Tim Pallas State Labor Member for Werribee

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Authorised by T. Pallas, 2/56-58 Watton St Werribee VIC 3030.

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Making More Homes Available For Victorians

The Allan Labor Government is cracking down on vacant properties across Melbourne to make more homes available to Victorians who need them. Hundreds of properties in apartment towers have been identified as vacant for more than six months through a compliance investigation, making them liable for vacant residential land tax (VRLT). These investigations aim to make better use of empty homes by encouraging owners to put them on the rental market to avoid paying VRLT. In the five buildings targeted in the investigation, 177 properties were liable for VRLT – resulting in 337 VRLT assessments covering the 2019 to 2024 land tax years. The investigation will now expand to another 13 apartment towers, as well as houses in the inner and middle suburbs of Melbourne. From 1 January 2025, VRLT will apply to homes across all of Victoria if they are vacant for more than six months in the preceding calendar year. The tax currently only applies to Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs. The use of a vacant residential property in 2024 will impact its liability for VRLT in 2025. For example, an apartment not used as a principal place of residence will need to be rented out for at least six months to avoid receiving a VRLT assessment next year. An escalating rate of tax will also apply, based on the number of consecutive years the land has been liable for VRLT. Existing dwellings that are vacant for one year will still pay 1 per cent of the capital improved value, but those vacant for two consecutive years will pay 2 per cent and those vacant for three or more consecutive years will pay 3 per cent – encouraging owners of vacant homes to make these properties available to live in. Holiday homes are typically exempt from VLRT, and this exemption has been expanded to include properties held in trust or owned by companies. Any property that is exempt from land tax – including property used for primary production or owned by a charity – is also exempt from VLRT. From 1 January 2026, the VRLT will also apply to empty residential blocks in the inner and middle parts of Melbourne, discouraging land banking and incentivising owners to build more homes. Victorians can notify the State Revenue Office about a vacant property that could be used as a home or developed at sro.vic.gov.au/tipoffs. Information about the VRLT, including exemptions, is available at sro.vic.gov.au/vacant. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We know we need more homes for Victorians, and by cracking down on vacant properties we are easing the housing pressures being felt across the state.” “Expanding vacant residential land tax will free up empty houses for rent and sale, boosting supply and making homes more affordable.”

Making More Homes Available For Victorians

The Allan Labor Government is cracking down on vacant properties across Melbourne to make more homes available to Victorians who need them. Hundreds of properties in apartment towers have been identified as vacant for more than six months through a compliance investigation, making them liable for vacant residential land tax (VRLT). These investigations aim to make better use of empty homes by encouraging owners to put them on the rental market to avoid paying VRLT. In the five buildings targeted in the investigation, 177 properties were liable for VRLT – resulting in 337 VRLT assessments covering the 2019 to 2024 land tax years. The investigation will now expand to another 13 apartment towers, as well as houses in the inner and middle suburbs of Melbourne. From 1 January 2025, VRLT will apply to homes across all of Victoria if they are vacant for more than six months in the preceding calendar year. The tax currently only applies to Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs. The use of a vacant residential property in 2024 will impact its liability for VRLT in 2025. For example, an apartment not used as a principal place of residence will need to be rented out for at least six months to avoid receiving a VRLT assessment next year. An escalating rate of tax will also apply, based on the number of consecutive years the land has been liable for VRLT. Existing dwellings that are vacant for one year will still pay 1 per cent of the capital improved value, but those vacant for two consecutive years will pay 2 per cent and those vacant for three or more consecutive years will pay 3 per cent – encouraging owners of vacant homes to make these properties available to live in. Holiday homes are typically exempt from VLRT, and this exemption has been expanded to include properties held in trust or owned by companies. Any property that is exempt from land tax – including property used for primary production or owned by a charity – is also exempt from VLRT. From 1 January 2026, the VRLT will also apply to empty residential blocks in the inner and middle parts of Melbourne, discouraging land banking and incentivising owners to build more homes. Victorians can notify the State Revenue Office about a vacant property that could be used as a home or developed at sro.vic.gov.au/tipoffs. Information about the VRLT, including exemptions, is available at sro.vic.gov.au/vacant. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We know we need more homes for Victorians, and by cracking down on vacant properties we are easing the housing pressures being felt across the state.” “Expanding vacant residential land tax will free up empty houses for rent and sale, boosting supply and making homes more affordable.”

NEW WYNDHAM LIBRARY FOR SHARING AND BORROWING TOOLS

The Allan Labor Government is making home maintenance and DIY more affordable and sustainable for Wyndham residents, with a new Wyndham Park Tool Library to support the local community achieve and learn more with less. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today opened the new Wyndham Park Tool Library for local residents to borrow and donate tools – helping to ease cost of living pressures and reducing the need to purchase more materials and appliances that might only be used once. The library currently has over 400 items available to borrow, including garden tools, woodworking and carpentry tools, artist tools, construction tools, camping equipment and more. Studies have found that if 250 items were used from the tool library by a community that would save 1 tonne of waste from landfill, and four tonnes of new products that did not have to be manufactured. The Tool Library has been supported by the Labor Government with a grant of more than $91,900, as part of over 60 projects funded through the $7.3 million Circular Economy Councils Fund. Other projects to receive support include new transfer station equipment, organics and mulch processing facilities, tip and resale shops, circular economy hubs, textile recycling projects, and mobile recycling and waste reduction services. Projects supported have already diverted an astounding 1,700 tonnes of waste from landfill and created 63 jobs. The Tool Library is currently open on Wednesdays, with plans to open on Saturdays later this year. For more information on hours, membership and tools available to borrow visit, wyndhamparktoollibrary.com.au. Quote attributable to Minister for Environment Steve Dimopoulos “This project helps to reduce the resources that are wasted by tools sitting unused in sheds and garages, reducing waste and consumption and contributing to a more sustainable future for all Victorians.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Having the right tool for the job just got easier thanks to our new Wyndham Park Tool Library – equipping local residents with essential tools and fostering a sense of community and support.”

NEW WYNDHAM LIBRARY FOR SHARING AND BORROWING TOOLS

The Allan Labor Government is making home maintenance and DIY more affordable and sustainable for Wyndham residents, with a new Wyndham Park Tool Library to support the local community achieve and learn more with less. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today opened the new Wyndham Park Tool Library for local residents to borrow and donate tools – helping to ease cost of living pressures and reducing the need to purchase more materials and appliances that might only be used once. The library currently has over 400 items available to borrow, including garden tools, woodworking and carpentry tools, artist tools, construction tools, camping equipment and more. Studies have found that if 250 items were used from the tool library by a community that would save 1 tonne of waste from landfill, and four tonnes of new products that did not have to be manufactured. The Tool Library has been supported by the Labor Government with a grant of more than $91,900, as part of over 60 projects funded through the $7.3 million Circular Economy Councils Fund. Other projects to receive support include new transfer station equipment, organics and mulch processing facilities, tip and resale shops, circular economy hubs, textile recycling projects, and mobile recycling and waste reduction services. Projects supported have already diverted an astounding 1,700 tonnes of waste from landfill and created 63 jobs. The Tool Library is currently open on Wednesdays, with plans to open on Saturdays later this year. For more information on hours, membership and tools available to borrow visit, wyndhamparktoollibrary.com.au. Quote attributable to Minister for Environment Steve Dimopoulos “This project helps to reduce the resources that are wasted by tools sitting unused in sheds and garages, reducing waste and consumption and contributing to a more sustainable future for all Victorians.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Having the right tool for the job just got easier thanks to our new Wyndham Park Tool Library – equipping local residents with essential tools and fostering a sense of community and support.”

Southeast Asia Commissioner To Boost Economic Growth

The Allan Labor Government is creating opportunities for Victorian businesses in Southeast Asia by appointing a new Commissioner for Victoria. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas today announced the appointment of Ms Naila Mazzucco as Victoria’s Commissioner to Southeast Asia, bringing significant experience and expertise that will boost the state’s economic activity within the region. Ms Mazzucco has led multicultural and multigenerational trade, investment, education and consular teams globally, and is coming into the Commissioner role following a tenure as Australia’s Consul-General in Milan and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Italy, Southeast Europe and Israel. Ms Mazzucco brings a wealth of experience to the role and has previously lived and worked in Asia for more than 12 years. She has worked across government, the multilateral sector and private sectors in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines. Victoria’s economic relationship with Southeast Asia is stronger than ever, with two-way merchandise trade reaching a record high of more than $27 billion in 2023 and fibre exports to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines increasing significantly in the same year. The appointment of the new Commissioner continues the Labor Government’s engagement with the region as it grows, increasing opportunities for Victorian businesses in the Southeast Asian economy – predicted to be the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 provides $7.3 million over two years to boost trade through engagement –  strengthening Victoria’s international relationships, supporting Victorian businesses in key global markets and attracting investment into the state. The Victorian Government Trade and Investment office network is the largest and most effective international network of any Australian state or territory, with Southeast Asia offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta, where Ms Mazzucco will begin her post from mid-July 2024. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Southeast Asia is an important trading partner and investor for our state – Ms Mazzucco’s experience will help us further strengthen our partnership and leverage opportunities for Victoria.” “Our network of global offices boosts Victoria’s international engagement and raises our profile, attracting investment and driving exports – creating jobs and economic growth in our state.” Quote attributable to Southeast Asia Commissioner appointee Naila Mazzucco “This is an exciting time to be taking up this role in the fast-growing Southeast Asia region and I look forward to working on the ground in Jakarta to strengthen Victoria’s regional engagement and partnerships, and deepen commercial, education, cultural and whole-of-Victorian Government relationships.”

