Media Centre

NEW CFA STATIONS FOR HODDLES CREEK, MOLKA AND PYALONG

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 Hoddles Creek, Molka and Pyalong Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteer fire stations will be replaced under the $126 million CFA capability funding as part of the Victorian Government’s Fire Services Reform. The stations being replaced are close to 40 years old and will be upgraded to ensure they can meet the demands of growing townships and emerging weather threats well into the future. The new buildings will include improved amenities for volunteers of all genders and provide greater access and facilities for members with disabilities, and include areas for meetings, training and other relevant needs. Under the replacement program, facilities in Hoddles Creek, Molka and Pyalong will be modernised to provide adequate motor room space to accommodate their vehicles and emergency appliances. At Hoddles Creek, the new station will replace a 35-year-old building. The existing station lacks motor room space to safely house the emergency appliances needed by the brigade. Land has been secured. At Molka, the new station will replace a 45-year-old building which is in very poor condition. The current station also lacks a change room area and basic amenities such as a kitchenette. At Pyalong, the new station will replace a 38-year-old building. The new building will enable the brigade to safely house the required emergency appliances, access to male and female changing areas and provide adequate toilets, storage and meeting room areas to accommodate training and other brigade needs. The $126 million funding package was announced under the government’s Fire Services Reform in June 2020 to provide the CFA with greater capability in critical areas, such as funding for new volunteer training programs in health and safety and leadership and 50 new dual cab appliances with burn over defensive systems. It also includes funding for a trial of respiratory equipment to protect volunteer firefighters from the harmful effects of bushfire smoke, new personal protective clothing for every active operational volunteer firefighter, as well as a range of station support measures. This builds on the $100 million in additional funding the CFA has already received in the last four years to modernise its fleet and infrastructure. Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville “As part of our fire reforms, we’re providing CFA with the critical funding and resources it needs to ensure stations in Hoddles Creek, Molka and Pyalong are ready for current and future fire seasons.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Our CFA volunteers work tirelessly to protect their communities, so it’s important that they have the facilities they need to support the fire response.”   “The new stations will better prepare and protect our communities and will also help stations recruit new members.”  “It’s great to announce this significant investment into the CFA and its selfless volunteers who give up so much of their time to serve their communities.”

NEW CFA STATIONS FOR HODDLES CREEK, MOLKA AND PYALONG

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 Hoddles Creek, Molka and Pyalong Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteer fire stations will be replaced under the $126 million CFA capability funding as part of the Victorian Government’s Fire Services Reform. The stations being replaced are close to 40 years old and will be upgraded to ensure they can meet the demands of growing townships and emerging weather threats well into the future. The new buildings will include improved amenities for volunteers of all genders and provide greater access and facilities for members with disabilities, and include areas for meetings, training and other relevant needs. Under the replacement program, facilities in Hoddles Creek, Molka and Pyalong will be modernised to provide adequate motor room space to accommodate their vehicles and emergency appliances. At Hoddles Creek, the new station will replace a 35-year-old building. The existing station lacks motor room space to safely house the emergency appliances needed by the brigade. Land has been secured. At Molka, the new station will replace a 45-year-old building which is in very poor condition. The current station also lacks a change room area and basic amenities such as a kitchenette. At Pyalong, the new station will replace a 38-year-old building. The new building will enable the brigade to safely house the required emergency appliances, access to male and female changing areas and provide adequate toilets, storage and meeting room areas to accommodate training and other brigade needs. The $126 million funding package was announced under the government’s Fire Services Reform in June 2020 to provide the CFA with greater capability in critical areas, such as funding for new volunteer training programs in health and safety and leadership and 50 new dual cab appliances with burn over defensive systems. It also includes funding for a trial of respiratory equipment to protect volunteer firefighters from the harmful effects of bushfire smoke, new personal protective clothing for every active operational volunteer firefighter, as well as a range of station support measures. This builds on the $100 million in additional funding the CFA has already received in the last four years to modernise its fleet and infrastructure. Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville “As part of our fire reforms, we’re providing CFA with the critical funding and resources it needs to ensure stations in Hoddles Creek, Molka and Pyalong are ready for current and future fire seasons.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Our CFA volunteers work tirelessly to protect their communities, so it’s important that they have the facilities they need to support the fire response.”   “The new stations will better prepare and protect our communities and will also help stations recruit new members.”  “It’s great to announce this significant investment into the CFA and its selfless volunteers who give up so much of their time to serve their communities.”

Putting North East Victorians First

24th November 2020 Unprecedented. Tough. Unrelenting. There's plenty of ways to put it – but 2020 has been a year like no other. As we begin our recovery, we need a Budget like no other too. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers an unprecedented investment to help our state recover – and make sure no community and no Victorian is left behind. It starts right here in North East Victoria, where the Labor Government will build more social housing, expand maternity accommodation to support mums and bubs, improve tourism experiences and upgrade even more schools. At the heart of that effort is getting Victorians back into work. The Budget funds up to $49 billion in the things that matter to Victorians – and our economic recovery. Central to this investment is ourJobs Plan, which sets an ambitious goal: creating 400,000 jobs by 2025 – half of them by 2022. This includes Jobs for Victoria, a $619 million investment that will help those most impacted by the pandemic: women, young people and Victorians without a formal qualification, but plenty of experience. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to help subsidise the wages of up to 10,000 new workers. At least $150 million of that wage subsidy support will go towards employing women – and $50 million of that for women over the age of 45 – recognising the additional barriers they face, both before and during the pandemic. Further funding will provide one-on-one support for those workers who need it most – whether that’s training advice, career counselling or even help to update their resume. The Budget invests $1.5 billion in new tax relief for Victorian businesses and families. This builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s existing support, with a total of more than $3.5 billion in tax and fees relief to Victorian workers, businesses and households to help them through the pandemic and recovery. It includes the New Jobs Tax Credit, which supports those small and medium businesses that rehire staff, restore hours or create new jobs. Under the plan, these businesses will get a tax credit of ten cents for every dollar it increases taxable Victorian wages – giving businesses the confidence they need to open their doors, hire more staff and re-emerge from the pandemic. In a bid to lure businesses to regional Victoria, a 50 per cent stamp duty concession on the purchase of commercial and industrial properties will be brought forward to January 2021 – encouraging more businesses to open, relocate or expand, and helping our hard-hit regional economies bounce back. This investment will save businesses a further $39.6 million. This year has reaffirmed that nothing matters more than your health and the health of the people you love. It’s why this Budget delivers more than $2 billion to build, expand and modernise hospitals and health services across the state, including an extra $120 million for our landmark Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which has already delivered hundreds of local projects across our state. We’re investing $7.6 million to refurbish and expand maternity accommodation in Wangaratta, as well as installing other critical infrastructure, like essential clinical systems, generators and electrical upgrades. A share in a $4.4 million investment will create residential beds for those recovering from alcohol and drug dependencies across Wangaratta. This Budget will also ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system, with nearly $870 million. This investment includes an expansion of Hospital Outreach Post‑Suicidal Engagement capacity at the Albury Wodonga facility. We also want to make sure we’re investing in the future industries that will create jobs in our regional communities – now and for the long-term. That includes a $1.6 billion investment in clean energy to help drive Victoria’s recovery. With six new Renewable Energy Zones, including one in the North East, these dedicated hubs will power our state – from sunny Mildura to the windy east coast – while also supporting businesses, communities and jobs across regional Victoria. This Budget will also help our state embrace new technology – and make it one of regional Victoria’s strengths. The Labor Government will deliver the $626 million Digital Future Now package, radically improving mobile coverage and broadband access, while supporting businesses to grow and create new jobs. This includes $300 million to eradicate Mobile Black Spots in populated areas of regional Victoria and $250 million to co-fund business‑grade broadband connectivity for regional communities through the Gigabit State program. This investment will improve the availability of reliable high‑speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for regional businesses, while also supporting 2000 jobs. The $64 million Digital Skills and Jobs Program will also put regional Victorians looking for work at the centre of our digital future – with training, internships and opportunities for employment. And to make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer – while also backing local economies and local jobs – the Budget invests $465 million to attract more visitors to regional Victoria through the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package. This includes $15 million to create an iconic facilitated walk across the high plains between the Falls Creek and Mt Hotham ski resorts, establishing it as one of the leading nature-based tourism destinations with year-round appeal. Another $4.32 million for better signs and large-scale outdoor works will help lure more visitors to Prosecco Road. Having put food on the table for Victorian families throughout the pandemic, a $65 million investment will back Victoria’s farmers, growers and producers, with our state’s new agriculture strategy. This investment will deliver better infrastructure and new technology to help our farmers connect with new markets around the world. The industry will also benefit from our new Breakthrough Victoria Fund, with a dedicated focus on agribusiness. The Labor Government also continues its proud record of investment for regional Victoria, building our state while also creating thousands of jobs for Victorian workers, including a safety upgrade for Nimmo Bridge near Myrtleford. But it’s not just enough to recover. We want to recover fairer and stronger too. It’s why we’ll make fundamental reforms: ensuring an inclusive education for kids with disability, investing in free kinder, delivering new school tutors, a new Recovery Workforce, and more healthcare delivered in the home. It also means making sure workers aren’t forced to choose between their health and feeding their families. This pandemic has made clear just how real that choice is for far too many regional Victorians in insecure work. That’s why the Labor Government will develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme, providing up to five days of sick and carers pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries. Our $6 billion Big Housing Build will also make sure more Victorians have the security and stability of a home, delivering 12,000 new social and affordable homes. A quarter of this investment is dedicated to regional Victoria, including at least $30 million guaranteed for Wodonga and $20 million for Wangaratta. This funding will also help more Victorians into work, supporting around 10,000 new jobs on average each year over the next four years. We’ll continue our massive rebuild of our regional schools with a statewide building blitz, delivering two new regional school campuses, upgrades at 44 regional schools and improvements for ten specialist schools in regional Victoria. It includes upgrades for Falls Creek and Beechworth primary schools, Wodonga Middle Years College, Myrtleford P-12 College and $1.79 million for Cobram and District Specialist School so they can convert the car park into a playground and sensory garden. Not only will this investment deliver great local schools – it’ll create good local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state. In order to help fund these investments, Victoria will make use of record low interest rates – borrowing now to ensure our state can rebuild sooner and stronger. Because as we recover, our success must be measured by the wealth of our economy and the wellbeing of our people. This is a Budget to rebuild, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget that puts people first. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “A job is worth more than just a pay cheque. A job means security and stability – for you and the people you love. It’s why the heart of this Budget is dedicated to creating new jobs and getting people in the North East back into work.” “This pandemic reached every corner of our state. Our recovery needs to do the same.” Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This is a Budget that puts people and communities first – it delivers better housing, better health and better outcomes for residents across the North East.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “Whether it is new social housing or upgrades to encourage more tourists to the area, we’re helping locals not only get back on their feet – but recover better and stronger than before.”

