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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Promoting Victoria’s Economy On The World Stage

Treasurer and Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas has embarked on an intensive two-week trip to North America to promote Victoria’s robust economy, trade and investment opportunities. The Treasurer is travelling to the United States and Canada to engage with key investors and government counterparts in the region, including major pension funds, ratings agencies and companies supporting our bilateral trade and investment. The United States is Victoria’s largest source of foreign direct investment valued at $1.2 billion in 2022-23 – and second largest trading partner, with total two-way merchandise trade in 2022-23 valued at $17.3 billion. Victoria’s trade and investment relationship is supported by the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement and diplomatic partnerships including the Quad and AUKUS. Canada is an increasingly important source of foreign direct investment in Victoria with two-way merchandise trade valued at $1 billion in 2022-23. While in the US, the Treasurer will meet with global credit ratings agencies including Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch to discuss global credit trends and promote Victoria’s strong economy and qualities as a leading financial services and global investment destination. The Treasurer will also attend engagements to discuss supply chain opportunities for Victorian manufacturing companies, as well as meetings to explore future workforce and skills development and drive the state’s thriving innovation ecosystem. Canadian pension funds are some of the largest in the world and have made significant investments in Australia. In Canada, meetings are scheduled with Canadian pension funds including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board and Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System. Victoria’s economy grew by 9.1 per cent over the past two years, stronger than New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania, with Deloitte Access Economics predicting Victoria will have the strongest economic growth in Australia over the next five years. Victoria’s business investment grew by more than 13 per cent last year, the largest increase of all the states, and almost 6 percentage points higher than in the rest of Australia. Quotes attributable to Treasurer and Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas "We're focused on attracting investment and trade because we know how important it is for local jobs.” “Our engagement with major global trading partners like the United States and Canada is crucial for Victoria's economic growth – strengthening these relationships will benefit our state for years to come.”

Promoting Victoria’s Economy On The World Stage

Treasurer and Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas has embarked on an intensive two-week trip to North America to promote Victoria’s robust economy, trade and investment opportunities. The Treasurer is travelling to the United States and Canada to engage with key investors and government counterparts in the region, including major pension funds, ratings agencies and companies supporting our bilateral trade and investment. The United States is Victoria’s largest source of foreign direct investment valued at $1.2 billion in 2022-23 – and second largest trading partner, with total two-way merchandise trade in 2022-23 valued at $17.3 billion. Victoria’s trade and investment relationship is supported by the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement and diplomatic partnerships including the Quad and AUKUS. Canada is an increasingly important source of foreign direct investment in Victoria with two-way merchandise trade valued at $1 billion in 2022-23. While in the US, the Treasurer will meet with global credit ratings agencies including Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch to discuss global credit trends and promote Victoria’s strong economy and qualities as a leading financial services and global investment destination. The Treasurer will also attend engagements to discuss supply chain opportunities for Victorian manufacturing companies, as well as meetings to explore future workforce and skills development and drive the state’s thriving innovation ecosystem. Canadian pension funds are some of the largest in the world and have made significant investments in Australia. In Canada, meetings are scheduled with Canadian pension funds including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board and Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System. Victoria’s economy grew by 9.1 per cent over the past two years, stronger than New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania, with Deloitte Access Economics predicting Victoria will have the strongest economic growth in Australia over the next five years. Victoria’s business investment grew by more than 13 per cent last year, the largest increase of all the states, and almost 6 percentage points higher than in the rest of Australia. Quotes attributable to Treasurer and Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas "We're focused on attracting investment and trade because we know how important it is for local jobs.” “Our engagement with major global trading partners like the United States and Canada is crucial for Victoria's economic growth – strengthening these relationships will benefit our state for years to come.”

Making More Life-Saving Medical Products Market Ready

The Allan Labor Government is supporting medical technology startups and scaleups to get their life-saving products into hospitals sooner – with new grants making it easier and more accessible for startups to enter the market. Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins today visited Melbourne-based medtech startup Livac to announce the recipients of the Labor Government’s Medtech Market Growth Program, with20 startups or scaleups set to receive a grant of $50,000 to access the services and resources they need to get their products to hospitals and healthcare providers. The funding is making it easier for medtech startups to determine product value and bridge the gap between the development of products and getting them into hospitals and healthcare services. The program is backing medtech startup Livac which has created an innovative medical device that helps safely retract the liver during surgery – making the procedure less invasive for patients and reducing trauma to the liver. We’re also supporting Tournicare, a medtech startupthat has created a new blood pressure monitor which can be used at home, replacing the old wrap around the arm design – changing the lives of thousands of Australians suffering from high blood pressure. The program is a collaboration between the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre and startup agency LaunchVic to increase the number of medtech startups in Victoria and create jobs in the state’s growing medtech sector, which is home to more than 660 companies employing more than 20,000 workers. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 invested $40 million over four years for LaunchVic to continue supporting startups and connecting them with stakeholders and investor networks. For more information about the recipients, visit launchvic.org. Quote attributable to Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins “Backing these startups will help create more high-skill, high-value local jobs while boosting our medtech credentials around the world.” Quote attributable to Minister for Medical Research Ben Carroll “This program is supporting startups and scaleups to get their innovative life-saving products to the hospitals and healthcare providers caring for Victorians.” Quote attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Medtech is one of the state’s fastest growing industries and by targeting startups and scaleups in this sector, we are boosting innovation and promoting our thriving startup ecosystem as a global destination for investment.” Quote attributable to LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick “HealthTech is Victoria’s joint-largest startup subsector, with over 500 companies active in the state employing just over 9,000 people. This program will ensure the sector's sustainable growth by helping startups with the skills, knowledge and resources they need to fast-track market growth locally and globally.”