Southeast Asia Commissioner To Boost Economic Growth

The Allan Labor Government is creating opportunities for Victorian businesses in Southeast Asia by appointing a new Commissioner for Victoria. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas today announced the appointment of Ms Naila Mazzucco as Victoria’s Commissioner to Southeast Asia, bringing significant experience and expertise that will boost the state’s economic activity within the region. Ms Mazzucco has led multicultural and multigenerational trade, investment, education and consular teams globally, and is coming into the Commissioner role following a tenure as Australia’s Consul-General in Milan and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Italy, Southeast Europe and Israel. Ms Mazzucco brings a wealth of experience to the role and has previously lived and worked in Asia for more than 12 years. She has worked across government, the multilateral sector and private sectors in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines. Victoria’s economic relationship with Southeast Asia is stronger than ever, with two-way merchandise trade reaching a record high of more than $27 billion in 2023 and fibre exports to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines increasing significantly in the same year. The appointment of the new Commissioner continues the Labor Government’s engagement with the region as it grows, increasing opportunities for Victorian businesses in the Southeast Asian economy – predicted to be the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 provides $7.3 million over two years to boost trade through engagement –  strengthening Victoria’s international relationships, supporting Victorian businesses in key global markets and attracting investment into the state. The Victorian Government Trade and Investment office network is the largest and most effective international network of any Australian state or territory, with Southeast Asia offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta, where Ms Mazzucco will begin her post from mid-July 2024. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Southeast Asia is an important trading partner and investor for our state – Ms Mazzucco’s experience will help us further strengthen our partnership and leverage opportunities for Victoria.” “Our network of global offices boosts Victoria’s international engagement and raises our profile, attracting investment and driving exports – creating jobs and economic growth in our state.” Quote attributable to Southeast Asia Commissioner appointee Naila Mazzucco “This is an exciting time to be taking up this role in the fast-growing Southeast Asia region and I look forward to working on the ground in Jakarta to strengthen Victoria’s regional engagement and partnerships, and deepen commercial, education, cultural and whole-of-Victorian Government relationships.”

Regional Workforce Surges To All-Time High

The Allan Labor Government is driving jobs creation in regional Victoria, with the total number of Victorians employed in the regions hitting a new record high. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today show that an additional 11,000 people found jobs in the regions in April, boosting the total number of regional Victorians in work to a record 839,500. Under the Labor Government, Victoria’s regional unemployment rate remains at a historically low 3.8 per cent, driven by a strong economy fuelling business and jobs growth across the state. Unemployment in many Victorian regions is less than half of what it was in 2014 when the Labor Government took office. The ABS data confirms continuing low jobless rates across many regions, including 3.1 per cent in Ballarat and Bendigo and 2.2 per cent in Warrnambool and South West. Since the 2014 election, almost 800,000 new jobs have been created across the state, and there are a record number of Victorians in jobs. The Victorian economy expanded by 9.1 per cent in the past two years, surpassing New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania, with Deloitte Access Economics forecasting Victoria will lead all other states in economic growth over the next five years. Victoria also saw a 13 per cent surge in business investment during the past calendar year – outpacing growth in the rest of the country by nearly 6 per cent. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “Today’s ABS data shows that our fiscal strategy is creating jobs and keeping unemployment low in regional Victoria, ensuring all Victorians share in the success of our state as we lead the nation in business investment.” “We have created almost 800,000 new jobs since we came to office, and our Budget sets Victoria up for continued economic growth.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Gayle Tierney "Victoria's world-class TAFE system is building a skilled workforce and helping people find in-demand jobs near where they live, right across the state." "This is coupled with our record $45 billion dollar investment in regional Victoria - ensuring our regions and towns are great places to live, work and visit, boosting local economies and the communities that call them home."

Regional Workforce Surges To All-Time High

The Allan Labor Government is driving jobs creation in regional Victoria, with the total number of Victorians employed in the regions hitting a new record high. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today show that an additional 11,000 people found jobs in the regions in April, boosting the total number of regional Victorians in work to a record 839,500. Under the Labor Government, Victoria’s regional unemployment rate remains at a historically low 3.8 per cent, driven by a strong economy fuelling business and jobs growth across the state. Unemployment in many Victorian regions is less than half of what it was in 2014 when the Labor Government took office. The ABS data confirms continuing low jobless rates across many regions, including 3.1 per cent in Ballarat and Bendigo and 2.2 per cent in Warrnambool and South West. Since the 2014 election, almost 800,000 new jobs have been created across the state, and there are a record number of Victorians in jobs. The Victorian economy expanded by 9.1 per cent in the past two years, surpassing New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania, with Deloitte Access Economics forecasting Victoria will lead all other states in economic growth over the next five years. Victoria also saw a 13 per cent surge in business investment during the past calendar year – outpacing growth in the rest of the country by nearly 6 per cent. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “Today’s ABS data shows that our fiscal strategy is creating jobs and keeping unemployment low in regional Victoria, ensuring all Victorians share in the success of our state as we lead the nation in business investment.” “We have created almost 800,000 new jobs since we came to office, and our Budget sets Victoria up for continued economic growth.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Gayle Tierney "Victoria's world-class TAFE system is building a skilled workforce and helping people find in-demand jobs near where they live, right across the state." "This is coupled with our record $45 billion dollar investment in regional Victoria - ensuring our regions and towns are great places to live, work and visit, boosting local economies and the communities that call them home."

Supporting More Bulk-Billed Consults For Victorians

The Allan Labor Government is working with other Australian jurisdictions to support our general practitioners to provide more bulk-billed primary healthcare consultations for families. Following extensive consultation with the primary care sector and work to align settings across the country, all Victorian general practice businesses will receive an exemption from any outstanding or future assessment issued for payroll tax on payments to contractor GPs for the period up to 30 June 2024. A further 12-month exemption from payroll tax for payments to contractor GPs, through to 30 June 2025, will be available for any general practice business that has not already received advice and begun paying payroll tax on payments to their contractor GPs on this basis. This exemption will be provided through the Treasurer’s existing ‘ex gratia’ powers, and would be applied in this way under any Labor Government. To help GPs provide more bulk-billed consultations, the Labor Government will provide an exemption from payroll tax for payments to contractor GPs and to employee GPs for providing bulk-billed consultations from 1 July 2025. While there had been no change to payroll tax obligations for medical businesses, the Government has been engaging with the primary care sector for over a year about the pressures on GPs and the need for certainty – these changes will support GPs and the important work they do looking after Victorians. Following a decade of neglect from the former Federal Liberal National Government, the Labor Government has stepped in to support primary care by delivering $32 million to support graduate GPs – encouraging medical students to take up a rewarding career in general practice. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 also invests $10 million to further support primary care through a grant scheme that will be co-designed with GPs. Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We’ve worked closely with the primary care sector on how we can best support them – and we’re making these long-term changes to provide certainty to general practice businesses and support more bulk-billing for Victorians.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas “We know that primary care is broken following a decade of neglect from the former Federal Liberal National Government - this will deliver certainty for GPs and help to strengthen and grow bulk billing rates.”  Quotes attributable to President of Australian Medical Association Victoria Dr Jill Tomlinson “General practice is vital for keeping Victorians out of hospital. After listening to advocacy from the sector, the state government has implemented changes that deliver certainty and clarity to Victorian general practices.” “While AMA Victoria acknowledges that there will be costs associated with this transition, it is extremely positive news for general practices, general practitioners and Victorians.” Quotes attributable to Australian GP Alliance Deputy Chair Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AC “On behalf of General Practice owners and patients who we care for, AGPA has sought clarity, consistency, stability and a fair and understandable system to work with. “ “We thank the Victorian Government for their decision and commitment to the primary care sector as this outcome will support practices to remain viable into the future and help Victorians continue to have access to affordable services as we work together through the details to ensure affordability of health services to Victorians. GPs can now focus on caring for their patients and the health system.” Quotes attributable to Primary Care Business Council member Dr Rodney Aziz  “We welcome this decision by the Victorian Government which will relieve the immediate pressure on general practice and ensure primary care remains affordable for all Victorians as the cost-of-living crisis continues.” “As the representative body for more than 40% of general practice consultations across Australia, the Primary Care Business Council has advocated for a sensible approach to payroll tax and we commend the Victorian Government for making the right decision, one which will allow Victorian doctors to continue delivering the highest standards of affordable care that patients can rely on.” Quotes attributable to Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Victoria Chair Dr Anita Munoz “The prospect of retrospective tax bills on GPs was a source of enormous stress for many general practice teams and their communities. We are grateful the Victorian Government has taken retrospective taxation off the table. This move will help keep local GPs’ doors open. “We appreciate the Victorian Government coming to the table and working with us to find a middle-ground solution.” “GP practices now have the certainty we’ve been asking for and can plan for the future.” Quotes attributable to Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine President Dr Dan Halliday “The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) welcomes the Victorian Government's decision to not retrospectively apply payroll tax to specialist general practitioners.” “ACRRM appreciates the Victorian Government's decision to exempt bulk-billed consultations from payroll tax. However, national Medicare reform is still required to improve healthcare affordability.” “ACRRM welcomes the opportunity to have ongoing engagement to understand the impact on rural, remote and First Nations communities and their ability to obtain to timely, accessible and affordable primary health care.” Quotes attributable to Rural Doctors' Association of Victoria President-Elect Dr Louise Manning “The Rural Doctors' Association of Victoria (RDAV) is supportive of the announcement by the Victorian Government of the exemption of retrospective payments of payroll tax for general practice covering the period up to July 1 2025.” “The accessibility of affordable primary care is of major concern to RDAV, and broader health system reform is needed to ensure the viability of private rural general practice into the future so that all communities can access safe and appropriate care close to home.” “RDAV will continue to work with the Government to ensure that general practices in rural and regional Victoria will be able to continue to service their communities.”