Putting North East Victorians First

24th November 2020 Unprecedented. Tough. Unrelenting. There's plenty of ways to put it – but 2020 has been a year like no other. As we begin our recovery, we need a Budget like no other too. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers an unprecedented investment to help our state recover – and make sure no community and no Victorian is left behind. It starts right here in North East Victoria, where the Labor Government will build more social housing, expand maternity accommodation to support mums and bubs, improve tourism experiences and upgrade even more schools. At the heart of that effort is getting Victorians back into work. The Budget funds up to $49 billion in the things that matter to Victorians – and our economic recovery. Central to this investment is ourJobs Plan, which sets an ambitious goal: creating 400,000 jobs by 2025 – half of them by 2022. This includes Jobs for Victoria, a $619 million investment that will help those most impacted by the pandemic: women, young people and Victorians without a formal qualification, but plenty of experience. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to help subsidise the wages of up to 10,000 new workers. At least $150 million of that wage subsidy support will go towards employing women – and $50 million of that for women over the age of 45 – recognising the additional barriers they face, both before and during the pandemic. Further funding will provide one-on-one support for those workers who need it most – whether that’s training advice, career counselling or even help to update their resume. The Budget invests $1.5 billion in new tax relief for Victorian businesses and families. This builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s existing support, with a total of more than $3.5 billion in tax and fees relief to Victorian workers, businesses and households to help them through the pandemic and recovery. It includes the New Jobs Tax Credit, which supports those small and medium businesses that rehire staff, restore hours or create new jobs. Under the plan, these businesses will get a tax credit of ten cents for every dollar it increases taxable Victorian wages – giving businesses the confidence they need to open their doors, hire more staff and re-emerge from the pandemic. In a bid to lure businesses to regional Victoria, a 50 per cent stamp duty concession on the purchase of commercial and industrial properties will be brought forward to January 2021 – encouraging more businesses to open, relocate or expand, and helping our hard-hit regional economies bounce back. This investment will save businesses a further $39.6 million. This year has reaffirmed that nothing matters more than your health and the health of the people you love. It’s why this Budget delivers more than $2 billion to build, expand and modernise hospitals and health services across the state, including an extra $120 million for our landmark Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which has already delivered hundreds of local projects across our state. We’re investing $7.6 million to refurbish and expand maternity accommodation in Wangaratta, as well as installing other critical infrastructure, like essential clinical systems, generators and electrical upgrades. A share in a $4.4 million investment will create residential beds for those recovering from alcohol and drug dependencies across Wangaratta. This Budget will also ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system, with nearly $870 million. This investment includes an expansion of Hospital Outreach Post‑Suicidal Engagement capacity at the Albury Wodonga facility. We also want to make sure we’re investing in the future industries that will create jobs in our regional communities – now and for the long-term. That includes a $1.6 billion investment in clean energy to help drive Victoria’s recovery. With six new Renewable Energy Zones, including one in the North East, these dedicated hubs will power our state – from sunny Mildura to the windy east coast – while also supporting businesses, communities and jobs across regional Victoria. This Budget will also help our state embrace new technology – and make it one of regional Victoria’s strengths. The Labor Government will deliver the $626 million Digital Future Now package, radically improving mobile coverage and broadband access, while supporting businesses to grow and create new jobs. This includes $300 million to eradicate Mobile Black Spots in populated areas of regional Victoria and $250 million to co-fund business‑grade broadband connectivity for regional communities through the Gigabit State program. This investment will improve the availability of reliable high‑speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for regional businesses, while also supporting 2000 jobs. The $64 million Digital Skills and Jobs Program will also put regional Victorians looking for work at the centre of our digital future – with training, internships and opportunities for employment. And to make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer – while also backing local economies and local jobs – the Budget invests $465 million to attract more visitors to regional Victoria through the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package. This includes $15 million to create an iconic facilitated walk across the high plains between the Falls Creek and Mt Hotham ski resorts, establishing it as one of the leading nature-based tourism destinations with year-round appeal. Another $4.32 million for better signs and large-scale outdoor works will help lure more visitors to Prosecco Road. Having put food on the table for Victorian families throughout the pandemic, a $65 million investment will back Victoria’s farmers, growers and producers, with our state’s new agriculture strategy. This investment will deliver better infrastructure and new technology to help our farmers connect with new markets around the world. The industry will also benefit from our new Breakthrough Victoria Fund, with a dedicated focus on agribusiness. The Labor Government also continues its proud record of investment for regional Victoria, building our state while also creating thousands of jobs for Victorian workers, including a safety upgrade for Nimmo Bridge near Myrtleford. But it’s not just enough to recover. We want to recover fairer and stronger too. It’s why we’ll make fundamental reforms: ensuring an inclusive education for kids with disability, investing in free kinder, delivering new school tutors, a new Recovery Workforce, and more healthcare delivered in the home. It also means making sure workers aren’t forced to choose between their health and feeding their families. This pandemic has made clear just how real that choice is for far too many regional Victorians in insecure work. That’s why the Labor Government will develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme, providing up to five days of sick and carers pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries. Our $6 billion Big Housing Build will also make sure more Victorians have the security and stability of a home, delivering 12,000 new social and affordable homes. A quarter of this investment is dedicated to regional Victoria, including at least $30 million guaranteed for Wodonga and $20 million for Wangaratta. This funding will also help more Victorians into work, supporting around 10,000 new jobs on average each year over the next four years. We’ll continue our massive rebuild of our regional schools with a statewide building blitz, delivering two new regional school campuses, upgrades at 44 regional schools and improvements for ten specialist schools in regional Victoria. It includes upgrades for Falls Creek and Beechworth primary schools, Wodonga Middle Years College, Myrtleford P-12 College and $1.79 million for Cobram and District Specialist School so they can convert the car park into a playground and sensory garden. Not only will this investment deliver great local schools – it’ll create good local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state. In order to help fund these investments, Victoria will make use of record low interest rates – borrowing now to ensure our state can rebuild sooner and stronger. Because as we recover, our success must be measured by the wealth of our economy and the wellbeing of our people. This is a Budget to rebuild, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget that puts people first. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “A job is worth more than just a pay cheque. A job means security and stability – for you and the people you love. It’s why the heart of this Budget is dedicated to creating new jobs and getting people in the North East back into work.” “This pandemic reached every corner of our state. Our recovery needs to do the same.” Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This is a Budget that puts people and communities first – it delivers better housing, better health and better outcomes for residents across the North East.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “Whether it is new social housing or upgrades to encourage more tourists to the area, we’re helping locals not only get back on their feet – but recover better and stronger than before.”