Making More Life-Saving Medical Products Market Ready

The Allan Labor Government is supporting medical technology startups and scaleups to get their life-saving products into hospitals sooner – with new grants making it easier and more accessible for startups to enter the market. Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins today visited Melbourne-based medtech startup Livac to announce the recipients of the Labor Government’s Medtech Market Growth Program, with20 startups or scaleups set to receive a grant of $50,000 to access the services and resources they need to get their products to hospitals and healthcare providers. The funding is making it easier for medtech startups to determine product value and bridge the gap between the development of products and getting them into hospitals and healthcare services. The program is backing medtech startup Livac which has created an innovative medical device that helps safely retract the liver during surgery – making the procedure less invasive for patients and reducing trauma to the liver. We’re also supporting Tournicare, a medtech startupthat has created a new blood pressure monitor which can be used at home, replacing the old wrap around the arm design – changing the lives of thousands of Australians suffering from high blood pressure. The program is a collaboration between the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre and startup agency LaunchVic to increase the number of medtech startups in Victoria and create jobs in the state’s growing medtech sector, which is home to more than 660 companies employing more than 20,000 workers. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 invested $40 million over four years for LaunchVic to continue supporting startups and connecting them with stakeholders and investor networks. For more information about the recipients, visit launchvic.org. Quote attributable to Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins “Backing these startups will help create more high-skill, high-value local jobs while boosting our medtech credentials around the world.” Quote attributable to Minister for Medical Research Ben Carroll “This program is supporting startups and scaleups to get their innovative life-saving products to the hospitals and healthcare providers caring for Victorians.” Quote attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Medtech is one of the state’s fastest growing industries and by targeting startups and scaleups in this sector, we are boosting innovation and promoting our thriving startup ecosystem as a global destination for investment.” Quote attributable to LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick “HealthTech is Victoria’s joint-largest startup subsector, with over 500 companies active in the state employing just over 9,000 people. This program will ensure the sector's sustainable growth by helping startups with the skills, knowledge and resources they need to fast-track market growth locally and globally.”

Lollypop Creek Community Centre A Sweet Spot For Locals

A state-of-the-art community centre has officially opened in Werribee with recreational and kindergarten spaces catering for families in Melbourne’s growing west, thanks to support from the Allan Labor Government. Minister for Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny joined members of the local community to open the $10.5 million Lollypop Creek Community Centre. The new community centre features kindergarten rooms, multipurpose community and meeting rooms, maternal and child health consulting suites, community kitchen and café, staff offices, accessible amenities and outdoor spaces. It was designed to respond to the needs of the growing local community by providing an integrated family centre adjacent to open spaces and a retail precinct. The Labor Government providing a total of $3.8 million to the project through the Growing Suburbs Fund and the Building Blocks Infrastructure Program. The centre was jointly funded by the Labor Government, Wyndham City Council and developers. The Growing Suburbs Fund represents a $440 million Labor Government investment over 10 years and to date has provided more than $1.3 billion of critical local infrastructure in our fastest-growing suburbs. Find out more about the Growing Suburbs Fund at localgovernment.vic.gov.au/grants/growing-suburbs-fund. Quotes attributable to Minister for Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny “The new centre will be a game-changer for the growing community in Werribee, providing the community with a range of health and wellbeing facilities.”  “We’re investing in our growing suburbs across Victoria to ensure they have the quality services and facilities they need to thrive.” Quote attributable to Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn  “We are proud of our investment in this new community centre in Werribee which has just opened its doors, it will provide opportunities for families to make new friends, learn from each other and access support services.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This centre is going make a real difference, particularly to parents in Werribee who now have access to a world-class facility that provides kindy and child health consulting suites.”

Lollypop Creek Community Centre A Sweet Spot For Locals

A state-of-the-art community centre has officially opened in Werribee with recreational and kindergarten spaces catering for families in Melbourne’s growing west, thanks to support from the Allan Labor Government. Minister for Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny joined members of the local community to open the $10.5 million Lollypop Creek Community Centre. The new community centre features kindergarten rooms, multipurpose community and meeting rooms, maternal and child health consulting suites, community kitchen and café, staff offices, accessible amenities and outdoor spaces. It was designed to respond to the needs of the growing local community by providing an integrated family centre adjacent to open spaces and a retail precinct. The Labor Government providing a total of $3.8 million to the project through the Growing Suburbs Fund and the Building Blocks Infrastructure Program. The centre was jointly funded by the Labor Government, Wyndham City Council and developers. The Growing Suburbs Fund represents a $440 million Labor Government investment over 10 years and to date has provided more than $1.3 billion of critical local infrastructure in our fastest-growing suburbs. Find out more about the Growing Suburbs Fund at localgovernment.vic.gov.au/grants/growing-suburbs-fund. Quotes attributable to Minister for Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny “The new centre will be a game-changer for the growing community in Werribee, providing the community with a range of health and wellbeing facilities.”  “We’re investing in our growing suburbs across Victoria to ensure they have the quality services and facilities they need to thrive.” Quote attributable to Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn  “We are proud of our investment in this new community centre in Werribee which has just opened its doors, it will provide opportunities for families to make new friends, learn from each other and access support services.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This centre is going make a real difference, particularly to parents in Werribee who now have access to a world-class facility that provides kindy and child health consulting suites.”