Supporting More Bulk-Billed Consults For Victorians

The Allan Labor Government is working with other Australian jurisdictions to support our general practitioners to provide more bulk-billed primary healthcare consultations for families. Following extensive consultation with the primary care sector and work to align settings across the country, all Victorian general practice businesses will receive an exemption from any outstanding or future assessment issued for payroll tax on payments to contractor GPs for the period up to 30 June 2024. A further 12-month exemption from payroll tax for payments to contractor GPs, through to 30 June 2025, will be available for any general practice business that has not already received advice and begun paying payroll tax on payments to their contractor GPs on this basis. This exemption will be provided through the Treasurer’s existing ‘ex gratia’ powers, and would be applied in this way under any Labor Government. To help GPs provide more bulk-billed consultations, the Labor Government will provide an exemption from payroll tax for payments to contractor GPs and to employee GPs for providing bulk-billed consultations from 1 July 2025. While there had been no change to payroll tax obligations for medical businesses, the Government has been engaging with the primary care sector for over a year about the pressures on GPs and the need for certainty – these changes will support GPs and the important work they do looking after Victorians. Following a decade of neglect from the former Federal Liberal National Government, the Labor Government has stepped in to support primary care by delivering $32 million to support graduate GPs – encouraging medical students to take up a rewarding career in general practice. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 also invests $10 million to further support primary care through a grant scheme that will be co-designed with GPs. Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We’ve worked closely with the primary care sector on how we can best support them – and we’re making these long-term changes to provide certainty to general practice businesses and support more bulk-billing for Victorians.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas “We know that primary care is broken following a decade of neglect from the former Federal Liberal National Government - this will deliver certainty for GPs and help to strengthen and grow bulk billing rates.”  Quotes attributable to President of Australian Medical Association Victoria Dr Jill Tomlinson “General practice is vital for keeping Victorians out of hospital. After listening to advocacy from the sector, the state government has implemented changes that deliver certainty and clarity to Victorian general practices.” “While AMA Victoria acknowledges that there will be costs associated with this transition, it is extremely positive news for general practices, general practitioners and Victorians.” Quotes attributable to Australian GP Alliance Deputy Chair Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AC “On behalf of General Practice owners and patients who we care for, AGPA has sought clarity, consistency, stability and a fair and understandable system to work with. “ “We thank the Victorian Government for their decision and commitment to the primary care sector as this outcome will support practices to remain viable into the future and help Victorians continue to have access to affordable services as we work together through the details to ensure affordability of health services to Victorians. GPs can now focus on caring for their patients and the health system.” Quotes attributable to Primary Care Business Council member Dr Rodney Aziz  “We welcome this decision by the Victorian Government which will relieve the immediate pressure on general practice and ensure primary care remains affordable for all Victorians as the cost-of-living crisis continues.” “As the representative body for more than 40% of general practice consultations across Australia, the Primary Care Business Council has advocated for a sensible approach to payroll tax and we commend the Victorian Government for making the right decision, one which will allow Victorian doctors to continue delivering the highest standards of affordable care that patients can rely on.” Quotes attributable to Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Victoria Chair Dr Anita Munoz “The prospect of retrospective tax bills on GPs was a source of enormous stress for many general practice teams and their communities. We are grateful the Victorian Government has taken retrospective taxation off the table. This move will help keep local GPs’ doors open. “We appreciate the Victorian Government coming to the table and working with us to find a middle-ground solution.” “GP practices now have the certainty we’ve been asking for and can plan for the future.” Quotes attributable to Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine President Dr Dan Halliday “The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) welcomes the Victorian Government's decision to not retrospectively apply payroll tax to specialist general practitioners.” “ACRRM appreciates the Victorian Government's decision to exempt bulk-billed consultations from payroll tax. However, national Medicare reform is still required to improve healthcare affordability.” “ACRRM welcomes the opportunity to have ongoing engagement to understand the impact on rural, remote and First Nations communities and their ability to obtain to timely, accessible and affordable primary health care.” Quotes attributable to Rural Doctors' Association of Victoria President-Elect Dr Louise Manning “The Rural Doctors' Association of Victoria (RDAV) is supportive of the announcement by the Victorian Government of the exemption of retrospective payments of payroll tax for general practice covering the period up to July 1 2025.” “The accessibility of affordable primary care is of major concern to RDAV, and broader health system reform is needed to ensure the viability of private rural general practice into the future so that all communities can access safe and appropriate care close to home.” “RDAV will continue to work with the Government to ensure that general practices in rural and regional Victoria will be able to continue to service their communities.”

Backing Victorian Business By Abolishing Stamp Duty

The Allan Labor Government’s landmark tax reform for Victorian businesses has passed Parliament, transitioning commercial and industrial properties away from stamp duty from 1 July 2024. The commercial and industrial property tax reform will progressively abolish stamp duty and replace it with a more efficient commercial and industrial property tax. This transformational reform will help Victorian businesses set up, invest in new land and buildings, and employ more workers. The reforms amount to a $266 million tax cut in the first your years, adding 12,600 jobs and benefiting Victoria’s economy by up to $50 billion over the next 40 years in cumulative net present value terms. Since announcing the development of this reform, the Labor Government has worked closely with industry and the property sector to finalise the design which was confirmed in the Victorian Budget 2024/25. From 1 July 2024, stamp duty will be payable one final time on commercial and industrial properties as they are transacted – with no stamp duty applicable to any future sale of those properties. The commercial and industrial property tax will apply 10 years after the next transaction and will be set at a flat rate of 1 per cent of a property’s unimproved land value per annum. As part of the transition, eligible purchasers will have the option of accessing a government transition loan for the final stamp duty payment, allowing them to avoid any up front lump sum payment – freeing up capital to invest and employ more workers. The Labor Government will provide educational support to help industry and taxpayers transition to the new scheme. Further details are available at dtf.vic.gov.au/funds-programs-and-policies. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We’re encouraging more businesses to set up and expand through this transformational reform of Victoria’s property tax system.” “This reform is all about supporting business and growing the economy – it provides a $266 million tax cut in the first four years that will encourage businesses to set up, invest and employ more Victorians.” Quote attributable to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Paul Guerra “This is a milestone moment for Victorian business that will encourage and promote growth. The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has worked with the State Government to achieve this significant tax reform and we look forward to the increased activity that this change will stimulate.”

Backing Victorian Business By Abolishing Stamp Duty

The Allan Labor Government’s landmark tax reform for Victorian businesses has passed Parliament, transitioning commercial and industrial properties away from stamp duty from 1 July 2024. The commercial and industrial property tax reform will progressively abolish stamp duty and replace it with a more efficient commercial and industrial property tax. This transformational reform will help Victorian businesses set up, invest in new land and buildings, and employ more workers. The reforms amount to a $266 million tax cut in the first your years, adding 12,600 jobs and benefiting Victoria’s economy by up to $50 billion over the next 40 years in cumulative net present value terms. Since announcing the development of this reform, the Labor Government has worked closely with industry and the property sector to finalise the design which was confirmed in the Victorian Budget 2024/25. From 1 July 2024, stamp duty will be payable one final time on commercial and industrial properties as they are transacted – with no stamp duty applicable to any future sale of those properties. The commercial and industrial property tax will apply 10 years after the next transaction and will be set at a flat rate of 1 per cent of a property’s unimproved land value per annum. As part of the transition, eligible purchasers will have the option of accessing a government transition loan for the final stamp duty payment, allowing them to avoid any up front lump sum payment – freeing up capital to invest and employ more workers. The Labor Government will provide educational support to help industry and taxpayers transition to the new scheme. Further details are available at dtf.vic.gov.au/funds-programs-and-policies. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We’re encouraging more businesses to set up and expand through this transformational reform of Victoria’s property tax system.” “This reform is all about supporting business and growing the economy – it provides a $266 million tax cut in the first four years that will encourage businesses to set up, invest and employ more Victorians.” Quote attributable to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Paul Guerra “This is a milestone moment for Victorian business that will encourage and promote growth. The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has worked with the State Government to achieve this significant tax reform and we look forward to the increased activity that this change will stimulate.”