Putting Goulburn Valley Locals First

24th November 2020 Unprecedented. Tough. Unrelenting. There's plenty of ways to put it – but 2020 has been a year like no other. As we begin our recovery, we need a Budget like no other too. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers an unprecedented investment to help our state recover – and make sure no community and no Victorian is left behind. It starts right here in the Goulburn Valley, where the Labor Government will get on with the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade, boost local ambulance services, build more social housing, invest in local community facilities and upgrade even more schools. At the heart of that effort is getting Victorians back into work. The Budget funds up to $49 billion in the things that matter to Victorians – and our economic recovery. Central to this investment is our Jobs Plan, which sets an ambitious goal: creating 400,000 jobs by 2025 – half of them by 2022. This includes Jobs for Victoria, a $619 million investment that will help those most impacted by the pandemic: women, young people and Victorians without a formal qualification, but plenty of experience. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to help subsidise the wages of up to 10,000 new workers. At least $150 million of that wage subsidy support will go towards employing women – and $50 million of that for women over the age of 45, recognising the additional barriers they face, both before and during the pandemic. Further funding will provide one-on-one support for those workers who need it most – whether that’s training advice, career counselling or even help to update their resume. The Budgetinvests $1.5 billion in new tax relief for Victorian businesses and families. This builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s existing support, with a total of more than $3.5 billion in tax and fees relief to Victorian workers, businesses and households to help them through the pandemic and recovery. It includes the New Jobs Tax Credit, which supports those small and medium businesses that rehire staff, restore hours or create new jobs. Under the plan, these businesses will get a tax credit of ten cents for every dollar it increases taxable Victorian wages – giving businesses the confidence they need to open their doors, hire more staff and re-emerge from the pandemic. In a bid to lure businesses to regional Victoria, a 50 per cent stamp duty concession on the purchase of commercial and industrial properties will be brought forward to January 2021 – encouraging more businesses to open, relocate or expand, and helping our hard-hit regional economies bounce back. This investment will save businesses a further $39.6 million. The Labor Government continues its proud record of rail and road investment for regional Victoria, building our state while also creating thousands of jobs for Victorian workers. It includes $400 million to deliver Stage 3 of the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade to enable nine weekday services to and from Melbourne, meaning more convenient services and faster commutes so you can spend more time at home with loved ones. This Budget will also help our state embrace new technology – and make it one of regional Victoria’s strengths. The Labor Government will deliver the $626 million Digital Future Now package, radically improving mobile coverage and broadband access, while supporting businesses to grow and create new jobs. This includes $300 million to eradicate Mobile Black Spots in populated areas of regional Victoria and $250 million to co-fund business‑grade broadband connectivity for regional communities through the Gigabit State program. This investment will improve the availability of reliable high‑speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for regional businesses, while also supporting 2000 jobs. The $64 million Digital Skills and Jobs Program will also put regional Victorians looking for work at the centre of our digital future – with training, internships and opportunities for employment. And to make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer – while also backing local economies and local jobs – the Budget invests $465 million to attract visitors to regional Victoria through the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package. Having put food on the table for Victorian families throughout the pandemic, a $65 million investment will back Victoria’s farmers, growers and producers, with our state’s new agriculture strategy. This investment will deliver better infrastructure and new technology to help our farmers connect with new markets around the world. The industry will also benefit from our new Breakthrough Victoria Fund, with a dedicated focus on agribusiness. A further $50 million will upgrade our agricultural colleges – including staff, student and conference accommodation for up to 130 people at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus – and support TAFEs and other bodies to deliver best-practice education and training for the agriculture innovators of tomorrow. But it’s not just enough to recover. We want to recover fairer and stronger too. It’s why we’ll make fundamental reforms: ensuring an inclusive education for kids with disability, investing in free kinder, delivering new school tutors, a new Recovery Workforce, and more healthcare delivered in the home. To support the community and get people reconnecting, we’re enhancing and renovating regional spaces right across the state, with the Benalla Gallery, the Shepparton Art Museum and the Euroa Community Cinema all getting upgrades. We’ll also acquire land to build a new CFA station at Molka and invest extra funding into the Shepparton Family Drug Treatment Court, so they can continue to help parents escape dependency and be the best they can be for their kids. It also means making sure workers aren’t forced to choose between their health and feeding their families. This pandemic has made clear just how real that choice is for far too many regional Victorians in insecure work. That’s why the Labor Government will develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme, providing up to five days of sick and carers pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries. Our $6 billion Big Housing Build will also make sure more Victorians have the security and stability of a home, delivering 12,000 new social and affordable homes. A quarter of investment will be dedicated to regional Victoria, including at least $45 million for Greater Shepparton and $25 million guaranteed for Mitchell Shire. It will also help more Victorians into work with up to 10,000 new jobs created on average every year over four years. We’ll continue our massive rebuild of our regional schools with a statewide building blitz, delivering two new regional school campuses, upgrades at 44 regional schools and improvements for ten specialist schools in regional Victoria. It includes $4.59 million so Wangaratta District Specialist School can create a new campus in Benalla, while Nagambie Primary, Kyabram P-12 College and Currawa Primary will also get upgrades. Not only will this investment deliver great local schools – it’ll create good local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state. This year has reaffirmed – nothing matters more than your health and the health of the people you love. It’s why this Budget delivers more than $2 billion to build, expand and modernise hospitals and health services across the state including an extra $120 million for our landmark Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which has already delivered hundreds of local projects across our state. This Budget will deliver support for the Nagambie ambulance service so it can run year-round services in Nagambie, so that help is around the corner for those who need it. It will also ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system, with nearly $870 million. In order to help fund these investments, Victoria will make use of record low interest rates – borrowing now to ensure our state can rebuild sooner and stronger. Because as we recover, our success must be measured by the wealth of our economy and the wellbeing of our people. This is a Budget to rebuild, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget that puts people first. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “A job is worth more than just a pay cheque. A job means security and stability – for you and the people you love. It’s why the heart of this Budget is dedicated to creating new jobs and getting people of the Goulburn Valley back into work.” “This pandemic reached every corner of our state. Our recovery needs to do the same.” Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This is a Budget that puts people and communities first – it delivers better housing, better health and better outcomes for residents across the Goulburn Valley.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “Whether it is new social housing or school upgrades, we’re helping locals not only get back on their feet – but recover better and stronger than before.”

