State Budget, delivering for Regional Victoria27/05/2019
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 establishes the brand-new $2.6 billion Delivering for Regional and Rural Victoria Program, ensuring that every community and every corner of the state shares in Victoria’s success, while also creating an estimated 4,500 jobs.
This year’s Budget commits $134 million to deliver the Government’s regional priorities, including:
- $30 million Regional Car Parks Fund to build up to 2,000 free public parking spaces in Ballarat’s CBD, Traralgon and Morwell.
- $16.7 million to provide free public wi-fi for residents, visitors and businesses in the Latrobe Valley and Ararat regions.
- $2.5 million for new lighting and upgrades at Ballarat’s Steve Moneghetti Track at Lake Wendouree, as well as running tracks at nearby Victoria Park.
- $1.5 million to develop a new on-water café on Bullock Island in partnership with the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-Operative Society.
- $800 000 for the Benalla Splash Park, to provide a fun and free recreational park and connect visitors to local businesses and cafes.
- $700 000 for the final stage of the Romsey Ecotherapy Park, including a sensory garden, play spaces, billabong and a community gathering place for local arts and events.
Additionally regional Victoria will benefit from:
- $882 million to begin the rollout of universal three-year-old kinder, starting in regional Victoria first.
- Three-year-old kinder being rolled out to six rural and regional local government areas next year, including Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, South Gippsland, Strathbogie and Yarriambiack, with an extra 15 regional communities coming on board in 2021.
- A commitment to ensure every three-year-old has access to at least five hours per week of subsidised kinder by 2022 – increasing to 15 hours per week over the next decade.
- $28.5 million to add early childhood courses to the Free TAFE list, while investing a total of $316 million in new kinder facilities.
- $160 million to ensuring Victorians have quality care, wherever they live.
- $136 million to deliver an extra 500,000 appointments with medical specialists in regional Victoria, ensuring patients can spend less time travelling and more time with their loved ones.
- An additional $59.5 million to deliver a new rehab centre at Bendigo Hospital, bringing together vital services including prosthetics, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
- A $100 million boost to the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which has already delivered 283 local projects across our state.
- A further $100 million to fund the Geelong Women’s and Children’s Hospital, giving local families world-class maternity and paediatric services closer to home
- An additional $9.4 million to begin work on Latrobe Regional Hospital and Wangaratta Hospital.
- $322 million in dedicated funding to free dental care at all Victorian government schools.
- Three new regional parenting centres located in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, alongside extra sleep and settling support and brand-new baby bundles for first-time parents.
- An additional $615 million for regional public transport, including $340 million for up to 18 new VLocity trains, replacing older trains on some of our busiest regional lines.
- $49.6 million for three new stations in and around Bendigo, located at Goornong, Raywood and Huntly, with additional funding to plan for a track upgrade between Kyneton and Bendigo to enable trains every 40 minutes during off-peak times and the re-establishment of a station at Harcourt.
- $100 million to begin work on the Western Rail Plan, the first step in delivering genuine fast rail to the growing cities of Geelong and Ballarat.
- $804 million across our regional road network, with $425 million to fix the local roads that drivers use every day.
- A $60.8 million boost to Keep Ballarat Moving, with a dedicated package to upgrade the city’s key intersections, reducing bottlenecks and improving safety for locals.
- A further $134 million for regional priorities, including building 2,000 free public carparks in Ballarat, Traralgon and Morwell, free public wi-fi for Ararat and the Latrobe Valley.
- $1.3 billion to install solar at 770,000 homes over the next decade.
- $149 million to build two new regional schools and upgrade 17 more.
- $46.3 million to upgrade The Gordon in Geelong, South West TAFE’s Warrnambool facilities and GOTAFE in Seymour.
- A further reduction in regional payroll tax, down to 1.2125 per cent by 2022-23 - a quarter of the metro rate.
- $142.5 million to boost Victoria’s biosecurity system.