Investing To Create Jobs And Save Lives

The Allan Labor Government is investing in a groundbreaking medical technology company to fast-track its ideas into life-saving products. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas today announced a $5 million investment through Breakthrough Victoria in Neo-Bionica, a medtech company specialising in implantable and wearable medical device prototypes for clinical trials. The Labor Government’s investment will create 45 new jobs by 2027 and help the company commercialise medical technology that can save lives. By offering end-to-end medical device prototype development, clinical trials and initial production support, Neo-Bionica gives Victorian innovators a competitive advantage. Victoria carries out one-third of Australia’s clinical trials – more than any other state – and government investment is bolstering the state’s medtech sector, made up of 660 companies employing more than 9,000 workers. In the last decade, the Labor Government has committed over $1 billion towards medical research, including a $60 million investment towards the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD) which is under construction at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital. Last year the Labor Government announced a medtech skills and device hub to be located at the AMCD, bringing together local universities, researchers and companies – including Neo-Bionica – to create life-saving medical technologies and develop the careers of the state’s future medtech workers. By investing in Neo-Bionica, Breakthrough Victoria is increasing the rate at which Victorian research and innovation is converted into real-world applications and commercialised in the state, growing our economy and creating jobs. More than 1,800 jobs will be generated from Breakthrough Victoria’s investments announced to date. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Our investment is supporting medtech startups to get their innovative ideas and technology into clinical trials and then into the market, growing our world-class medtech sector and improving people’s lives.” “Victoria is a world leader in cutting-edge health and medical research, and our investment is turning this research into real products and economic growth.” Quote attributable to Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley “Neo-Bionica is unique in Australia – it significantly speeds up the time it takes to develop and trial a medical device, which means people will benefit from the technology earlier.” Quote attributable to Neo-Bionica CEO Ludovic Labat “We are extremely excited to have Breakthrough Victoria’s support as we embark on our next growth phase. Breakthrough Victoria’s investment will enable us to accelerate our domestic and global expansion plans.”

Investing To Create Jobs And Save Lives

The Allan Labor Government is investing in a groundbreaking medical technology company to fast-track its ideas into life-saving products. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas today announced a $5 million investment through Breakthrough Victoria in Neo-Bionica, a medtech company specialising in implantable and wearable medical device prototypes for clinical trials. The Labor Government’s investment will create 45 new jobs by 2027 and help the company commercialise medical technology that can save lives. By offering end-to-end medical device prototype development, clinical trials and initial production support, Neo-Bionica gives Victorian innovators a competitive advantage. Victoria carries out one-third of Australia’s clinical trials – more than any other state – and government investment is bolstering the state’s medtech sector, made up of 660 companies employing more than 9,000 workers. In the last decade, the Labor Government has committed over $1 billion towards medical research, including a $60 million investment towards the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD) which is under construction at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital. Last year the Labor Government announced a medtech skills and device hub to be located at the AMCD, bringing together local universities, researchers and companies – including Neo-Bionica – to create life-saving medical technologies and develop the careers of the state’s future medtech workers. By investing in Neo-Bionica, Breakthrough Victoria is increasing the rate at which Victorian research and innovation is converted into real-world applications and commercialised in the state, growing our economy and creating jobs. More than 1,800 jobs will be generated from Breakthrough Victoria’s investments announced to date. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Our investment is supporting medtech startups to get their innovative ideas and technology into clinical trials and then into the market, growing our world-class medtech sector and improving people’s lives.” “Victoria is a world leader in cutting-edge health and medical research, and our investment is turning this research into real products and economic growth.” Quote attributable to Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley “Neo-Bionica is unique in Australia – it significantly speeds up the time it takes to develop and trial a medical device, which means people will benefit from the technology earlier.” Quote attributable to Neo-Bionica CEO Ludovic Labat “We are extremely excited to have Breakthrough Victoria’s support as we embark on our next growth phase. Breakthrough Victoria’s investment will enable us to accelerate our domestic and global expansion plans.”

More Homes And Jobs For East Werribee

The Allan Labor Government is one step closer to transforming the East Werribee Precinct into a vibrant urban environment that provides high quality housing, economic activity and strong employment growth. Minister for Precincts Colin Brooks today released the East Werribee Opportunity Statement, outlining the Labor Government’s vision for how the East Werribee Precinct will grow and develop over time. Development will focus on the area’s existing strengths in agriculture, manufacturing, energy and tourism, and support the growth of these key economic sectors with access to a large, diverse and increasingly skilled workforce. Economic growth in East Werribee will also build on significant investments in education and health, including the expansion of the emergency department at Werribee Mercy Hospital. Due to its size and strategic location, East Werribee is uniquely positioned to unlock the productive potential of Government land in Melbourne’s west. The removal of a further three level crossings in Wyndham and the completion of missing links along the Federation and Kororoit Creek trails will deliver improved cycling connections for the region. By 2025, the opening of the Metro Tunnel will see increased capacity on the Werribee and Williamstown lines during peak periods, and the West Gate Tunnel will slash travel times between East Werribee and the Port of Melbourne. East Werribee is part of the Werribee National Employment and Innovation Centre (NEIC) – a focus for strategic infrastructure investment to help expand employment opportunities. Find out more about the Opportunity Statement at www.dtp.vic.gov.au/EastWerribee. Quote attributable to Minister for Precincts Colin Brooks “We’re bringing the East Werribee Precinct to life, transforming it into a centre for employment and investment, surrounded by high-quality and sustainable housing and improved transport connections.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The East Werribee Opportunity Statement will transform the precinct and help unlock new business, employment and residential opportunities in one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas.” Quote attributable to Member for Point Cook Mat Hilakari "East Werribee's ongoing development is bringing more jobs closer to home, a great outcome for our growing community."

More Homes And Jobs For East Werribee

The Allan Labor Government is one step closer to transforming the East Werribee Precinct into a vibrant urban environment that provides high quality housing, economic activity and strong employment growth. Minister for Precincts Colin Brooks today released the East Werribee Opportunity Statement, outlining the Labor Government’s vision for how the East Werribee Precinct will grow and develop over time. Development will focus on the area’s existing strengths in agriculture, manufacturing, energy and tourism, and support the growth of these key economic sectors with access to a large, diverse and increasingly skilled workforce. Economic growth in East Werribee will also build on significant investments in education and health, including the expansion of the emergency department at Werribee Mercy Hospital. Due to its size and strategic location, East Werribee is uniquely positioned to unlock the productive potential of Government land in Melbourne’s west. The removal of a further three level crossings in Wyndham and the completion of missing links along the Federation and Kororoit Creek trails will deliver improved cycling connections for the region. By 2025, the opening of the Metro Tunnel will see increased capacity on the Werribee and Williamstown lines during peak periods, and the West Gate Tunnel will slash travel times between East Werribee and the Port of Melbourne. East Werribee is part of the Werribee National Employment and Innovation Centre (NEIC) – a focus for strategic infrastructure investment to help expand employment opportunities. Find out more about the Opportunity Statement at www.dtp.vic.gov.au/EastWerribee. Quote attributable to Minister for Precincts Colin Brooks “We’re bringing the East Werribee Precinct to life, transforming it into a centre for employment and investment, surrounded by high-quality and sustainable housing and improved transport connections.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The East Werribee Opportunity Statement will transform the precinct and help unlock new business, employment and residential opportunities in one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas.” Quote attributable to Member for Point Cook Mat Hilakari "East Werribee's ongoing development is bringing more jobs closer to home, a great outcome for our growing community."

 

2024 JUNIOR LANDCARE AND BIODIVERSITY GRANTS NOW OPEN

The Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants are now open, with $450,000 available for projects that involve young people actively caring for Victoria’s biodiversity and natural environment.   Schools, kindergartens, childcare centres and youth groups can all apply for grants of up to $5000 for projects that encourage young Victorians to learn more about the state’s plants, wildlife and nature through hands-on activities or classroom learning.   More than 47,000 young people have been a part of the program involved in 1100 nature-based excursions and conducting 270 biological surveys through biodiversity focused learning activities.   Junior Landcare Biodiversity Grant recipients have also planted an incredible 99,000 indigenous plants across numerous landscapes to help maintain ecosystem health. Past projects funded by the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants include the creation of a walking trail aimed at promoting opportunities for students to care for indigenous plants and animals on Phillip Island, transforming land with indigenous flora in Bundoora and biodiversity-focused excursions to learn about local wildlife in Yarra Glen.   All initiatives funded as part of the grants program help deliver on the Allan Labor Government’s long-term plan to protect Victoria’s native plants and animals through the landmark Biodiversity 2037 plan, backed by record investment of $582 million since 2014 to safeguard our natural environment. Applications for the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants will close at 3pm on Friday 14 June 2024.   For more information and to apply, visit here.   Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants play such an important role helping young Victorians connect with nature.” “Since 2018, the grants have provided more than $2.5 million to projects across the state, with 584 projects being completed and making a difference.” “These grants benefit our beautiful landscapes across the state and help young Victorians get involved in nature-based programs at a young age can instil a passion for the environment that can last a lifetime.”

2024 JUNIOR LANDCARE AND BIODIVERSITY GRANTS NOW OPEN

The Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants are now open, with $450,000 available for projects that involve young people actively caring for Victoria’s biodiversity and natural environment.   Schools, kindergartens, childcare centres and youth groups can all apply for grants of up to $5000 for projects that encourage young Victorians to learn more about the state’s plants, wildlife and nature through hands-on activities or classroom learning.   More than 47,000 young people have been a part of the program involved in 1100 nature-based excursions and conducting 270 biological surveys through biodiversity focused learning activities.   Junior Landcare Biodiversity Grant recipients have also planted an incredible 99,000 indigenous plants across numerous landscapes to help maintain ecosystem health. Past projects funded by the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants include the creation of a walking trail aimed at promoting opportunities for students to care for indigenous plants and animals on Phillip Island, transforming land with indigenous flora in Bundoora and biodiversity-focused excursions to learn about local wildlife in Yarra Glen.   All initiatives funded as part of the grants program help deliver on the Allan Labor Government’s long-term plan to protect Victoria’s native plants and animals through the landmark Biodiversity 2037 plan, backed by record investment of $582 million since 2014 to safeguard our natural environment. Applications for the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants will close at 3pm on Friday 14 June 2024.   For more information and to apply, visit here.   Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants play such an important role helping young Victorians connect with nature.” “Since 2018, the grants have provided more than $2.5 million to projects across the state, with 584 projects being completed and making a difference.” “These grants benefit our beautiful landscapes across the state and help young Victorians get involved in nature-based programs at a young age can instil a passion for the environment that can last a lifetime.”