Putting Goulburn Valley Locals First

24th November 2020 Unprecedented. Tough. Unrelenting. There's plenty of ways to put it – but 2020 has been a year like no other. As we begin our recovery, we need a Budget like no other too. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers an unprecedented investment to help our state recover – and make sure no community and no Victorian is left behind. It starts right here in the Goulburn Valley, where the Labor Government will get on with the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade, boost local ambulance services, build more social housing, invest in local community facilities and upgrade even more schools. At the heart of that effort is getting Victorians back into work. The Budget funds up to $49 billion in the things that matter to Victorians – and our economic recovery. Central to this investment is our Jobs Plan, which sets an ambitious goal: creating 400,000 jobs by 2025 – half of them by 2022. This includes Jobs for Victoria, a $619 million investment that will help those most impacted by the pandemic: women, young people and Victorians without a formal qualification, but plenty of experience. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to help subsidise the wages of up to 10,000 new workers. At least $150 million of that wage subsidy support will go towards employing women – and $50 million of that for women over the age of 45, recognising the additional barriers they face, both before and during the pandemic. Further funding will provide one-on-one support for those workers who need it most – whether that’s training advice, career counselling or even help to update their resume. The Budgetinvests $1.5 billion in new tax relief for Victorian businesses and families. This builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s existing support, with a total of more than $3.5 billion in tax and fees relief to Victorian workers, businesses and households to help them through the pandemic and recovery. It includes the New Jobs Tax Credit, which supports those small and medium businesses that rehire staff, restore hours or create new jobs. Under the plan, these businesses will get a tax credit of ten cents for every dollar it increases taxable Victorian wages – giving businesses the confidence they need to open their doors, hire more staff and re-emerge from the pandemic. In a bid to lure businesses to regional Victoria, a 50 per cent stamp duty concession on the purchase of commercial and industrial properties will be brought forward to January 2021 – encouraging more businesses to open, relocate or expand, and helping our hard-hit regional economies bounce back. This investment will save businesses a further $39.6 million. The Labor Government continues its proud record of rail and road investment for regional Victoria, building our state while also creating thousands of jobs for Victorian workers. It includes $400 million to deliver Stage 3 of the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade to enable nine weekday services to and from Melbourne, meaning more convenient services and faster commutes so you can spend more time at home with loved ones. This Budget will also help our state embrace new technology – and make it one of regional Victoria’s strengths. The Labor Government will deliver the $626 million Digital Future Now package, radically improving mobile coverage and broadband access, while supporting businesses to grow and create new jobs. This includes $300 million to eradicate Mobile Black Spots in populated areas of regional Victoria and $250 million to co-fund business‑grade broadband connectivity for regional communities through the Gigabit State program. This investment will improve the availability of reliable high‑speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for regional businesses, while also supporting 2000 jobs. The $64 million Digital Skills and Jobs Program will also put regional Victorians looking for work at the centre of our digital future – with training, internships and opportunities for employment. And to make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer – while also backing local economies and local jobs – the Budget invests $465 million to attract visitors to regional Victoria through the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package. Having put food on the table for Victorian families throughout the pandemic, a $65 million investment will back Victoria’s farmers, growers and producers, with our state’s new agriculture strategy. This investment will deliver better infrastructure and new technology to help our farmers connect with new markets around the world. The industry will also benefit from our new Breakthrough Victoria Fund, with a dedicated focus on agribusiness. A further $50 million will upgrade our agricultural colleges – including staff, student and conference accommodation for up to 130 people at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus – and support TAFEs and other bodies to deliver best-practice education and training for the agriculture innovators of tomorrow. But it’s not just enough to recover. We want to recover fairer and stronger too. It’s why we’ll make fundamental reforms: ensuring an inclusive education for kids with disability, investing in free kinder, delivering new school tutors, a new Recovery Workforce, and more healthcare delivered in the home. To support the community and get people reconnecting, we’re enhancing and renovating regional spaces right across the state, with the Benalla Gallery, the Shepparton Art Museum and the Euroa Community Cinema all getting upgrades. We’ll also acquire land to build a new CFA station at Molka and invest extra funding into the Shepparton Family Drug Treatment Court, so they can continue to help parents escape dependency and be the best they can be for their kids. It also means making sure workers aren’t forced to choose between their health and feeding their families. This pandemic has made clear just how real that choice is for far too many regional Victorians in insecure work. That’s why the Labor Government will develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme, providing up to five days of sick and carers pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries. Our $6 billion Big Housing Build will also make sure more Victorians have the security and stability of a home, delivering 12,000 new social and affordable homes. A quarter of investment will be dedicated to regional Victoria, including at least $45 million for Greater Shepparton and $25 million guaranteed for Mitchell Shire. It will also help more Victorians into work with up to 10,000 new jobs created on average every year over four years. We’ll continue our massive rebuild of our regional schools with a statewide building blitz, delivering two new regional school campuses, upgrades at 44 regional schools and improvements for ten specialist schools in regional Victoria. It includes $4.59 million so Wangaratta District Specialist School can create a new campus in Benalla, while Nagambie Primary, Kyabram P-12 College and Currawa Primary will also get upgrades. Not only will this investment deliver great local schools – it’ll create good local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state. This year has reaffirmed – nothing matters more than your health and the health of the people you love. It’s why this Budget delivers more than $2 billion to build, expand and modernise hospitals and health services across the state including an extra $120 million for our landmark Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which has already delivered hundreds of local projects across our state. This Budget will deliver support for the Nagambie ambulance service so it can run year-round services in Nagambie, so that help is around the corner for those who need it. It will also ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system, with nearly $870 million. In order to help fund these investments, Victoria will make use of record low interest rates – borrowing now to ensure our state can rebuild sooner and stronger. Because as we recover, our success must be measured by the wealth of our economy and the wellbeing of our people. This is a Budget to rebuild, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget that puts people first. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “A job is worth more than just a pay cheque. A job means security and stability – for you and the people you love. It’s why the heart of this Budget is dedicated to creating new jobs and getting people of the Goulburn Valley back into work.” “This pandemic reached every corner of our state. Our recovery needs to do the same.” Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This is a Budget that puts people and communities first – it delivers better housing, better health and better outcomes for residents across the Goulburn Valley.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “Whether it is new social housing or school upgrades, we’re helping locals not only get back on their feet – but recover better and stronger than before.”

