Regional Victoria benefits in the Victorian Budget27/04/2016
Regional Victoria is a big winner in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, with the highest regional infrastructure investment on record.
For regional Victoria, the Budget includes:
- $1.3 billion in regional rail, including $518 million to upgrade the Ballarat line, $280 million for 27 new VLocity carriages and $131 million to increase passenger services for Ballarat, Traralgon, Geelong, Shepparton, Bendigo, and Warrnambool
- $325 million for infrastructure and services, with upgrades to irrigation, water security, mobile blackspots, streetscaping and important planning work for local projects across Victoria, and $101 million for a Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which will upgrade tourist landmarks, create jobs and encourage tourism across the whole state
- A payroll tax cut for approximately 36,000 businesses across Victoria, with the payroll tax-free threshold lifted to $650,000 over the next four years.
- funds $427 million in road safety upgrades, most of which will be spent in regional Victoria, as well as a $52 million package of works for the smaller, local roads that people rely on every day
- provides $130 million to repair and restore road surfaces across Victoria, including the Drysdale Bypass – a $107 million project to reduce congestion and improve safety on the Bellarine Peninsula
- provides $51.6 million to build overtaking lanes on other major highways across the state
- funds to upgrade every regional secondary school classified as being in the worst condition
- funds a $116 million skills investment, including four new Tech Schools in the regions
- invests $4.4 million to help struggling regional kindergertens keep operating, $3.8 million to support occasional child care services in rural areas, and $133 million to make sure parents can access free Maternal and Child Health services.
- invests $2.9 billion in Victoria's health system, so people in rural and regional Victoria have hospitals and services they can rely on. This includes $200 million for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which will include funding for works and planning in Horsham, Port Fairy and Warragul.
- provides $169 million to redevelop Shepparton's Goulburn Valley Health service to meet the demands of a growing population
- funds a package for the people of the Latrobe Valley, with $40 million to bring in new, high-growth industries and $51.2 million to implement the findings of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry. This includes funds to improve health outcomes for the local community and $12.4 million to drive the transition from brown coal to renewable energy
- invests $596 million in additional police, equipment, technology and services across the whole state, so police get the resources they need to keep communities safe, including $36.8 million to upgrade and replace rundown police stations across regional Victoria
- includes $80.7 million to upgrade facilities at six emergency training centres and $74 million to boost forest fire management, all of which supports regional emergency services with training to deal with the threat of fire.
- invests over $460 million to protect and expand the state’s water resources, $15 million to protect coasts against erosion and flooding, $29 million to protect threatened species, $20 million to make parks more accessible to all tourists, and $18 million to increase support for Landcare groups across the state
- invests $46.6 million for community sports and events, including support for country football and netball clubs and protecting Kardinia Park stadium. There is also funding to promote responsible hunting and a boost for recreational fishing
- creates a $20 million Regional Events Fund, to support a strong and sustainable calendar of regional events.
- provides the Geelong Performing Arts Centre with a further $7 million for its upgrade and $7 million to develop the Bendigo Arts Precinct, ensuring our regional cities remain great arts and cultural hubs of our state
For details on the Victorian 2016/174 Budget visit www.budget.vic.gov.au