Celebrating Victorian Startup Excellence

The best and brightest of Victoria’s dynamic startup ecosystem were celebrated last night – for their exceptional efforts creating innovative solutions in areas such as climate change and road safety. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas announced the winners of the third annual Governor of Victoria Startup Awards alongside the awards’ patron, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, celebrating excellence in the state’s $103 billion startup sector. The coveted prize for Startup of the Year was won by Digital Agriculture Services (DAS) for its satellite-mapping technology that can predict bushfire and disaster risk on rural properties from space. The platform is becoming a dominant player in the agriculture industry in the face of increasing risks related to climate change. Scaleup of the Year was awarded to Acusensus after raising $20 million through its IPO and ASX listing last year. The company builds AI into road safety cameras to detect distracted drivers and has expanded operations to include a USA manufacturing facility in Las Vegas and an outpost in the United Kingdom. HEX CEO and Co-Founder Jeanette Cheah was named Ecosystem Hero of the Year for her global advocacy work for Victorian startups, while joint winners were awarded for both Investor of the Year and Best Newcomer, signalling the breadth of talent in an ecosystem where the number of startups has more than tripled since 2017. Victoria is home to more than 3,500 startups, scaleups and unicorns which employ an estimated 56,000 people globally, including around 26,000 in Victoria. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 provided $40 million over four years for LaunchVic to continue supporting founders and startups, as well as enhance their access to capital by developing the sophistication of Victoria’s investor networks and leveraging government co-investment. For the list of winners and more about the awards, visit launchvic.org/governor-of-victoria-startup-awards. Quote attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “These awards celebrate the brilliant entrepreneurs, leaders and investors across our startup ecosystem, who are creating jobs, boosting the economy and contributing to Victoria’s reputation as an innovation powerhouse.” Quote attributable to Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, Governor of Victoria “It is a great pleasure to host these awards to recognise the ingenuity and determination shown by Victorians and to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in our state.” Quote attributable to LaunchVic CEO Kate Cornick “Victoria’s ecosystem is a melting pot of startup founders brave enough to start companies; community champions that advocate for the sector; and investors that provide the capital, networks and advice startups need to grow. It’s something we should be collectively proud of.”

Celebrating Victorian Startup Excellence

The best and brightest of Victoria’s dynamic startup ecosystem were celebrated last night – for their exceptional efforts creating innovative solutions in areas such as climate change and road safety. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas announced the winners of the third annual Governor of Victoria Startup Awards alongside the awards’ patron, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, celebrating excellence in the state’s $103 billion startup sector. The coveted prize for Startup of the Year was won by Digital Agriculture Services (DAS) for its satellite-mapping technology that can predict bushfire and disaster risk on rural properties from space. The platform is becoming a dominant player in the agriculture industry in the face of increasing risks related to climate change. Scaleup of the Year was awarded to Acusensus after raising $20 million through its IPO and ASX listing last year. The company builds AI into road safety cameras to detect distracted drivers and has expanded operations to include a USA manufacturing facility in Las Vegas and an outpost in the United Kingdom. HEX CEO and Co-Founder Jeanette Cheah was named Ecosystem Hero of the Year for her global advocacy work for Victorian startups, while joint winners were awarded for both Investor of the Year and Best Newcomer, signalling the breadth of talent in an ecosystem where the number of startups has more than tripled since 2017. Victoria is home to more than 3,500 startups, scaleups and unicorns which employ an estimated 56,000 people globally, including around 26,000 in Victoria. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 provided $40 million over four years for LaunchVic to continue supporting founders and startups, as well as enhance their access to capital by developing the sophistication of Victoria’s investor networks and leveraging government co-investment. For the list of winners and more about the awards, visit launchvic.org/governor-of-victoria-startup-awards. Quote attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “These awards celebrate the brilliant entrepreneurs, leaders and investors across our startup ecosystem, who are creating jobs, boosting the economy and contributing to Victoria’s reputation as an innovation powerhouse.” Quote attributable to Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, Governor of Victoria “It is a great pleasure to host these awards to recognise the ingenuity and determination shown by Victorians and to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in our state.” Quote attributable to LaunchVic CEO Kate Cornick “Victoria’s ecosystem is a melting pot of startup founders brave enough to start companies; community champions that advocate for the sector; and investors that provide the capital, networks and advice startups need to grow. It’s something we should be collectively proud of.”