Treasurer Names Free 3D Hands As Victorian Budget Charity

Treasurer Tim Pallas has chosen Free 3D Hands as the Victorian Budget 2024/25 charity – confirming the selection with a donation made today. The charity designs and provides high-quality, low-cost assistive devices for people with upper limb differences, completely free of charge to anyone, anywhere in the world. Founded by Phillip Island-based engineer Mat Bowtell in 2019, Free 3D Hands recognises that there are more than one billion people around the world who require assistive devices – and for or 90 per cent of those people, access to assistive technology remains limited. Free 3D Hands shares all of their designs under open-source licences to empower others around the world to make and repair them, and to encourage further innovation in this field. All donations to Free 3D Hands go directly towards the research, design and development of assistive devices and getting them to those who need them. The Treasurer has nominated a charity at each of his 10 Budgets, making a personal contribution and supporting fundraising within the community. Victorians interested in contributing to the important work of Free 3D Hands can do so at free3dhands.org. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “I’m proud to nominate Free 3D Hands as the Victorian Budget 2024/25 charity, to help it continue the amazing work it does in changing lives around the world.”  “For those people in a position to make a donation, I urge them to give generously.”  Quote attributable to Free 3D Hands founder Mat Bowtell  “We are very grateful to the Treasurer for choosing Free 3D Hands as his Budget charity. All donations to Free 3D Hands go directly towards the research, design and development of open-source assistive devices and getting them to those who need them. We believe in a world where everyone has equal access to assistive technology.” Quote attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crungnale “Mat Bowtell and his team are all heart, all community – and these 3D printed devices are bringing joy and confidence to children, young people and adults here in Victoria and right across the world.”

Treasurer Names Free 3D Hands As Victorian Budget Charity

Treasurer Tim Pallas has chosen Free 3D Hands as the Victorian Budget 2024/25 charity – confirming the selection with a donation made today. The charity designs and provides high-quality, low-cost assistive devices for people with upper limb differences, completely free of charge to anyone, anywhere in the world. Founded by Phillip Island-based engineer Mat Bowtell in 2019, Free 3D Hands recognises that there are more than one billion people around the world who require assistive devices – and for or 90 per cent of those people, access to assistive technology remains limited. Free 3D Hands shares all of their designs under open-source licences to empower others around the world to make and repair them, and to encourage further innovation in this field. All donations to Free 3D Hands go directly towards the research, design and development of assistive devices and getting them to those who need them. The Treasurer has nominated a charity at each of his 10 Budgets, making a personal contribution and supporting fundraising within the community. Victorians interested in contributing to the important work of Free 3D Hands can do so at free3dhands.org. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “I’m proud to nominate Free 3D Hands as the Victorian Budget 2024/25 charity, to help it continue the amazing work it does in changing lives around the world.”  “For those people in a position to make a donation, I urge them to give generously.”  Quote attributable to Free 3D Hands founder Mat Bowtell  “We are very grateful to the Treasurer for choosing Free 3D Hands as his Budget charity. All donations to Free 3D Hands go directly towards the research, design and development of open-source assistive devices and getting them to those who need them. We believe in a world where everyone has equal access to assistive technology.” Quote attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crungnale “Mat Bowtell and his team are all heart, all community – and these 3D printed devices are bringing joy and confidence to children, young people and adults here in Victoria and right across the world.”

Sensible Decisions To Deliver A Stronger Economy

Inflation means families are doing it tough, but with a record number of people in jobs and our economy forecast to keep growing, Victorians have good reason to feel positive about the future. Victoria is the engine room of the Australian economy. Since September 2020, more than 560,000 new jobs have been created in Victoria – more in absolute and percentage terms than any other state. There are now a record 3.7 million Victorians in jobs and unemployment remains near its lowest rate in 50 years.  ABS data shows our economy grew by 9.1 per cent over the past two years – more than New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania – and our economy is also forecast to continue outpacing every state over the next five years. Business investment in Victoria is also strong. Investment grew by more than 13 per cent last calendar year, the largest increase of all the states and almost 6 percentage points higher than growth in the rest of Australia. The Allan Labor Government has created the conditions for this growth, despite global cost-of-living pressures and high interest rates, by backing business investment, public investment and a return to strong population growth. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 is firmly focused on the things that matter to families – helping with the cost of living and investing in the education, healthcare, housing and transport that Victorians rely on. While we continue to deliver the infrastructure and world-class services that families need, this year’s Budget makes sensible, disciplined decisions to deal with the challenges ahead: high inflation and workforce constraints.  High inflation is being experienced here in Victoria, across Australia and around the world. The rising price of materials, labour and transportation – driven by the pandemic, global conflict and broader economic conditions – have all pushed up the costs of construction by around 22 per cent since 2021. We also face workforce constraints. Infrastructure Australia estimates that demand for workers exceeds the current national public infrastructure workforce by 129 per cent, and it’s a similar story in our caring and social sectors too – with shortages in the early childhood, aged care and mental health workforces.  Right now, we have state-transforming transport projects underway, including Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and North East Link – but at the same time, we have a huge amount of funding tied up with the Melbourne Airport Rail project.  We need to be realistic about the project and its timeline – the Commonwealth Government has only recently appointed an independent mediator, and the Airport has not indicated it is prepared to drop its demands for compensation and an underground station. We’ve made the sensible decision to acknowledge that the project is now at least four years delayed. This will allow us to get on with delivering other projects. We’ve also reviewed and addressed COVID-era programs that have served their purpose and are no longer needed. We’ll reduce the Government’s advertising spend and will reduce office space across government in acknowledgement that a couple of days working from home is now the norm. With unemployment at near-record lows, we need to be pragmatic about the challenges this creates – just as we carefully balance and support our infrastructure workforce, we need to do the same with our early education and care sector.  We’ll take a more gradual approach with our Pre-Prep reforms and the rollout of our Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals, so we can train and recruit the workers these programs need to succeed. Breakthrough Victoria has been successful, deploying more than $330 million, including investments in 24 companies.  With Victoria’s economy recovering strongly, this Budget will rephase its funding, with a reduced $90 million a year over the forward estimates – and its investment profile extended from 10 to 15 years, allowing more time to review and be selective about quality investments. The result of this sensible and disciplined approach is that we’re continuing to strengthen our financial position. In 2020, during the pandemic, we laid out a four-step strategy for strong and sensible financial management. The first and most important step was to let the state’s balance sheet absorb the blow of the pandemic – protecting jobs, businesses and lives. The second step – returning to an operating cash surplus – is a key measure of fiscal sustainability. We achieved an operating cash surplus of $4.2 billion in 2022-23, and the Budget forecasts an operating cash surplus across the forward estimates, reaching $6.1 billion in 2027-28. We’re on track for Step Three: this Budget forecasts an operating surplus of $1.5 billion in 2025-26 – higher than we promised before the 2022 election, which then increases to $1.6 billion in 2026-27 and $1.9 billion in 2027-28. With this Budget we’ve also been able to deliver on Step Four – stabilising debt levels – with these growing operating cash surpluses funding a higher proportion of capital expenditure, reducing the reliance on borrowings. Because of our disciplined approach, we can now pursue an updated fiscal strategy and add Step Five: reducing net debt as a proportion of the state’s economy. This Budget will see net debt to GSP fall for the first time since 2017. Net debt is expected to be $156.2 billion in June 2025 – or 24.4 per cent of GSP, before reaching 25.2 per cent in 2026-27 and then declining to 25.1 per cent in 2027-28. In last year’s Budget, we outlined landmark tax reform to transition away from stamp duty for commercial and industrial properties[FACT_009].  We have worked closely with industry and the property sector to finalise this reform, and we’ll remove the upfront cost of stamp duty from 1 July 2024[FACT_011]. This is a $266 million tax cut that will benefit the property industry and Victorian businesses, and make it easier for them to set up, invest in new land and buildings, or expand to employ more Victorians[FACT_016]. The reform will add 12,600 jobs and benefit Victoria’s economy by up to $50 billion over the next 40 years [FACT_016].  While we make savings to reduce back-office duplication and inefficiencies, we’re investing in the things families need most – including easing the cost-of-living pressure being felt here and around the world. Our one-off $400 School Saving Bonus will help to cover the cost of uniforms, camps, excursions and other extracurricular activities through the school year, giving families one less thing to worry about.  We’re building 16 new public schools in our fastest-growing areas, investing to maintain schools in every corner of the state – and spending $139 million [OV_063]to get more teachers into schools and make sure they are equipped to help students be their best. The biggest ever multi-year investment in our health system will deliver $11 billion to make sure every Victorian has access to world-class healthcare.  This Budget also invests $1.7 billion for a new emergency department for the Northern Hospital, with a dedicated paediatrics zone, a mental health, alcohol and other drugs hub and extra inpatient beds.  We’ll also deliver a new emergency department for the Austin Hospital and expand the Monash Medical Centre, with bigger maternity care facilities, new operating suites and a new intensive care unit.  We’ll give more Victorians a safe and secure roof over their head, with $107 million to advance our ambitious housing agenda, delivering social and affordable homes for Victorians who need them most – and to improve our public housing and strengthen Victoria's building industry. We’re investing an additional $700 million to extend the Victorian Homebuyer Fund, while increasing the regional price cap and the threshold for single parents, to help more people realise their dream of owning a home.  With the Commonwealth Government establishing Help to Buy, a nationwide shared equity scheme, the Victorian Government will make a final investment in the Victorian Homebuyer Fund and will transition to the national scheme once it’s established. Since 2014, we have invested $120 billion to plan, build, operate and upgrade Victoria’s transport network – and now it’s time to bring those projects to life, with $996 million to switch on Big Build transport projects like the Metro Tunnel, the most transformational public transport project since the City Loop.  To be able to continue to deliver these kinds of state-shaping projects, we need to build our future workforce starting today. This Budget builds on our nation-leading training investments with an extra $555 million to extend access to free TAFE, support apprentices and trainees, and train more mental health professionals. We’ll continue to grow our economy by supporting startups, continuing the vital work of LaunchVic for a further four years.   Since 2017, LaunchVic has supported more than 11,400 entrepreneurs to upskill, and more than 1,000 startups have graduated from its funded pre-accelerator and accelerator programs – and the program has activated more than $830 million of private capital.  This Budget also builds on Victoria’s partnership with BioNTech to establish its Asia‑Pacific mRNA clinical manufacturing facility, Innovation Centre and AI Early Warning System in Melbourne – boosting our expertise and creating more jobs in one of the world’s leading medical research cities.  This is a Budget that delivers cost-of-living help and invests in the projects and services that Victorians rely on – because this is a Budget that’s helping families.  Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “With a record number of people in jobs and our economy forecast to keep growing, Victorians have good reason to feel positive about the future.” “This Budget is about helping Victorian families with the most important things – continuing our investment in the education, health, housing and transport services Victorians rely on, while providing cost-of-living relief.”  “We’re facing up to the economic challenges faced around the world with sensible, disciplined decisions – we won’t shy away from reality.”

