sooner with trips to begin from next year.

This year we’ve come to appreciate our local parks and playgrounds more than ever. As Victorians spend more time outdoors with the people they love, this Budget invests in our community spaces including Plenty Gorge Parklands’ Hawkstowe Park, to improve access and to facilitate community exercise and wellbeing.

And because Victorians have well and truly earned a holiday, the Labor Government is offering up to 120,000 $200 vouchers to encourage families to take a break in regional Victoria. The scheme is expected to be up and running by December, supporting local economies and local jobs into summer and beyond.

2020 has also reminded us of what matters most in life – the health and wellbeing of the people we love. As we begin our state’s recovery, that will continue to be our focus.

The Labor Government is moving forward on delivering a community hospital for local families. This year’s Budget includes funding to acquire land for a community hospital in the City of Whittlesea, giving local families confidence that care is just around the corner.

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.

Our 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.

Locally, a new Skills and Jobs Centre will be established at the North East Link build, providing onsite advice for Victorians who want to be a part of the project. The Centre will connect Victorians with available opportunities, while also providing advice on training and apprenticeship opportunities.

This investment will also deliver targeted and tailored support for those who need it – such as mentoring, career counselling or more intensive support.

And because we know too many Victorians are having to choose between going to work sick and losing wages, the Labor 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.

We’re 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 Whittlesea is a priority area for investment, with procurement starting straight away to build new homes.

An extra 250,000 low-income households will also 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 Labor 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.

This Budget will ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system.  That includes nearly $870 million for mental health, including to implement the Royal Commission into Mental Health’s interim report findings and recommendations and deliver care for local families.

We also want to make sure we continue to give patients flexibility in their care, allowing them to choose what is best for them and their families.

This Budget will invest $121 million for ‘Better at Home’, increasing the delivery of hospital services in patients’ homes – ensuring these Victorians can recuperate in the comfort of their own home. We’ll also strengthen and expand virtual care technology, making it easier for busy families to access support.

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 Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio MP

“This is the biggest household energy efficiency package of any state, ever. Most importantly it’ll cut power bills for families and create new jobs for our local community.”

“From the very beginning our Government has put people first. As we recover from this pandemic, delivering for the people of Mill Park will continue to be my priority.”

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