MAKING BIG DIFFERENCE FOR WERRIBEE‘S TINIEST TOWN

The Allan Labor Government is backing more community-led projects in Werribee’s tiny towns, with more than 200 new initiatives set to make our smallest communities even better places to live, work, stay and play. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced a new project in Werribee is being delivered through the first round of the $20 million Tiny Towns Fund. From community halls to local sporting club upgrades, the fund is strengthening community connections and encouraging more visitors to all corners of Victoria. Wyndham City Council has received $50,000 to deliver a 20 ft container, to be placed nearby the Basketball Court and Skatepark at Possy Newland Reserve in Little River. The Container will be a space the Youth Services team and other stakeholders will be able to utilise to engage young people through sport and recreation in the region. The grant funds will go towards the purchasing of the container, painting of the container an awning extending to the exterior, a concrete slab to make the location permanent and earthworks preparation for the slab. The program’s first round is bringing to life more than 200 projects across our smallest regional and outer metropolitan towns, each with fewer than 5,000 residents. The successful projects celebrate each community’s local spirit and will drive visitation to these vibrant towns. From local hall upgrades to sports club renovations, community and non-profit groups and councils are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to get these community-driven projects off the ground. The Labor Government’s Tiny Towns Fund is just one of the ways we’re creating stronger communities, more tourism opportunities and backing more local jobs, with our $25 million Council Support Package also helping get shovel-ready projects off the ground in our regional cities and surrounding towns. The fund is a part of the Labor Government’s record $45 billion investment since 2014 in projects and programs that support regional and rural Victoria to be an even better place to live, work, stay and play. Our investments mean more locals have jobs close to home, more communities have the infrastructure they need to thrive, and more visitors can experience everything our regions have to offer. For more information visit rdv.vic.gov.au/tinytownsfund or suburbandevelopment.vic.gov.au/grants/tiny-towns-fund. Quotes attributable to Minister for Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny “We’re delivering important projects for communities to support locals and attract more visitors to our tiny towns.” “Whether it’s upgrading a much-loved attraction or creating a new public artwork, we’re pleased to support these vibrant towns right across Victoria.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas "The Tiny Towns Fund empowers small communities to thrive, ensuring projects that locals are passionate about can become a reality." “Congratulations to all of the funding recipients – these projects will contribute so much to local communities and unlock new reasons for people to visit, explore and live in our tiniest towns.”

MAKING BIG DIFFERENCE FOR WERRIBEE‘S TINIEST TOWN

The Allan Labor Government is backing more community-led projects in Werribee’s tiny towns, with more than 200 new initiatives set to make our smallest communities even better places to live, work, stay and play. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced a new project in Werribee is being delivered through the first round of the $20 million Tiny Towns Fund. From community halls to local sporting club upgrades, the fund is strengthening community connections and encouraging more visitors to all corners of Victoria. Wyndham City Council has received $50,000 to deliver a 20 ft container, to be placed nearby the Basketball Court and Skatepark at Possy Newland Reserve in Little River. The Container will be a space the Youth Services team and other stakeholders will be able to utilise to engage young people through sport and recreation in the region. The grant funds will go towards the purchasing of the container, painting of the container an awning extending to the exterior, a concrete slab to make the location permanent and earthworks preparation for the slab. The program’s first round is bringing to life more than 200 projects across our smallest regional and outer metropolitan towns, each with fewer than 5,000 residents. The successful projects celebrate each community’s local spirit and will drive visitation to these vibrant towns. From local hall upgrades to sports club renovations, community and non-profit groups and councils are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to get these community-driven projects off the ground. The Labor Government’s Tiny Towns Fund is just one of the ways we’re creating stronger communities, more tourism opportunities and backing more local jobs, with our $25 million Council Support Package also helping get shovel-ready projects off the ground in our regional cities and surrounding towns. The fund is a part of the Labor Government’s record $45 billion investment since 2014 in projects and programs that support regional and rural Victoria to be an even better place to live, work, stay and play. Our investments mean more locals have jobs close to home, more communities have the infrastructure they need to thrive, and more visitors can experience everything our regions have to offer. For more information visit rdv.vic.gov.au/tinytownsfund or suburbandevelopment.vic.gov.au/grants/tiny-towns-fund. Quotes attributable to Minister for Suburbs Sonya Kilkenny “We’re delivering important projects for communities to support locals and attract more visitors to our tiny towns.” “Whether it’s upgrading a much-loved attraction or creating a new public artwork, we’re pleased to support these vibrant towns right across Victoria.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas "The Tiny Towns Fund empowers small communities to thrive, ensuring projects that locals are passionate about can become a reality." “Congratulations to all of the funding recipients – these projects will contribute so much to local communities and unlock new reasons for people to visit, explore and live in our tiniest towns.”

GRANTS TO IMPROVE AND REFURBISH KINDERGARTENS IN WERRIBEE

The Allan Labor Government is providing funding to upgrade and improve early learning spaces with more than 1,248 kindergartens across Victoria to share in $28 million of funding to upgrade facilities and buy equipment. Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn announced the recipients of the latest round of Building Blocks grants. The grants will help make sure all Victorian children get the best start in life. Grants will be given to 123 kindergartens including 17 Kindergartens in Werribee which will receive a combined $125,430. Grants towards these projects including up to $750,000 for larger projects and $150,000 for smaller ones, will upgrade buildings and outdoor areas. An investment of $1.3 million will also deliver eight projects that improve buildings and playgrounds, making them more inclusive for children with disabilities and additional needs. The Building Blocks Program offers grants to contribute to kindergarten infrastructure and is critical to ensure the success of the roll-out of the Best Start, Best Life reforms across Victoria. Since the Labor Government launched it in 2020, Building Blocks has invested more than $200 million to plan and build new and improved early childhood services across the state. Through our nation-leading $14 billion Best Start, Best Life reforms, the Labor Government is transforming early childhood education to help children thrive, save families money and support parents – especially women – to return to work or study if they choose. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 delivered a new investment of $128.6 million to continue delivery of Best Start, Best Life, including Free Kinder, Pre-Prep, Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and Early Learning and Childcare Centres. For more information on the program and successful applicants visit schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services so our children can get the most out of great local kindergartens.” “These Building Blocks grants ensure hundreds of kindergartens have the facilities and equipment they need to give Victorian children a great start in life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Every child deserves a safe and inviting learning environment, that’s why the Government continues to invest in local kindergartens.”