Sensible Decisions To Deliver A Stronger Economy

Inflation means families are doing it tough, but with a record number of people in jobs and our economy forecast to keep growing, Victorians have good reason to feel positive about the future. Victoria is the engine room of the Australian economy. Since September 2020, more than 560,000 new jobs have been created in Victoria – more in absolute and percentage terms than any other state. There are now a record 3.7 million Victorians in jobs and unemployment remains near its lowest rate in 50 years.  ABS data shows our economy grew by 9.1 per cent over the past two years – more than New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania – and our economy is also forecast to continue outpacing every state over the next five years. Business investment in Victoria is also strong. Investment grew by more than 13 per cent last calendar year, the largest increase of all the states and almost 6 percentage points higher than growth in the rest of Australia. The Allan Labor Government has created the conditions for this growth, despite global cost-of-living pressures and high interest rates, by backing business investment, public investment and a return to strong population growth. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 is firmly focused on the things that matter to families – helping with the cost of living and investing in the education, healthcare, housing and transport that Victorians rely on. While we continue to deliver the infrastructure and world-class services that families need, this year’s Budget makes sensible, disciplined decisions to deal with the challenges ahead: high inflation and workforce constraints.  High inflation is being experienced here in Victoria, across Australia and around the world. The rising price of materials, labour and transportation – driven by the pandemic, global conflict and broader economic conditions – have all pushed up the costs of construction by around 22 per cent since 2021. We also face workforce constraints. Infrastructure Australia estimates that demand for workers exceeds the current national public infrastructure workforce by 129 per cent, and it’s a similar story in our caring and social sectors too – with shortages in the early childhood, aged care and mental health workforces.  Right now, we have state-transforming transport projects underway, including Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and North East Link – but at the same time, we have a huge amount of funding tied up with the Melbourne Airport Rail project.  We need to be realistic about the project and its timeline – the Commonwealth Government has only recently appointed an independent mediator, and the Airport has not indicated it is prepared to drop its demands for compensation and an underground station. We’ve made the sensible decision to acknowledge that the project is now at least four years delayed. This will allow us to get on with delivering other projects. We’ve also reviewed and addressed COVID-era programs that have served their purpose and are no longer needed. We’ll reduce the Government’s advertising spend and will reduce office space across government in acknowledgement that a couple of days working from home is now the norm. With unemployment at near-record lows, we need to be pragmatic about the challenges this creates – just as we carefully balance and support our infrastructure workforce, we need to do the same with our early education and care sector.  We’ll take a more gradual approach with our Pre-Prep reforms and the rollout of our Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals, so we can train and recruit the workers these programs need to succeed. Breakthrough Victoria has been successful, deploying more than $330 million, including investments in 24 companies.  With Victoria’s economy recovering strongly, this Budget will rephase its funding, with a reduced $90 million a year over the forward estimates – and its investment profile extended from 10 to 15 years, allowing more time to review and be selective about quality investments. The result of this sensible and disciplined approach is that we’re continuing to strengthen our financial position. In 2020, during the pandemic, we laid out a four-step strategy for strong and sensible financial management. The first and most important step was to let the state’s balance sheet absorb the blow of the pandemic – protecting jobs, businesses and lives. The second step – returning to an operating cash surplus – is a key measure of fiscal sustainability. We achieved an operating cash surplus of $4.2 billion in 2022-23, and the Budget forecasts an operating cash surplus across the forward estimates, reaching $6.1 billion in 2027-28. We’re on track for Step Three: this Budget forecasts an operating surplus of $1.5 billion in 2025-26 – higher than we promised before the 2022 election, which then increases to $1.6 billion in 2026-27 and $1.9 billion in 2027-28. With this Budget we’ve also been able to deliver on Step Four – stabilising debt levels – with these growing operating cash surpluses funding a higher proportion of capital expenditure, reducing the reliance on borrowings. Because of our disciplined approach, we can now pursue an updated fiscal strategy and add Step Five: reducing net debt as a proportion of the state’s economy. This Budget will see net debt to GSP fall for the first time since 2017. Net debt is expected to be $156.2 billion in June 2025 – or 24.4 per cent of GSP, before reaching 25.2 per cent in 2026-27 and then declining to 25.1 per cent in 2027-28. In last year’s Budget, we outlined landmark tax reform to transition away from stamp duty for commercial and industrial properties[FACT_009].  We have worked closely with industry and the property sector to finalise this reform, and we’ll remove the upfront cost of stamp duty from 1 July 2024[FACT_011]. This is a $266 million tax cut that will benefit the property industry and Victorian businesses, and make it easier for them to set up, invest in new land and buildings, or expand to employ more Victorians[FACT_016]. The reform will add 12,600 jobs and benefit Victoria’s economy by up to $50 billion over the next 40 years [FACT_016].  While we make savings to reduce back-office duplication and inefficiencies, we’re investing in the things families need most – including easing the cost-of-living pressure being felt here and around the world. Our one-off $400 School Saving Bonus will help to cover the cost of uniforms, camps, excursions and other extracurricular activities through the school year, giving families one less thing to worry about.  We’re building 16 new public schools in our fastest-growing areas, investing to maintain schools in every corner of the state – and spending $139 million [OV_063]to get more teachers into schools and make sure they are equipped to help students be their best. The biggest ever multi-year investment in our health system will deliver $11 billion to make sure every Victorian has access to world-class healthcare.  This Budget also invests $1.7 billion for a new emergency department for the Northern Hospital, with a dedicated paediatrics zone, a mental health, alcohol and other drugs hub and extra inpatient beds.  We’ll also deliver a new emergency department for the Austin Hospital and expand the Monash Medical Centre, with bigger maternity care facilities, new operating suites and a new intensive care unit.  We’ll give more Victorians a safe and secure roof over their head, with $107 million to advance our ambitious housing agenda, delivering social and affordable homes for Victorians who need them most – and to improve our public housing and strengthen Victoria's building industry. We’re investing an additional $700 million to extend the Victorian Homebuyer Fund, while increasing the regional price cap and the threshold for single parents, to help more people realise their dream of owning a home.  With the Commonwealth Government establishing Help to Buy, a nationwide shared equity scheme, the Victorian Government will make a final investment in the Victorian Homebuyer Fund and will transition to the national scheme once it’s established. Since 2014, we have invested $120 billion to plan, build, operate and upgrade Victoria’s transport network – and now it’s time to bring those projects to life, with $996 million to switch on Big Build transport projects like the Metro Tunnel, the most transformational public transport project since the City Loop.  To be able to continue to deliver these kinds of state-shaping projects, we need to build our future workforce starting today. This Budget builds on our nation-leading training investments with an extra $555 million to extend access to free TAFE, support apprentices and trainees, and train more mental health professionals. We’ll continue to grow our economy by supporting startups, continuing the vital work of LaunchVic for a further four years.   Since 2017, LaunchVic has supported more than 11,400 entrepreneurs to upskill, and more than 1,000 startups have graduated from its funded pre-accelerator and accelerator programs – and the program has activated more than $830 million of private capital.  This Budget also builds on Victoria’s partnership with BioNTech to establish its Asia‑Pacific mRNA clinical manufacturing facility, Innovation Centre and AI Early Warning System in Melbourne – boosting our expertise and creating more jobs in one of the world’s leading medical research cities.  This is a Budget that delivers cost-of-living help and invests in the projects and services that Victorians rely on – because this is a Budget that’s helping families.  Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “With a record number of people in jobs and our economy forecast to keep growing, Victorians have good reason to feel positive about the future.” “This Budget is about helping Victorian families with the most important things – continuing our investment in the education, health, housing and transport services Victorians rely on, while providing cost-of-living relief.”  “We’re facing up to the economic challenges faced around the world with sensible, disciplined decisions – we won’t shy away from reality.”