Putting Regional People First

24th November 2020 Unprecedented. Tough. Unrelenting. There's plenty of ways to put it – but 2020 has been a year like no other. As we begin our recovery, we need a Budget like no other too. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers an unprecedented investment to help our state recover – and make sure no community and no Victorian is left behind. We know that requires getting regional Victorians back into work. The Budget funds up to $49 billion in the things that matter to Victorians – and our economic recovery. Central to this investment is our Jobs Plan, which sets an ambitious goal: creating 400,000 jobs by 2025 – half of them by 2022. This includes Jobs for Victoria, a $619 million investment that will help those most impacted by the pandemic: women, young people and Victorians without a formal qualification, but plenty of experience. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to help cover the wages of at least 10,000 new workers. At least $150 million of that wage subsidy support will go towards employing women – and $50 million of that for women over the age of 45, recognising the additional barriers they face, both before and during the pandemic. Further funding will provide one-on-one support for those workers who need it most – whether that’s training advice, career counselling or even help to update their resume. We also want to make sure we’re investing in the future industries that will create jobs in our regional communities – now and for the long-term. That includes a $1.6 billion investment in clean energy and energy efficiency to help power our state’s recovery. With six new Renewable Energy Zones, these dedicated areas will power our state – from sunny Mildura to the windy east coast – while also supporting businesses, communities and jobs across regional Victoria. This Budget will also help our state embrace new technology – and make it one of regional Victoria’s strengths. The Andrews Labor Government will deliver the $626 million Victoria’s Digital Future Now, radically improving mobile coverage and broadband access, while supporting businesses to grow and create new jobs. This includes $300 million to eradicate Mobile Black Spots in populated areas of regional Victoria and $250 million to co-fund business‑grade broadband connectivity for regional communities through the Gigabit State program. This investment will improve the availability of reliable high‑speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for regional businesses, while also supporting 2000 jobs. The $64 million Digital Skills and Jobs Program will also put regional Victorians looking for work at the centre of our digital future – with training, internships and opportunities for employment. And to make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer – while also backing local economies and local jobs – the Budget invests $465 million in the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package.  This includes the Gippsland Tourism Recovery Package and new funding for the Mallee’s Silo Art projects, as well as 120,000 vouchers each worth $200 to entice more people to visit and stay in regional Victoria. Having put food on the table for Victorian families throughout the pandemic, a $65 million investment will back Victoria’s farmers, growers and producers, with our state’s new agriculture strategy. This investment will deliver better infrastructure and new technology to help our farmers connect with new markets around the world. The industry will also benefit from our new $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund, with agri-food one of its dedicated focus areas. A further $50 million will upgrade our ag colleges at Dookie, Longerenong and Marcus Oldham College, and supports TAFEs and other bodies to deliver best-practice education and training for the agriculture innovators of tomorrow. The Labor Government also continues its proud record of investment for regional Victoria, building our state while also supporting thousands of jobs for Victorian workers. A massive $4.7 billion investment will build, upgrade and maintain regional Victoria’s road and rail, including Geelong Fast Rail, Stage Three on the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade and Stage Two of the Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrade. The Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will continue to deliver crucial local projects championed by local communities with a $156 million investment. But it’s not just enough to recover. We want to recover fairer and stronger too. It’s why we’ll make fundamental reforms: ensuring an inclusive education for kids with disability, investing in free kinder in 2021, delivering new school tutors, a new Recovery Workforce, and more healthcare delivered in the home. It also means making sure workers aren’t forced to choose between their health and feeding their families. This pandemic has made clear just how real that choice is for far too many regional Victorians in insecure work. That’s why the Labor Government will develop a new Secure Work Pilot, providing up to five days of sick and carers pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in the most vulnerable industries. As part of the Big Housing Build, our $5.3 billion investment will also make sure more Victorians have the security and stability of a home, delivering 12,000 new social and affordable homes. With 25 per cent of investment dedicated to regional Victoria, this funding will also help more Victorians into work with supporting around 10,000 new jobs on average each year over the next four years. We’ll continue our massive rebuild of our regional schools with a statewide building blitz, delivering two new regional school campuses, upgrades at 44 regional schools and improvements for ten specialist schools in regional Victoria. Not only will this investment deliver great local schools – it’ll create good local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to support more than 6,400 jobs across the state. This year has reaffirmed – nothing matters more than your health and the health of the people you love. It’s why this Budget delivers $2 billion to build new hospitals and upgrade existing ones, including $384 million to redevelop Warrnambool Hospital, $7.6 million for Wangaratta Hospital to expand its maternity services and an extra $120 million for our landmark Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which has already delivered hundreds of local projects across our state. This Budget will also ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system, with nearly $870 million. This investment includes new Hospital Outreach Post‑Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) locations in Warrnambool and Mildura – plus extra clinical capacity for existing sites in Albury Wodonga and Ballarat. In order to help fund these investments, Victoria will make use of record low interest rates – borrowing now to ensure our state can rebuild sooner and stronger. Because as we recover, our success must be measured by the wealth of our economy and the wellbeing of our people. This is a Budget to rebuild, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget that puts people first. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “A job is worth more than just a pay cheque. A job means security and stability – for you and the people you love. It’s why the heart of this Budget is dedicated to creating new jobs and getting regional Victorians back into work.” “This pandemic reached every corner of our state. Our recovery needs to do the same.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This budget delivers on the things that are most important to regional Victorians and puts us in the strongest position possible to recover from drought, bushfires and the pandemic.” “Whether it’s investing in our country hospitals, schools, businesses or farms, we are a government that wants to make regional Victoria stronger than ever before and an even greater place to live, work and visit.”

Putting Regional People First

24th November 2020 Unprecedented. Tough. Unrelenting. There's plenty of ways to put it – but 2020 has been a year like no other. As we begin our recovery, we need a Budget like no other too. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers an unprecedented investment to help our state recover – and make sure no community and no Victorian is left behind. We know that requires getting regional Victorians back into work. The Budget funds up to $49 billion in the things that matter to Victorians – and our economic recovery. Central to this investment is our Jobs Plan, which sets an ambitious goal: creating 400,000 jobs by 2025 – half of them by 2022. This includes Jobs for Victoria, a $619 million investment that will help those most impacted by the pandemic: women, young people and Victorians without a formal qualification, but plenty of experience. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to help cover the wages of at least 10,000 new workers. At least $150 million of that wage subsidy support will go towards employing women – and $50 million of that for women over the age of 45, recognising the additional barriers they face, both before and during the pandemic. Further funding will provide one-on-one support for those workers who need it most – whether that’s training advice, career counselling or even help to update their resume. We also want to make sure we’re investing in the future industries that will create jobs in our regional communities – now and for the long-term. That includes a $1.6 billion investment in clean energy and energy efficiency to help power our state’s recovery. With six new Renewable Energy Zones, these dedicated areas will power our state – from sunny Mildura to the windy east coast – while also supporting businesses, communities and jobs across regional Victoria. This Budget will also help our state embrace new technology – and make it one of regional Victoria’s strengths. The Andrews Labor Government will deliver the $626 million Victoria’s Digital Future Now, radically improving mobile coverage and broadband access, while supporting businesses to grow and create new jobs. This includes $300 million to eradicate Mobile Black Spots in populated areas of regional Victoria and $250 million to co-fund business‑grade broadband connectivity for regional communities through the Gigabit State program. This investment will improve the availability of reliable high‑speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for regional businesses, while also supporting 2000 jobs. The $64 million Digital Skills and Jobs Program will also put regional Victorians looking for work at the centre of our digital future – with training, internships and opportunities for employment. And to make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer – while also backing local economies and local jobs – the Budget invests $465 million in the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package.  This includes the Gippsland Tourism Recovery Package and new funding for the Mallee’s Silo Art projects, as well as 120,000 vouchers each worth $200 to entice more people to visit and stay in regional Victoria. Having put food on the table for Victorian families throughout the pandemic, a $65 million investment will back Victoria’s farmers, growers and producers, with our state’s new agriculture strategy. This investment will deliver better infrastructure and new technology to help our farmers connect with new markets around the world. The industry will also benefit from our new $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund, with agri-food one of its dedicated focus areas. A further $50 million will upgrade our ag colleges at Dookie, Longerenong and Marcus Oldham College, and supports TAFEs and other bodies to deliver best-practice education and training for the agriculture innovators of tomorrow. The Labor Government also continues its proud record of investment for regional Victoria, building our state while also supporting thousands of jobs for Victorian workers. A massive $4.7 billion investment will build, upgrade and maintain regional Victoria’s road and rail, including Geelong Fast Rail, Stage Three on the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade and Stage Two of the Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrade. The Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will continue to deliver crucial local projects championed by local communities with a $156 million investment. But it’s not just enough to recover. We want to recover fairer and stronger too. It’s why we’ll make fundamental reforms: ensuring an inclusive education for kids with disability, investing in free kinder in 2021, delivering new school tutors, a new Recovery Workforce, and more healthcare delivered in the home. It also means making sure workers aren’t forced to choose between their health and feeding their families. This pandemic has made clear just how real that choice is for far too many regional Victorians in insecure work. That’s why the Labor Government will develop a new Secure Work Pilot, providing up to five days of sick and carers pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in the most vulnerable industries. As part of the Big Housing Build, our $5.3 billion investment will also make sure more Victorians have the security and stability of a home, delivering 12,000 new social and affordable homes. With 25 per cent of investment dedicated to regional Victoria, this funding will also help more Victorians into work with supporting around 10,000 new jobs on average each year over the next four years. We’ll continue our massive rebuild of our regional schools with a statewide building blitz, delivering two new regional school campuses, upgrades at 44 regional schools and improvements for ten specialist schools in regional Victoria. Not only will this investment deliver great local schools – it’ll create good local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to support more than 6,400 jobs across the state. This year has reaffirmed – nothing matters more than your health and the health of the people you love. It’s why this Budget delivers $2 billion to build new hospitals and upgrade existing ones, including $384 million to redevelop Warrnambool Hospital, $7.6 million for Wangaratta Hospital to expand its maternity services and an extra $120 million for our landmark Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which has already delivered hundreds of local projects across our state. This Budget will also ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system, with nearly $870 million. This investment includes new Hospital Outreach Post‑Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) locations in Warrnambool and Mildura – plus extra clinical capacity for existing sites in Albury Wodonga and Ballarat. In order to help fund these investments, Victoria will make use of record low interest rates – borrowing now to ensure our state can rebuild sooner and stronger. Because as we recover, our success must be measured by the wealth of our economy and the wellbeing of our people. This is a Budget to rebuild, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget that puts people first. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “A job is worth more than just a pay cheque. A job means security and stability – for you and the people you love. It’s why the heart of this Budget is dedicated to creating new jobs and getting regional Victorians back into work.” “This pandemic reached every corner of our state. Our recovery needs to do the same.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This budget delivers on the things that are most important to regional Victorians and puts us in the strongest position possible to recover from drought, bushfires and the pandemic.” “Whether it’s investing in our country hospitals, schools, businesses or farms, we are a government that wants to make regional Victoria stronger than ever before and an even greater place to live, work and visit.”