GRANTS TO IMPROVE AND REFURBISH KINDERGARTENS IN WERRIBEE

The Allan Labor Government is providing funding to upgrade and improve early learning spaces with more than 1,248 kindergartens across Victoria to share in $28 million of funding to upgrade facilities and buy equipment. Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn announced the recipients of the latest round of Building Blocks grants. The grants will help make sure all Victorian children get the best start in life. Grants will be given to 123 kindergartens including 17 Kindergartens in Werribee which will receive a combined $125,430. Grants towards these projects including up to $750,000 for larger projects and $150,000 for smaller ones, will upgrade buildings and outdoor areas. An investment of $1.3 million will also deliver eight projects that improve buildings and playgrounds, making them more inclusive for children with disabilities and additional needs. The Building Blocks Program offers grants to contribute to kindergarten infrastructure and is critical to ensure the success of the roll-out of the Best Start, Best Life reforms across Victoria. Since the Labor Government launched it in 2020, Building Blocks has invested more than $200 million to plan and build new and improved early childhood services across the state. Through our nation-leading $14 billion Best Start, Best Life reforms, the Labor Government is transforming early childhood education to help children thrive, save families money and support parents – especially women – to return to work or study if they choose. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 delivered a new investment of $128.6 million to continue delivery of Best Start, Best Life, including Free Kinder, Pre-Prep, Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and Early Learning and Childcare Centres. For more information on the program and successful applicants visit schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services so our children can get the most out of great local kindergartens.” “These Building Blocks grants ensure hundreds of kindergartens have the facilities and equipment they need to give Victorian children a great start in life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Every child deserves a safe and inviting learning environment, that’s why the Government continues to invest in local kindergartens.”

Melbourne Remains Australia’s Best Student City

Melbourne has cemented its position as Australia’s best student city after the release of global rankings today highlighted the state’s unparalleled education opportunities, affordability, and cultural diversity. The results, released today by global higher education specialist Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranks Melbourne as the world’s fifth-best student city and solidifies the city as Australia’s top destination for international students. QS’s Best Student Cities index is based on affordability, quality of life, standard of universities and diversity. The index saw Victoria’s capital rise from third to first in the Student Mix indicator which assesses on-campus diversity, reflected in the state’s 287,000 international enrolments coming from around 175 countries to study in Victoria. Melbourne also ranks second for Student View, an indicator based on student experience across eight categories: tolerance and inclusion, diversity, friendliness, transport, affordability, nightlife, employment opportunities, arts and culture, and sustainability. Melbourne leads the nation in QS’ measure of employment and work experience opportunities, highlighting the city as a hub for jobs and industry, as well as the importance of international students to meet the state’s workforce demands. The Allan Labor Government is supporting Victorian universities to be the best in the world by providing $350 million to support universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure through the Vic-torian Higher Education State Investment Fund. Victoria’s outstanding education sector is home to two of Australia’s universities ranked in the top 50 of the QS Universities Rankings, with the University of Melbourne this year climbing higher to place 13th overall and reinforcing its position as Australia’s top ranked university, while Monash University rose to 37th from 42nd place globally. Last year, Melbourne also retained the title of Australia’s most liveable city in the Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Index and moved up to third in the world rankings, thanks to our world-class education, healthcare and infrastructure. International education is Victoria’s biggest services export, generating $14.8 billion in revenue in 2023 and supporting 63,000 jobs across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “It’s no surprise Melbourne has once again proven to be Australia’s top destination for international students. With unmatched education opportunities, a world-class cultural scene, and an inclusive community, we’ve cemented our position on the global stage.” “We will continue to invest in the international education sector, recognising its pivotal role in fostering economic growth through the diverse perspectives and innovative ideas brought by international students.”

Melbourne Remains Australia’s Best Student City

Melbourne has cemented its position as Australia’s best student city after the release of global rankings today highlighted the state’s unparalleled education opportunities, affordability, and cultural diversity. The results, released today by global higher education specialist Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranks Melbourne as the world’s fifth-best student city and solidifies the city as Australia’s top destination for international students. QS’s Best Student Cities index is based on affordability, quality of life, standard of universities and diversity. The index saw Victoria’s capital rise from third to first in the Student Mix indicator which assesses on-campus diversity, reflected in the state’s 287,000 international enrolments coming from around 175 countries to study in Victoria. Melbourne also ranks second for Student View, an indicator based on student experience across eight categories: tolerance and inclusion, diversity, friendliness, transport, affordability, nightlife, employment opportunities, arts and culture, and sustainability. Melbourne leads the nation in QS’ measure of employment and work experience opportunities, highlighting the city as a hub for jobs and industry, as well as the importance of international students to meet the state’s workforce demands. The Allan Labor Government is supporting Victorian universities to be the best in the world by providing $350 million to support universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure through the Vic-torian Higher Education State Investment Fund. Victoria’s outstanding education sector is home to two of Australia’s universities ranked in the top 50 of the QS Universities Rankings, with the University of Melbourne this year climbing higher to place 13th overall and reinforcing its position as Australia’s top ranked university, while Monash University rose to 37th from 42nd place globally. Last year, Melbourne also retained the title of Australia’s most liveable city in the Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Index and moved up to third in the world rankings, thanks to our world-class education, healthcare and infrastructure. International education is Victoria’s biggest services export, generating $14.8 billion in revenue in 2023 and supporting 63,000 jobs across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “It’s no surprise Melbourne has once again proven to be Australia’s top destination for international students. With unmatched education opportunities, a world-class cultural scene, and an inclusive community, we’ve cemented our position on the global stage.” “We will continue to invest in the international education sector, recognising its pivotal role in fostering economic growth through the diverse perspectives and innovative ideas brought by international students.”