HELPING FAMILIES IN WERRIBEE

The Allan Labor Government’s first Budget is dedicated to helping families in Werribee. Whether it’s helping with the cost of living, making sure our kids can be their best, record funding for our healthcare system or continuing to invest in more of the services families rely on – the Victorian Budget 2024/25 invests in our community. With the current cost of living, covering supplies and extracurricular activities can be hard on families doing it tough. Uniforms, camps and excursions – it all adds up. That’s why we are providing a one-off School Saving Bonus to help cover the costs. This $400 bonus will help make sure our kids have everything they need for the school day, supporting families with children at government schools and families at our non-government schools who need it most. Dedicated to helping cover the cost of learning essentials and the extracurriculars that make school fun – we’ll work with schools to make it available for the start of the 2025 school year. We’re also tripling our free Glasses for Kids program – making sure even more young Victorians can be their best in the classroom, and beyond. Having already helped 34,000 kids across our state – this investment will help 74,000 more, providing free vision screening and prescription glasses for students who need it. And because we know that learning isn’t limited to the classroom, we’re investing $6 million to extend our Get Active Kids vouchers – providing up to $200 to help eligible families with the cost of sporting club registration, uniforms and equipment. With this Budget, we’re investing more than $1.8 billion to continue building the Education State – and building a better future for Victoria’s children. Families should be able to count on having a great local school – no matter where they live. We promised to build 100 new schools by 2026. Already, we’ve opened 75 primary, secondary and specialist schools where they’re needed most, with a further nine on the way. This year’s Budget invests $948 million to deliver the remaining 16 new schools – and deliver on our promise to Victorian families. That includes a brand-new specialist school for Point Cook. The new Point Cook South Specialist School will support the needs of our growing community – and give every family confidence they can rely on a great local school. A further $20 million will deliver new roads and servicing infrastructure as part of the East Werribee Precinct to support the delivery of the new school. We’ll also continue to meet the future needs of local families, with funding to acquire land for a new secondary school in Wyndham keeping pace with our growing population. And we’re making sure no student misses out, investing in the Disabilities Transport Program with funding for a new service for Werribee – ensuring kids can get to and from school. Last year, our Free Kinder program saved around 140,000 families up to $2,500 in fees, helping with the cost of living and ensuring cost was not a barrier to participation. This year’s Budget continues this investment with an additional $129 million to continue delivering Free Kinder and the statewide rollout of Three‑Year‑Old Kinder. An extra $19 million will deliver new Building Blocks grants – enabling kinders to renovate and upgrade early learning facilities. From expanding classrooms to funding native gardens, upgrading technology or transforming outdoor play spaces, these projects are an investment in our youngest learners. We know how important our frontline healthcare services are for patients and their families. Since we came to government, Victoria’s public hospitals now employ over 5,000 more doctors, and over 13,000 more nurses. During the pandemic, when our health system was stretched like never before, we acted decisively – providing record funding to bolster our health system. Since the pandemic, the cost of running our health system has continued to increase – but every cent is worth it to keep Victorians healthy. That’s why we’re making the biggest multi-year investment in our health system in Victoria’s history. It’ll mean our hospitals have the long-term certainty they need over the coming years. Each investment is for the people of Werribee. Because this is a Budget – and a Government – dedicated to helping families. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Allan Labor Government’s first Budget is dedicated to helping families – providing much-needed cost of living relief and making sure kids don’t miss out.” “This Budget also invests in the projects our growing community needs – with new schools and more support for local families.”

HELPING FAMILIES IN WERRIBEE

The Allan Labor Government’s first Budget is dedicated to helping families in Werribee. Whether it’s helping with the cost of living, making sure our kids can be their best, record funding for our healthcare system or continuing to invest in more of the services families rely on – the Victorian Budget 2024/25 invests in our community. With the current cost of living, covering supplies and extracurricular activities can be hard on families doing it tough. Uniforms, camps and excursions – it all adds up. That’s why we are providing a one-off School Saving Bonus to help cover the costs. This $400 bonus will help make sure our kids have everything they need for the school day, supporting families with children at government schools and families at our non-government schools who need it most. Dedicated to helping cover the cost of learning essentials and the extracurriculars that make school fun – we’ll work with schools to make it available for the start of the 2025 school year. We’re also tripling our free Glasses for Kids program – making sure even more young Victorians can be their best in the classroom, and beyond. Having already helped 34,000 kids across our state – this investment will help 74,000 more, providing free vision screening and prescription glasses for students who need it. And because we know that learning isn’t limited to the classroom, we’re investing $6 million to extend our Get Active Kids vouchers – providing up to $200 to help eligible families with the cost of sporting club registration, uniforms and equipment. With this Budget, we’re investing more than $1.8 billion to continue building the Education State – and building a better future for Victoria’s children. Families should be able to count on having a great local school – no matter where they live. We promised to build 100 new schools by 2026. Already, we’ve opened 75 primary, secondary and specialist schools where they’re needed most, with a further nine on the way. This year’s Budget invests $948 million to deliver the remaining 16 new schools – and deliver on our promise to Victorian families. That includes a brand-new specialist school for Point Cook. The new Point Cook South Specialist School will support the needs of our growing community – and give every family confidence they can rely on a great local school. A further $20 million will deliver new roads and servicing infrastructure as part of the East Werribee Precinct to support the delivery of the new school. We’ll also continue to meet the future needs of local families, with funding to acquire land for a new secondary school in Wyndham keeping pace with our growing population. And we’re making sure no student misses out, investing in the Disabilities Transport Program with funding for a new service for Werribee – ensuring kids can get to and from school. Last year, our Free Kinder program saved around 140,000 families up to $2,500 in fees, helping with the cost of living and ensuring cost was not a barrier to participation. This year’s Budget continues this investment with an additional $129 million to continue delivering Free Kinder and the statewide rollout of Three‑Year‑Old Kinder. An extra $19 million will deliver new Building Blocks grants – enabling kinders to renovate and upgrade early learning facilities. From expanding classrooms to funding native gardens, upgrading technology or transforming outdoor play spaces, these projects are an investment in our youngest learners. We know how important our frontline healthcare services are for patients and their families. Since we came to government, Victoria’s public hospitals now employ over 5,000 more doctors, and over 13,000 more nurses. During the pandemic, when our health system was stretched like never before, we acted decisively – providing record funding to bolster our health system. Since the pandemic, the cost of running our health system has continued to increase – but every cent is worth it to keep Victorians healthy. That’s why we’re making the biggest multi-year investment in our health system in Victoria’s history. It’ll mean our hospitals have the long-term certainty they need over the coming years. Each investment is for the people of Werribee. Because this is a Budget – and a Government – dedicated to helping families. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Allan Labor Government’s first Budget is dedicated to helping families – providing much-needed cost of living relief and making sure kids don’t miss out.” “This Budget also invests in the projects our growing community needs – with new schools and more support for local families.”

Victoria Invests In An Innovative World View

The Allan Labor Government today announced a $37 million investment in World View and its groundbreaking technology aimed at revolutionising stratospheric balloon remote sensing services. A strategic investment made through Breakthrough Victoria, this will enable World View to establish an Indo-Pacific headquarters in Melbourne, including an advanced manufacturing facility, creating up to 200 jobs in engineering, data science and material science. World View is at the forefront of manufacturing, launching and controlling stratospheric balloons that provide on-demand, high-resolution sensing, weather monitoring and communication services. Future plans for World View include expanding into space tourism via the stratosphere, building and operating launch locations across the globe, including Spaceport Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. With World View’s patented dual-balloon system, the company offers unparalleled capabilities, boasting a market leading size and weight, augmenting existing alternatives such as satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles. World View’s expansion will establish Victoria as a hub for stratospheric remote sensing research, with investments in research and development across Australian universities and research centres. The establishment of their head office at Melbourne Connect in Parkville places World View at one of the epicentres of research in Victoria and will foster collaboration and innovation, positioning Victoria as a leader in aerospace technology. Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “World View’s cutting-edge technology and future jobs, especially in highly skilled areas of engineering, data science and material science, will create fantastic opportunities for Victoria and Australia.” Quotes attributable to Breakthrough Victoria CEO, Grant Dooley “We are thrilled to partner with World View in their mission to transform the way we approach stratospheric balloon technology. World View’s innovative solutions have the potential to revolutionise various industries, from remote sensing to communications.” Quotes attributable to World View CEO, Ryan M. Hartman “Australia, especially Victoria, offers unprecedented access to incredibly skilled global talent, cutting-edge technology, promising partnerships, smart capital, and significant geographic leverage to support our Indo-Pacific remote sensing and future space tourism operations. We are eager to get to work in Victoria.” 