 

Visit Victoria: Experiencing The Best At Home

24th November 2020 Regional restaurants, pubs, hotels and small businesses will be at the forefront of our recovery. Backing these businesses and their workers, the Andrews Labor Government is investing to attract more tourists and make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 provides significant investments in tourism and major events – to get people out of the house and into regional Victoria and the city, supporting local businesses and local jobs. The Labor Government will provide $465 million for the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package, to help the sector bounce back after a year of bushfires and necessary health restrictions to protect Victoria from coronavirus. To encourage more people to get out and explore their state, the Budget includes $28 million for up to 120,000 $200 vouchers to offset the cost of accommodation, attractions and tours in regional Victoria. Nearly $150 million will build new visitor accommodation, improve major tourist trails, and get more people out to taste the world-class produce, food and wine on our doorstop. The package will fund improvements to the Mallee Silo Art Trail, Falls Creek to Hotham Alpine Crossing hiking trail, the Brambuk Cultural Centre in Halls Gap and the Ballarat Centre for Photography, as well as the King Valley’s Prosecco Road. More than $47.5 million will build better visitor infrastructure along the Great Ocean Road, including $2 million to build more campsites along the surf coast. A further $18.5 million is set aside for a Gippsland Tourism Recovery Package that will build new accommodation, upgrade the East Gippsland Rail Trail and improve tourism infrastructure across Victoria’s east. The recovery package also includes $150 million for the Regional Tourism Investment Fund, which will focus on projects in areas identified as a priority in the Government’s Regional Tourism Review, including nature-based, First Nations, arts and culture, and food and wine tourism. Visit Victoria will receive $58 million to market Victoria to travellers within the state and around the country. Additional support will be provided for regional tourism bodies and programs to help businesses learn new digital and other skills. Aboriginal tourism businesses will also get $1.6 million in support for advisory services, mentoring and digital skills development. As well as helping more people get out and see the best of regional Victoria, the Budget also includes $152 million to attract more events to our world-renowned major events calendar – increasing the Major Events Fund’s capacity to $100 million per year, driving economic activity and strengthening our state’s reputation as the sporting, cultural and major events capital of Australia. The Labor Government’s Regional Events Fund has been renewed with $20 million to continue supporting blockbuster events outside Melbourne, and the Melbourne Convention Bureau will continue to bring visitors from around Australia and the world to its business and convention events as part of a $9.7 million boost to the Business Events Program. Sports fans and community groups will benefit from major investments in sporting infrastructure, including a $40 million boost for the fifth stage of Geelong’s Kardinia Park stadium redevelopment. Combined with previous commitments, the Labor Government is fully funding the $142 million final stage of the project that will ensure Kardinia Park remains the country’s premier regional stadium, boosting the local economy and backing local jobs. In Melbourne, the Budget funds a range of AFL club projects with strong community benefits, including $36.6 million for the next stage of the Western Bulldogs’ Whitten Oval masterplan which provides a new grandstand for spectators at AFLW and VFL games plus facilities for important community programs, including Sons and Daughters of the West. AFL legend Danny Frawley’s contribution to football and mental health awareness will be recognised with $7.3 million to develop the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing at St Kilda Football Club’s Moorabbin headquarters. Essendon’s Tullamarine base will get $6.3 million to build new women’s facilities and extra capacity for community sport, and $7.3 million will go towards upgrades at North Melbourne’s Arden Street home – providing more space to deliver the club’s multicultural programs, including the important work of The Huddle. The Budget also provides $15.5 million for Richmond’s Punt Road Oval redevelopment, which will deliver integrated AFL and AFLW facilities and support the work of the Korin Gamadji Institute, the Bachar Houli Foundation and the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School. A further $22 million has been allocated to develop the State Basketball Centre in Knox, including facilities for the local community, while professional sport will share $7 million in funding to aid the recovery of the sector from the effects of the pandemic. VFL clubs will share in $1 million to build development pathways as teams enter the new multi-state East Coast League. An investment of $3 million will repair and strengthen Port Melbourne’s Princes Pier to ensure the ongoing safety of the community in enjoying and accessing this important historical and cultural asset. Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula “We want Victorians to get out and enjoy our wonderful state, as we look forward to a very different year in 2021.” “As we recover, we’re backing our tourism businesses and workers with important investments that will help now and provide the foundation for a sustained recovery.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “We’re investing in the experiences Victorians know and love – keeping people coming back and attracting new visitors to our regions.” “We’re delivering for people in regional Victoria and the jobs that tourism brings to our state.”

Visit Victoria: Experiencing The Best At Home

24th November 2020 Regional restaurants, pubs, hotels and small businesses will be at the forefront of our recovery. Backing these businesses and their workers, the Andrews Labor Government is investing to attract more tourists and make sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 provides significant investments in tourism and major events – to get people out of the house and into regional Victoria and the city, supporting local businesses and local jobs. The Labor Government will provide $465 million for the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package, to help the sector bounce back after a year of bushfires and necessary health restrictions to protect Victoria from coronavirus. To encourage more people to get out and explore their state, the Budget includes $28 million for up to 120,000 $200 vouchers to offset the cost of accommodation, attractions and tours in regional Victoria. Nearly $150 million will build new visitor accommodation, improve major tourist trails, and get more people out to taste the world-class produce, food and wine on our doorstop. The package will fund improvements to the Mallee Silo Art Trail, Falls Creek to Hotham Alpine Crossing hiking trail, the Brambuk Cultural Centre in Halls Gap and the Ballarat Centre for Photography, as well as the King Valley’s Prosecco Road. More than $47.5 million will build better visitor infrastructure along the Great Ocean Road, including $2 million to build more campsites along the surf coast. A further $18.5 million is set aside for a Gippsland Tourism Recovery Package that will build new accommodation, upgrade the East Gippsland Rail Trail and improve tourism infrastructure across Victoria’s east. The recovery package also includes $150 million for the Regional Tourism Investment Fund, which will focus on projects in areas identified as a priority in the Government’s Regional Tourism Review, including nature-based, First Nations, arts and culture, and food and wine tourism. Visit Victoria will receive $58 million to market Victoria to travellers within the state and around the country. Additional support will be provided for regional tourism bodies and programs to help businesses learn new digital and other skills. Aboriginal tourism businesses will also get $1.6 million in support for advisory services, mentoring and digital skills development. As well as helping more people get out and see the best of regional Victoria, the Budget also includes $152 million to attract more events to our world-renowned major events calendar – increasing the Major Events Fund’s capacity to $100 million per year, driving economic activity and strengthening our state’s reputation as the sporting, cultural and major events capital of Australia. The Labor Government’s Regional Events Fund has been renewed with $20 million to continue supporting blockbuster events outside Melbourne, and the Melbourne Convention Bureau will continue to bring visitors from around Australia and the world to its business and convention events as part of a $9.7 million boost to the Business Events Program. Sports fans and community groups will benefit from major investments in sporting infrastructure, including a $40 million boost for the fifth stage of Geelong’s Kardinia Park stadium redevelopment. Combined with previous commitments, the Labor Government is fully funding the $142 million final stage of the project that will ensure Kardinia Park remains the country’s premier regional stadium, boosting the local economy and backing local jobs. In Melbourne, the Budget funds a range of AFL club projects with strong community benefits, including $36.6 million for the next stage of the Western Bulldogs’ Whitten Oval masterplan which provides a new grandstand for spectators at AFLW and VFL games plus facilities for important community programs, including Sons and Daughters of the West. AFL legend Danny Frawley’s contribution to football and mental health awareness will be recognised with $7.3 million to develop the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing at St Kilda Football Club’s Moorabbin headquarters. Essendon’s Tullamarine base will get $6.3 million to build new women’s facilities and extra capacity for community sport, and $7.3 million will go towards upgrades at North Melbourne’s Arden Street home – providing more space to deliver the club’s multicultural programs, including the important work of The Huddle. The Budget also provides $15.5 million for Richmond’s Punt Road Oval redevelopment, which will deliver integrated AFL and AFLW facilities and support the work of the Korin Gamadji Institute, the Bachar Houli Foundation and the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School. A further $22 million has been allocated to develop the State Basketball Centre in Knox, including facilities for the local community, while professional sport will share $7 million in funding to aid the recovery of the sector from the effects of the pandemic. VFL clubs will share in $1 million to build development pathways as teams enter the new multi-state East Coast League. An investment of $3 million will repair and strengthen Port Melbourne’s Princes Pier to ensure the ongoing safety of the community in enjoying and accessing this important historical and cultural asset. Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula “We want Victorians to get out and enjoy our wonderful state, as we look forward to a very different year in 2021.” “As we recover, we’re backing our tourism businesses and workers with important investments that will help now and provide the foundation for a sustained recovery.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “We’re investing in the experiences Victorians know and love – keeping people coming back and attracting new visitors to our regions.” “We’re delivering for people in regional Victoria and the jobs that tourism brings to our state.”