Remanufacturing Facility A Win For Circular Economy

A new facility in Geelong is bringing new and sustainable remanufacturing to the Australian healthcare system, thanks to support from the Allan Labor Government. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas today opened the new manufacturing and R&D facility for the medical device remanufacturer Medsalv, which is expected to create 49 jobs over the next five years and help bolster local medical supply chains as well as exports to potential markets in the Asia Pacific and Europe. Last year, the Labor Government supported the extension of ManuFutures with a $10 million investment. Dubbed ‘ManuFutures 2’, the new facility enables businesses to access product engineering services, incubator programs and spaces for training and collaboration. The facility, located in ManuFutures at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus, will allow the company to remanufacture single-use medical devices from Australian hospitals locally for safe use. The process involves sorting, cleaning, testing, inspecting, packaging and relabelling of products to prevent them from going into landfill. The company’s product remanufacturing portfolio currently includes patient transfer mattresses, deep vein thrombosis prevention sleeves, blood pressure cuffs and tourniquets. This is set to expand through its R&D activity, which will investigate new methods and technologies for remanufacturing other single use medical devices. Being part of the ManuFutures Hub means Medsalv is in close proximity to other world leading advanced manufacturing businesses and university researchers, helping facilitate collaboration to develop, field test and make new products. The Allan Labor Government continues to work closely with the private sector. The Economic Growth Statement due out later this year will focus on growing workers’ real wages and household incomes – ensuring no Victorian is left behind as Victoria remains the best place in Australia to get a job and to grow a business. The Labor Government continues to back businesses by cutting taxes and red tape - with thousands of Victorian businesses set to benefit from our tax reforms from 1 July, saving businesses around $900 million over the next four years and delivering huge economic benefits to Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Congratulations to the Medsalv team on the opening of their new facility, which will deliver significant returns by bolstering our medical supply chains, providing jobs to those that need it most and will keep medical products out of landfill.” “Medsalv’s decision to establish their remanufacturing and R&D facility in Victoria demonstrates our standing as a leader in advanced manufacturing and healthcare innovation.” Quote attributable to Medsalv founder and CEO Oliver Hunt “This new facility in Geelong, our first in Australia, represents an exciting step in our drive to change healthcare for good; delivering our sector leading financial, environmental, and social sustainability benefits to more hospitals, through our next generation business model.” 

Remanufacturing Facility A Win For Circular Economy

A new facility in Geelong is bringing new and sustainable remanufacturing to the Australian healthcare system, thanks to support from the Allan Labor Government. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas today opened the new manufacturing and R&D facility for the medical device remanufacturer Medsalv, which is expected to create 49 jobs over the next five years and help bolster local medical supply chains as well as exports to potential markets in the Asia Pacific and Europe. Last year, the Labor Government supported the extension of ManuFutures with a $10 million investment. Dubbed ‘ManuFutures 2’, the new facility enables businesses to access product engineering services, incubator programs and spaces for training and collaboration. The facility, located in ManuFutures at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus, will allow the company to remanufacture single-use medical devices from Australian hospitals locally for safe use. The process involves sorting, cleaning, testing, inspecting, packaging and relabelling of products to prevent them from going into landfill. The company’s product remanufacturing portfolio currently includes patient transfer mattresses, deep vein thrombosis prevention sleeves, blood pressure cuffs and tourniquets. This is set to expand through its R&D activity, which will investigate new methods and technologies for remanufacturing other single use medical devices. Being part of the ManuFutures Hub means Medsalv is in close proximity to other world leading advanced manufacturing businesses and university researchers, helping facilitate collaboration to develop, field test and make new products. The Allan Labor Government continues to work closely with the private sector. The Economic Growth Statement due out later this year will focus on growing workers’ real wages and household incomes – ensuring no Victorian is left behind as Victoria remains the best place in Australia to get a job and to grow a business. The Labor Government continues to back businesses by cutting taxes and red tape - with thousands of Victorian businesses set to benefit from our tax reforms from 1 July, saving businesses around $900 million over the next four years and delivering huge economic benefits to Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas “Congratulations to the Medsalv team on the opening of their new facility, which will deliver significant returns by bolstering our medical supply chains, providing jobs to those that need it most and will keep medical products out of landfill.” “Medsalv’s decision to establish their remanufacturing and R&D facility in Victoria demonstrates our standing as a leader in advanced manufacturing and healthcare innovation.” Quote attributable to Medsalv founder and CEO Oliver Hunt “This new facility in Geelong, our first in Australia, represents an exciting step in our drive to change healthcare for good; delivering our sector leading financial, environmental, and social sustainability benefits to more hospitals, through our next generation business model.” 

