DELIVERING FOR NORTHERN VICTORIA

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promises and delivering for the people of Northern Victoria, with major investments in our community, health, local schools, roads and sporting clubs in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

As part of a massive $1.8 billion investment in schools around the state, this year’s Budget includes $12.06 million to transform Benalla P-12’s old facilities with a new STEAM building, a new Science Block and demolition works – on top of the school’s $9.1 million redevelopment already delivered under the Labor Government.

Funding of $9.38 million will build the new science and resource centre at Beechworth Secondary College, which will include two science laboratories, learning spaces, common areas, seminar rooms and staff rooms – making sure students and staff have access to the world-class facilities they deserve.

The Labor Government will also invest $3.18 million at Euroa Secondary College and $3.15 million at Alexandra Primary School to replace older buildings that contains asbestos with new architecturally-designed permanent buildings.

An investment of $2.54 million will build a Health and Community Services Training Facility at GOTAFE’s Seymour Campus to enhance learning and increase the number of students studying the vital health and community services regional Victoria needs.

As part of $46 million to acquire land for new schools, the Budget will support the purchase of land for the proposed Leneva (Frederic Street Road) primary school in Wodonga East.

The Government is also delivering for Northern Victoria’s independent schools, with $1.4 million to upgrade St Mary’s College in Seymour as part of a $402 million boost to non-government schools across the state.

A further $58 million will expand our School Breakfast Clubs and make sure more kids are learning on a full stomach. Building on the existing program, which provides free breakfasts in 500 schools across our state, this investment will see free breakfasts and lunches served up to students at 1000 primary and secondary schools every school day.

The Labor Government is determined to make sure our kids are ready for school and set for life, delivering on our commitment to begin the rollout of universal three-year-old kinder.

Thanks to a $882 million Budget investment, we will ensure that every three-year-old has access to at least five hours per week of subsidised kinder by 2022 – increasing to 15 hours per week.

Right now, our $1.7 billion Regional Rail Revival is delivering upgrades to every regional passenger line in the state – including the Shepparton and Albury Lines – but there’s more to do.

That’s why this year’s Budget delivers $615 million for regional public transport, including $340 million for up to 18 new VLocity trains, helping deliver modern rolling stock on the upgraded North-East line.

Under this year’s Budget, local patients will benefit from extra dedicated appointments with medical specialists.  With $136 million to deliver an extra 500,000 appointments, that’s at least 9,700 more appointments at Northeast Health Wangaratta over the next four years – ensuring all Victorians can get the care they need, close to home.

The Labor Government is committed to making our regional hospitals world-class – building on the $22.1 million already invested to rebuild and upgrade Wangaratta Hospital, this Budget includes $2.4 million to commence infrastructure and service planning work for the redevelopment of Wangaratta Hospital, to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the community.

The Budget will also support Murchison ambulance branch to go from single crew to dual crew so paramedics can have confidence that someone has their back – and country Victorians can have confidence that there’s always someone there when they need it most.

The Labor Government is making sure regional Victoria is a fantastic place to live, work and visit, and the Budget will provide $9.5 million to upgrade 4WD tracks across the state, with a further $1 million for 4WD track maintenance and campsite works including the High Country touring route.

Boosting tourism in regional Victoria creates local jobs and supports country businesses – and investments like $3.9 million to complete the final stage of the Yarra Valley Railway, $800,000 to build the Benalla Splash Park, $66,000 to upgrade Euroa Golf Club, $45,000 to upgrade Eildon Golf Club and an upgrade to the Keppel Lookout Trail will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors through Northern Victoria every year.

Local sport and recreation clubs are the lifeblood of regional communities, and the Budget will provide $1.8 million to upgrade and rebuild the multi-purpose facilities at the Alexandra Showgrounds and Recreation Reserve to deliver the modern sporting facilities local clubs deserve.

$7,500 will also upgrade 1st Healesville Scout Hall – providing modern, fit-for-purpose facilities for scouts and the wider community.

Hundreds of multicultural senior citizens groups will be eligible for a $4,000 grant in the 2019/20 Budget, as part of our $3.4 million investments to support activities and equipment upgrades to strengthen these communities.

The Labor Government is also delivering for our furry family members, and as part of a $1 million program for animal shelters and foster carers to purchase equipment or expand their services, the Budget is providing $50,000 to refurbish the Greyhound Adoption Program’s adoption centre in Seymour.

This is a Budget that delivers for all Victorians.

Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“We’re making sure Northern Victoria continues to be a fantastic place to live, work and visit – and the Budget provides huge boosts to the healthcare, education, tourism and sporting facilities that country communities rely on.”

“We’re proud to be investing in the big projects that regional Victoria needs, and the people we need to deliver them.”