Backing A Recovery Made In Regional Victoria

24th November 2020 This year, we've seen our farmers, growers and producers for what they are – essential. It's why we are investing $115 million to further support the agriculture industry, while also backing our regional communities and the people who call them home. Whether you work on a farm or in a rural town or major centre, in big business or small, the Andrews Labor Government is listening to regional Victorians – and has responded with the Victorian Budget 2020/21. To help famers continue to adapt, take advantage of new technology and remain internationally competitive, the Budget provides $65 million support for a range of initiatives that will increase the use of technology, improve infrastructure across the supply chain and boost energy efficiency on our farms. The investment will be underpinned by a new strategy that responds to the challenges facing our farmers and positions Victorian agriculture for future growth. Delivering on our promise to support the next generation of farmers, the Budget invests $50 million to improve facilities at agricultural colleges to ensure more young Victorians have the skills they need for lifelong and rewarding careers in the industry. Drought, bushfire and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic have had a huge impact on farming communities. To help access financial hardship support and rebuild stronger, the Budget provides $2.1 million for the Rural Financial Counselling Service. Across the state, our flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will continue to create more jobs and support more community projects, thanks to a $156 million boost from the Budget. This Fund has the voices of regional Victorians at its heart – delivering the local projects that our communities tell us they need. This Budget will invest $10 million though the Coronavirus Short-Term Regional Recovery initiative to address the most urgent recovery needs of regional communities – guided by our Regional Partnerships. And to ensure country kids can get the skills they need for the local jobs of the future, the Labor Government is investing $4.2 million, giving us greater understanding of the needs of local industry and making sure local TAFEs and training providers offer these courses to their communities. This Budget delivers a further $125 million to continue the work of Regional Development Victoria and the Latrobe Valley Authority in supporting jobs, skills and infrastructure that will drive the recovery of local communities and local economies. The Andrews Labor Government is backing regional recovery efforts with important investment in regional tourism, our regional health providers, digital connectivity and arts and culture projects – to encourage job growth and make country Victoria an even better place to live, work, visit and invest. Pet welfare also remains a priority for the Government, with the Budget providing $11 million to continue enforcing important puppy farm and pet shop reforms, including the Pet Exchange Register and commercial dog breeder scheme. We’ll rehome more pets with $5.2 million in support and a further $2.9 million will go towards horse and pony rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming, and organisations that provide free or heavily subsidised de-sexing of cats and dogs for disadvantaged Victorians. Regional investment and jobs will get a $42.6 million boost across Victoria’s minerals sector, including $5 million for the orderly restart of the onshore conventional gas industry, supporting vital jobs and economic development for regional communities. To help further develop the resources industry, the Budget has $16.5 million to enable the regulation of the increased activity – looking for new low emission industries, boosting minerals exploration and ensuring affordable quarry materials for the state’s infrastructure boom. The Budget also provides $21.1 million to address mine and quarry rehabilitation risks, including funding for the new Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority and Earth Resources Regulation. Landholders and communities across the state will be supported to reduce the potentially devastating impact of pests like Queensland Fruit Fly, foxes, and wild dogs with more than $8.2 million in funding. Responsible and sustainable recreational hunting brings millions of dollars to Victoria’s economy. Funding of $5.3 million will deliver a second Sustainable Hunting Action Plan to further promote responsible hunting in Victoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Regional Development and Resources Jaclyn Symes “Bushfires, drought and the impacts of coronavirus have hit regional Victoria hard. That’s why we’re investing in the things that matter to local communities – like jobs, skills and support to get through the tough times.” “This Budget continues to back our farmers through new technology, education and innovation – supporting them to create new jobs, find new markets and put food on the table for families across the state.”

Backing A Recovery Made In Regional Victoria

24th November 2020 This year, we've seen our farmers, growers and producers for what they are – essential. It's why we are investing $115 million to further support the agriculture industry, while also backing our regional communities and the people who call them home. Whether you work on a farm or in a rural town or major centre, in big business or small, the Andrews Labor Government is listening to regional Victorians – and has responded with the Victorian Budget 2020/21. To help famers continue to adapt, take advantage of new technology and remain internationally competitive, the Budget provides $65 million support for a range of initiatives that will increase the use of technology, improve infrastructure across the supply chain and boost energy efficiency on our farms. The investment will be underpinned by a new strategy that responds to the challenges facing our farmers and positions Victorian agriculture for future growth. Delivering on our promise to support the next generation of farmers, the Budget invests $50 million to improve facilities at agricultural colleges to ensure more young Victorians have the skills they need for lifelong and rewarding careers in the industry. Drought, bushfire and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic have had a huge impact on farming communities. To help access financial hardship support and rebuild stronger, the Budget provides $2.1 million for the Rural Financial Counselling Service. Across the state, our flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will continue to create more jobs and support more community projects, thanks to a $156 million boost from the Budget. This Fund has the voices of regional Victorians at its heart – delivering the local projects that our communities tell us they need. This Budget will invest $10 million though the Coronavirus Short-Term Regional Recovery initiative to address the most urgent recovery needs of regional communities – guided by our Regional Partnerships. And to ensure country kids can get the skills they need for the local jobs of the future, the Labor Government is investing $4.2 million, giving us greater understanding of the needs of local industry and making sure local TAFEs and training providers offer these courses to their communities. This Budget delivers a further $125 million to continue the work of Regional Development Victoria and the Latrobe Valley Authority in supporting jobs, skills and infrastructure that will drive the recovery of local communities and local economies. The Andrews Labor Government is backing regional recovery efforts with important investment in regional tourism, our regional health providers, digital connectivity and arts and culture projects – to encourage job growth and make country Victoria an even better place to live, work, visit and invest. Pet welfare also remains a priority for the Government, with the Budget providing $11 million to continue enforcing important puppy farm and pet shop reforms, including the Pet Exchange Register and commercial dog breeder scheme. We’ll rehome more pets with $5.2 million in support and a further $2.9 million will go towards horse and pony rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming, and organisations that provide free or heavily subsidised de-sexing of cats and dogs for disadvantaged Victorians. Regional investment and jobs will get a $42.6 million boost across Victoria’s minerals sector, including $5 million for the orderly restart of the onshore conventional gas industry, supporting vital jobs and economic development for regional communities. To help further develop the resources industry, the Budget has $16.5 million to enable the regulation of the increased activity – looking for new low emission industries, boosting minerals exploration and ensuring affordable quarry materials for the state’s infrastructure boom. The Budget also provides $21.1 million to address mine and quarry rehabilitation risks, including funding for the new Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority and Earth Resources Regulation. Landholders and communities across the state will be supported to reduce the potentially devastating impact of pests like Queensland Fruit Fly, foxes, and wild dogs with more than $8.2 million in funding. Responsible and sustainable recreational hunting brings millions of dollars to Victoria’s economy. Funding of $5.3 million will deliver a second Sustainable Hunting Action Plan to further promote responsible hunting in Victoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Regional Development and Resources Jaclyn Symes “Bushfires, drought and the impacts of coronavirus have hit regional Victoria hard. That’s why we’re investing in the things that matter to local communities – like jobs, skills and support to get through the tough times.” “This Budget continues to back our farmers through new technology, education and innovation – supporting them to create new jobs, find new markets and put food on the table for families across the state.”