 

SHAPING THE FUTURE THROUGH YOUTH FEST GRANTS

The Allan Labor Government is supporting young people across Victoria with grants for youth-led events and activities throughout September as part of Youth Fest 2024. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas announced that Orygen and Wyndham City Council Youth Services are recipients of $2,000 each in grants to host events and activities led by and for young people in Werribee as part of Youth Fest 2024, to be held in September this year. The Labor Government is delivering $220,000 in grants for 110 recipients. Successful recipients include schools, local government, and community organisations, who will each receive a grant of up to $2000 to create exciting and interactive events for young people across Victoria. More than half of this year’s Youth Fest events will take place in Melbourne with activities in Dallas, Hoppers Crossing, Collingwood, and Berwick. Events will also take place in regional and rural locations across the state, including Bendigo, Cowes, East Gippsland, Swan Hill, Horsham, Mildura, and Daylesford. Activities in Melbourne include a clothes swap at headspace Melton to encourage social inclusion, a youth-led free basketball and soccer competition at Malahang Reserve in West Heidelberg and an Arts Festival celebrating the diverse talents of young people with disabilities in the municipality of Hume. Funding will also support the return of the Hilltop Music Festival, showcasing the musical talents of Monbulk College students. The school is looking to build on the success of the first Hilltop Music Festival which sold 660 tickets and had two stages with over 23 acts performing. Youth Fest will be held in September, with the Labor Government’s investment supporting young people to organise and deliver events, showcase their skills, share ideas, build social connections, and expand their networks. The Labor Government has funded the delivery of more than 400 Youth Fest events over the past four years. Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Natalie Suleyman “We are supporting Victoria’s young people to showcase their unique ideas, talents and skills.” “Youth Fest grants provide an important opportunity for young people to have their voices heard in their local communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The young people of Victoria are inspiring and talented, I’m happy we can support them share their talents with the community. “I look forward to seeing what innovative events the grant recipients create across Victoria”.

SHAPING THE FUTURE THROUGH YOUTH FEST GRANTS

The Allan Labor Government is supporting young people across Victoria with grants for youth-led events and activities throughout September as part of Youth Fest 2024. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas announced that Orygen and Wyndham City Council Youth Services are recipients of $2,000 each in grants to host events and activities led by and for young people in Werribee as part of Youth Fest 2024, to be held in September this year. The Labor Government is delivering $220,000 in grants for 110 recipients. Successful recipients include schools, local government, and community organisations, who will each receive a grant of up to $2000 to create exciting and interactive events for young people across Victoria. More than half of this year’s Youth Fest events will take place in Melbourne with activities in Dallas, Hoppers Crossing, Collingwood, and Berwick. Events will also take place in regional and rural locations across the state, including Bendigo, Cowes, East Gippsland, Swan Hill, Horsham, Mildura, and Daylesford. Activities in Melbourne include a clothes swap at headspace Melton to encourage social inclusion, a youth-led free basketball and soccer competition at Malahang Reserve in West Heidelberg and an Arts Festival celebrating the diverse talents of young people with disabilities in the municipality of Hume. Funding will also support the return of the Hilltop Music Festival, showcasing the musical talents of Monbulk College students. The school is looking to build on the success of the first Hilltop Music Festival which sold 660 tickets and had two stages with over 23 acts performing. Youth Fest will be held in September, with the Labor Government’s investment supporting young people to organise and deliver events, showcase their skills, share ideas, build social connections, and expand their networks. The Labor Government has funded the delivery of more than 400 Youth Fest events over the past four years. Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Natalie Suleyman “We are supporting Victoria’s young people to showcase their unique ideas, talents and skills.” “Youth Fest grants provide an important opportunity for young people to have their voices heard in their local communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The young people of Victoria are inspiring and talented, I’m happy we can support them share their talents with the community. “I look forward to seeing what innovative events the grant recipients create across Victoria”.

Robust Economy Bolsters Victorian Jobs Momentum

The Allan Labor Government is continuing to drive jobs creation, with employment hitting a new record high. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today show that more than 18,000 Victorians found work in May, pushing the total number of Victorians in jobs to more than 3.7 million. The unemployment rate is a low 4.4 per cent. Almost than 600,000 new jobs have been created in Victoria since September 2020, cementing its status as the nation’s top job creator during this time. Workforce momentum is strong in regional Victoria where previous ABS data shows almost 840,000 Victorians are in jobs – the most ever – while the regional unemployment rate is a historically low 3.8 per cent. Almost 820,000 new Victorian jobs have been created since the Labor Government was elected nearly 10 years ago. Victoria’s 67.8 per cent workforce participation rate is at an all-time high and the 64.8 per cent share of working-age Victorians in jobs is just shy of record levels, with both above national average rates. Separate ABS data shows Victorian goods and services export volumes surged by 5.2 per cent to almost $17 billion during the March quarter, with a strong 16.6 per cent growth over the year. Victoria’s economy grew by 9.1 per cent over the past two years, outpacing New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania, with Deloitte Access Economics predicting Victoria will spearhead economic growth among all states in the next five years. Victoria’s business investment grew by more than 13 per cent last year, outpacing the rest of the country by nearly 6 percentage points, as an ABS survey points to continued business investment growth in 2024-25. Even though a record number of Victorians are in work, the Government is continuing to take action to support a growing and productive economy and will release an Economic Growth Statement later this year. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “Our number one priority is protecting and creating jobs and today’s ABS results show that our strong and stable financial management remains firmly on track, despite global economic challenges.” “We will continue to back Victorian businesses and communities by supporting jobs growth momentum to provide Victorian families with a high level of workplace security, options and opportunity.”