Victoria Invests In An Innovative World View

The Allan Labor Government today announced a $37 million investment in World View and its groundbreaking technology aimed at revolutionising stratospheric balloon remote sensing services. A strategic investment made through Breakthrough Victoria, this will enable World View to establish an Indo-Pacific headquarters in Melbourne, including an advanced manufacturing facility, creating up to 200 jobs in engineering, data science and material science. World View is at the forefront of manufacturing, launching and controlling stratospheric balloons that provide on-demand, high-resolution sensing, weather monitoring and communication services. Future plans for World View include expanding into space tourism via the stratosphere, building and operating launch locations across the globe, including Spaceport Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. With World View’s patented dual-balloon system, the company offers unparalleled capabilities, boasting a market leading size and weight, augmenting existing alternatives such as satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles. World View’s expansion will establish Victoria as a hub for stratospheric remote sensing research, with investments in research and development across Australian universities and research centres. The establishment of their head office at Melbourne Connect in Parkville places World View at one of the epicentres of research in Victoria and will foster collaboration and innovation, positioning Victoria as a leader in aerospace technology. Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “World View’s cutting-edge technology and future jobs, especially in highly skilled areas of engineering, data science and material science, will create fantastic opportunities for Victoria and Australia.” Quotes attributable to Breakthrough Victoria CEO, Grant Dooley “We are thrilled to partner with World View in their mission to transform the way we approach stratospheric balloon technology. World View’s innovative solutions have the potential to revolutionise various industries, from remote sensing to communications.” Quotes attributable to World View CEO, Ryan M. Hartman “Australia, especially Victoria, offers unprecedented access to incredibly skilled global talent, cutting-edge technology, promising partnerships, smart capital, and significant geographic leverage to support our Indo-Pacific remote sensing and future space tourism operations. We are eager to get to work in Victoria.” 

WERRIBEE ELECTORATE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (09:36): I rise to update the house on the recent allocations from the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution Fund, known as GAIC, to the great Werribee community. An allocation will assist Wyndham council with the completion of the Ison Road project. Werribee locals know that this is a critical and necessary road link that will connect to the Ison Road rail overpass bridge that is currently under construction. The Ison Road connection will provide direct access to the Princes Freeway from the developing area of Mambourin, Manor Lakes and Wyndham Vale and ease traffic gridlock through the Werribee CBD. It is essential to get it done, and this government is committed to working in cooperation with our Commonwealth colleagues and local government to do exactly that.   I am also excited that this latest allocation includes funding for not only road infrastructure but new bus connections to Wyndham Vale train station from the Hartley estate and Cornerstone estate communities. This is an important service for a growing community. Just as exciting is the acquisition of land for the proposed government secondary school in Wollahra along with funding for a new Ambulance Victoria branch and SES facility in Wyndham Vale. So I think it is fair to say that the Allan Labor government is continuing to deliver for the west. People want to live close to transport, schools and essential services, and this investment will deliver the kind of infrastructure that is in fact needed.

WERRIBEE ELECTORATE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (09:36): I rise to update the house on the recent allocations from the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution Fund, known as GAIC, to the great Werribee community. An allocation will assist Wyndham council with the completion of the Ison Road project. Werribee locals know that this is a critical and necessary road link that will connect to the Ison Road rail overpass bridge that is currently under construction. The Ison Road connection will provide direct access to the Princes Freeway from the developing area of Mambourin, Manor Lakes and Wyndham Vale and ease traffic gridlock through the Werribee CBD. It is essential to get it done, and this government is committed to working in cooperation with our Commonwealth colleagues and local government to do exactly that.   I am also excited that this latest allocation includes funding for not only road infrastructure but new bus connections to Wyndham Vale train station from the Hartley estate and Cornerstone estate communities. This is an important service for a growing community. Just as exciting is the acquisition of land for the proposed government secondary school in Wollahra along with funding for a new Ambulance Victoria branch and SES facility in Wyndham Vale. So I think it is fair to say that the Allan Labor government is continuing to deliver for the west. People want to live close to transport, schools and essential services, and this investment will deliver the kind of infrastructure that is in fact needed.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: HOUSING

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (14:30): Victoria is leading the nation in the build-to-rent market. State incentives are helping to expand rental options for people at all stages of life. We know that, as long as rental supply is low, rental prices will remain high. That is why we are approving and delivering more homes for renters in established suburbs close to jobs, transport and services. Eligible build-to-rent developments are prioritised for fast-track approvals, while those completed and operational from 2022 to 2031 will receive a 50 per cent land tax concession for up to 30 years and a full exemption from absentee owner surcharge. For the edification of those opposite, that is two tax cuts. As of last year, Melbourne was home to more than half of all build-to-rent projects completed in Australia and 83 per cent of the total number of units built. At the time, the Australian Financial Review described Melbourne as the only Australian city that will have developed a build-to-rent market of scale by 2030.   Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, who opposes housing in his own electorate, or the member for Brighton, who shamefully campaigned to close a boarding house for rough sleepers in his electorate, we are a government that actually want to deliver stable and affordable housing for Victorians. We acknowledge that this is a housing crisis in this country – that young people, or at least young people without a trust fund, are not getting the same opportunity to own their own property or get into secure affordable rentals the way the older generation did. Housing may just be the defining issue of our times, and this government is not going to shirk from the hard decisions. Instead we are going to keep delivering the housing outcomes that Victorians need and deserve, and build to rent, like our big build, is a vital part of that.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: HOUSING

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (14:30): Victoria is leading the nation in the build-to-rent market. State incentives are helping to expand rental options for people at all stages of life. We know that, as long as rental supply is low, rental prices will remain high. That is why we are approving and delivering more homes for renters in established suburbs close to jobs, transport and services. Eligible build-to-rent developments are prioritised for fast-track approvals, while those completed and operational from 2022 to 2031 will receive a 50 per cent land tax concession for up to 30 years and a full exemption from absentee owner surcharge. For the edification of those opposite, that is two tax cuts. As of last year, Melbourne was home to more than half of all build-to-rent projects completed in Australia and 83 per cent of the total number of units built. At the time, the Australian Financial Review described Melbourne as the only Australian city that will have developed a build-to-rent market of scale by 2030.   Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, who opposes housing in his own electorate, or the member for Brighton, who shamefully campaigned to close a boarding house for rough sleepers in his electorate, we are a government that actually want to deliver stable and affordable housing for Victorians. We acknowledge that this is a housing crisis in this country – that young people, or at least young people without a trust fund, are not getting the same opportunity to own their own property or get into secure affordable rentals the way the older generation did. Housing may just be the defining issue of our times, and this government is not going to shirk from the hard decisions. Instead we are going to keep delivering the housing outcomes that Victorians need and deserve, and build to rent, like our big build, is a vital part of that.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: ENERGY POLICY

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (14:36): I think I will take this as the Minister for Economic Growth if I can, because I am very excited that I can announce that last month I partnered with RayGen Resources on a $20 million investment from the state of Victoria to enable the state’s transition to clean sources of energy following the great leadership of our Minister for Energy and Resources.   RayGen has developed photovoltaic solar panels that generate nearly 2000 times more power than traditional solar systems under a concentrated beam of sunlight. Proudly a Victorian company, RayGen has been operating since 2015 at a test facility in Newbridge, which is in the member for Ripon’s electorate, while their flagship solar and storage project is in Mildura. While most solar panels used in Australia are made overseas, RayGen’s solar modules will be made in Victoria, with a new manufacturing facility under construction in Hawthorn East. It is not clear to me whether the member for Hawthorn supports this or opposes it, just like he opposes housing developments in his electorate.   We are supporting good ideas like RayGen’s energy storage solution, keeping our best and our brightest minds and ideas on home soil and creating jobs, good jobs for Victorians. The sun is indeed shining on Victoria’s job creation. More than half a million Victorians have secured employment since September 2020, and that was the height of the pandemic. We have created over 100,000 more jobs than any other state in the nation. The economic outlook for Victoria is also the most robust of all the states. Deloitte Access Economics has forecast that our economy will be the fastest growing in the nation over the next five years, so Victoria is leading the way.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: ENERGY POLICY

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (14:36): I think I will take this as the Minister for Economic Growth if I can, because I am very excited that I can announce that last month I partnered with RayGen Resources on a $20 million investment from the state of Victoria to enable the state’s transition to clean sources of energy following the great leadership of our Minister for Energy and Resources.   RayGen has developed photovoltaic solar panels that generate nearly 2000 times more power than traditional solar systems under a concentrated beam of sunlight. Proudly a Victorian company, RayGen has been operating since 2015 at a test facility in Newbridge, which is in the member for Ripon’s electorate, while their flagship solar and storage project is in Mildura. While most solar panels used in Australia are made overseas, RayGen’s solar modules will be made in Victoria, with a new manufacturing facility under construction in Hawthorn East. It is not clear to me whether the member for Hawthorn supports this or opposes it, just like he opposes housing developments in his electorate.   We are supporting good ideas like RayGen’s energy storage solution, keeping our best and our brightest minds and ideas on home soil and creating jobs, good jobs for Victorians. The sun is indeed shining on Victoria’s job creation. More than half a million Victorians have secured employment since September 2020, and that was the height of the pandemic. We have created over 100,000 more jobs than any other state in the nation. The economic outlook for Victoria is also the most robust of all the states. Deloitte Access Economics has forecast that our economy will be the fastest growing in the nation over the next five years, so Victoria is leading the way.