Backing Agriculture For Victoria’s Strong Future

20 November 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is backing a stronger, more innovative and sustainable agriculture industry with a new strategy to drive Victoria’s recovery from coronavirus and bolster the economy. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced the Victorian Budget 2020/21 will provide $65 million to support a strategy that responds to the challenges facing our farmers and positions Victorian agriculture for future growth. A key focus of the strategy will be the modernisation of Victorian agriculture. This includes $15 million to access leading AgTech, innovative farming methods and new skills so farmers have the tools and expertise they need to deliver more high-quality products to more local and global consumers, and enjoy even better returns. Help for our farmers to expand their export potential will be provided through $20 million for the Food to Market and Pathways to Export programs, which will support infrastructure and business development projects and dedicated agriculture export resources for Victorian farmers. The strategy will also focus on protecting the future of the industry by helping farmers respond and adapt to climate change. Underpinning these objectives is a $30 million investment to extend the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan, which helps farmers reduce their energy costs, and be more energy efficient and productive. The Plan has been extremely popular, with farmers across Victoria benefitting from more than $11 million in grants awarded this year for energy efficiency investments and own-generation technology. This Government is continuing to support the industry as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, drought and bushfires. Through the strategy, farmers and businesses will be helped to build resilience and take advantage of opportunities to strengthen supply chains and local manufacturing. The strategy will build on existing work including Victoria's world-class agricultural research capacity, the On-Farm Internet of Things trials, new SmartFarms and Small-Scale and Craft Program. The Government will work in partnership with industry to ensure this work aligns with their future plans, building on the regular engagement with our industry reference group since March. There will be opportunities for everyone to share their views and details on how to do this will be available soon. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes "Farmers have always been resilient – we want to equip them with the tools where they can think beyond coping with the current challenges, to set themselves and the broader industry up for a vibrant future.” “With these recent challenges come real opportunities to do things differently and give Victorian farmers a competitive advantage. This strategy will help drive recovery and ensure our world-class agriculture sector emerges stronger –so it can continue to be the heartland of Australian food and fibre.”

Backing Agriculture For Victoria’s Strong Future

20 November 2020 The Andrews Labor Government is backing a stronger, more innovative and sustainable agriculture industry with a new strategy to drive Victoria’s recovery from coronavirus and bolster the economy. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced the Victorian Budget 2020/21 will provide $65 million to support a strategy that responds to the challenges facing our farmers and positions Victorian agriculture for future growth. A key focus of the strategy will be the modernisation of Victorian agriculture. This includes $15 million to access leading AgTech, innovative farming methods and new skills so farmers have the tools and expertise they need to deliver more high-quality products to more local and global consumers, and enjoy even better returns. Help for our farmers to expand their export potential will be provided through $20 million for the Food to Market and Pathways to Export programs, which will support infrastructure and business development projects and dedicated agriculture export resources for Victorian farmers. The strategy will also focus on protecting the future of the industry by helping farmers respond and adapt to climate change. Underpinning these objectives is a $30 million investment to extend the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan, which helps farmers reduce their energy costs, and be more energy efficient and productive. The Plan has been extremely popular, with farmers across Victoria benefitting from more than $11 million in grants awarded this year for energy efficiency investments and own-generation technology. This Government is continuing to support the industry as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, drought and bushfires. Through the strategy, farmers and businesses will be helped to build resilience and take advantage of opportunities to strengthen supply chains and local manufacturing. The strategy will build on existing work including Victoria's world-class agricultural research capacity, the On-Farm Internet of Things trials, new SmartFarms and Small-Scale and Craft Program. The Government will work in partnership with industry to ensure this work aligns with their future plans, building on the regular engagement with our industry reference group since March. There will be opportunities for everyone to share their views and details on how to do this will be available soon. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes "Farmers have always been resilient – we want to equip them with the tools where they can think beyond coping with the current challenges, to set themselves and the broader industry up for a vibrant future.” “With these recent challenges come real opportunities to do things differently and give Victorian farmers a competitive advantage. This strategy will help drive recovery and ensure our world-class agriculture sector emerges stronger –so it can continue to be the heartland of Australian food and fibre.”

More Kilometers For The Murray To Mountains Rail Trail

19th November 2020 19th Nov 2020 The extension of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is on track to deliver 25 kilometres of pristine trail by autumn next year and help the North East region’s economic recovery, thanks to support from the Victorian Government. Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes was in Wooragee, near Beechworth today to view progress on the rail trail, which has been realised with a $5.2 million investment from the Regional Partnerships. The trail capitalises on the High Country’s natural beauty, with nine bridges offering scenic views of the waterways and surrounding scenery and will strengthen the region’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination while backing Victoria’s tourism-led recovery. The extension to the trail is part of the Government’s $12 million North East Victoria Cycling Optimisation (NEVCO). The project, better known as Ride High Country, will add approximately 30 kilometres of sealed trail to link Beechworth to Yackandandah, and Yackandandah to Osbornes Flat. Construction of the new trail is expected to create 34 jobs and when completed next year, it is estimated that more than 7,600 additional visitors will use the trail annually. It is expected to create 28 ongoing jobs and generate an extra $3.1 million of visitor expenditure in the region. Already a popular destination among locals, the early constructed trail sections have been in high use during restrictions with community consultation and engagement ongoing to inform future trail sections. In addition to the Beechworth to Yackandandah trail, the project includes the development and delivery of a four-year marketing campaign that will further help attract visitors back to the region, supporting regional jobs and making sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer. Funding for the rail trail project was a direct response to the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership, which identified increasing cycle tourism as a key priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This exciting project will position the North East as one of the world’s top destinations for trail cycling, boosting tourism, growing jobs and putting regional Victoria at the forefront of our recovery.” “The North East has something for everyone and the best of everything – that’s why we’re investing in infrastructure to ensure the region is an even better place to live, work and visit.” Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula “The High Country is an amazing destination – this project will put the trail on top of every rider’s must-do list.”

More Kilometers For The Murray To Mountains Rail Trail

19th November 2020 19th Nov 2020 The extension of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is on track to deliver 25 kilometres of pristine trail by autumn next year and help the North East region’s economic recovery, thanks to support from the Victorian Government. Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes was in Wooragee, near Beechworth today to view progress on the rail trail, which has been realised with a $5.2 million investment from the Regional Partnerships. The trail capitalises on the High Country’s natural beauty, with nine bridges offering scenic views of the waterways and surrounding scenery and will strengthen the region’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination while backing Victoria’s tourism-led recovery. The extension to the trail is part of the Government’s $12 million North East Victoria Cycling Optimisation (NEVCO). The project, better known as Ride High Country, will add approximately 30 kilometres of sealed trail to link Beechworth to Yackandandah, and Yackandandah to Osbornes Flat. Construction of the new trail is expected to create 34 jobs and when completed next year, it is estimated that more than 7,600 additional visitors will use the trail annually. It is expected to create 28 ongoing jobs and generate an extra $3.1 million of visitor expenditure in the region. Already a popular destination among locals, the early constructed trail sections have been in high use during restrictions with community consultation and engagement ongoing to inform future trail sections. In addition to the Beechworth to Yackandandah trail, the project includes the development and delivery of a four-year marketing campaign that will further help attract visitors back to the region, supporting regional jobs and making sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer. Funding for the rail trail project was a direct response to the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership, which identified increasing cycle tourism as a key priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “This exciting project will position the North East as one of the world’s top destinations for trail cycling, boosting tourism, growing jobs and putting regional Victoria at the forefront of our recovery.” “The North East has something for everyone and the best of everything – that’s why we’re investing in infrastructure to ensure the region is an even better place to live, work and visit.” Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula “The High Country is an amazing destination – this project will put the trail on top of every rider’s must-do list.”