Robust Economy Bolsters Victorian Jobs Momentum

The Allan Labor Government is continuing to drive jobs creation, with employment hitting a new record high. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today show that more than 18,000 Victorians found work in May, pushing the total number of Victorians in jobs to more than 3.7 million. The unemployment rate is a low 4.4 per cent. Almost than 600,000 new jobs have been created in Victoria since September 2020, cementing its status as the nation’s top job creator during this time. Workforce momentum is strong in regional Victoria where previous ABS data shows almost 840,000 Victorians are in jobs – the most ever – while the regional unemployment rate is a historically low 3.8 per cent. Almost 820,000 new Victorian jobs have been created since the Labor Government was elected nearly 10 years ago. Victoria’s 67.8 per cent workforce participation rate is at an all-time high and the 64.8 per cent share of working-age Victorians in jobs is just shy of record levels, with both above national average rates. Separate ABS data shows Victorian goods and services export volumes surged by 5.2 per cent to almost $17 billion during the March quarter, with a strong 16.6 per cent growth over the year. Victoria’s economy grew by 9.1 per cent over the past two years, outpacing New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania, with Deloitte Access Economics predicting Victoria will spearhead economic growth among all states in the next five years. Victoria’s business investment grew by more than 13 per cent last year, outpacing the rest of the country by nearly 6 percentage points, as an ABS survey points to continued business investment growth in 2024-25. Even though a record number of Victorians are in work, the Government is continuing to take action to support a growing and productive economy and will release an Economic Growth Statement later this year. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “Our number one priority is protecting and creating jobs and today’s ABS results show that our strong and stable financial management remains firmly on track, despite global economic challenges.” “We will continue to back Victorian businesses and communities by supporting jobs growth momentum to provide Victorian families with a high level of workplace security, options and opportunity.”

Reducing Homelessness Through Early Intervention

The Allan Labor Government is targeting family violence and homelessness through a record investment in early intervention programs. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 invests $1.1 billion in 28 early intervention programs through the Government’s Early Intervention Investment Framework (EIIF), building on $2.7 billion of funding over the past four years. This investment will fund the expansion of Sacred Heart Mission’s highly successful Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) – one of Victoria’s most effective programs targeting chronic homelessness. J2SI provides three years of extensive support to help vulnerable Victorians improve their mental health, resolve substance abuse issues, and make strong community connections so they can end their homelessness for good. The expanded J2SI program will improve lives and deliver estimated benefits of up to $80 million in avoided costs over the next decade through reduced hospital admissions, crisis accommodation and mental health services. Investment in early intervention programs means less demand on hospitals, prisons and homelessness and family violence services, with savings from EIIF reinvested in future EIIF programs. The EIIF investment in the Victorian Budget 2024/25 includes $167.5 million to address family violence, reducing pressure on services, as well as $196.9 million for homelessness prevention. Quote attributable to Minister for Housing Harriet Shing “We know that vulnerable people with often very complex needs are best supported with both housing and wraparound support - this is how we make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.” Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “Prevention is better than cure – we are supporting early intervention programs that reduce demand for crisis services and help Victorians build better lives.” Quote attributable to Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor “The Journey to Social Inclusion started as a pilot in St Kilda – I’m proud that with our support it has grown to be one of Victoria’s most effective programs targeting chronic homelessness.” Quote attributable to Sacred Heart Mission CEO Hang Vo “Our approach, combined with ongoing support from the Victorian Government’s crucial Early Intervention Investment Framework, enables people to access and sustain safe and secure housing and rebuild their lives.” Quote attributable to J2SI participant ‘Terri’ “J2SI was a game changer. Investing three years may seem like a lot but it’s nothing to turn around a life. It’s a great investment for me to return to the community, to reconnect with my family.”

Reducing Homelessness Through Early Intervention

The Allan Labor Government is targeting family violence and homelessness through a record investment in early intervention programs. The Victorian Budget 2024/25 invests $1.1 billion in 28 early intervention programs through the Government’s Early Intervention Investment Framework (EIIF), building on $2.7 billion of funding over the past four years. This investment will fund the expansion of Sacred Heart Mission’s highly successful Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) – one of Victoria’s most effective programs targeting chronic homelessness. J2SI provides three years of extensive support to help vulnerable Victorians improve their mental health, resolve substance abuse issues, and make strong community connections so they can end their homelessness for good. The expanded J2SI program will improve lives and deliver estimated benefits of up to $80 million in avoided costs over the next decade through reduced hospital admissions, crisis accommodation and mental health services. Investment in early intervention programs means less demand on hospitals, prisons and homelessness and family violence services, with savings from EIIF reinvested in future EIIF programs. The EIIF investment in the Victorian Budget 2024/25 includes $167.5 million to address family violence, reducing pressure on services, as well as $196.9 million for homelessness prevention. Quote attributable to Minister for Housing Harriet Shing “We know that vulnerable people with often very complex needs are best supported with both housing and wraparound support - this is how we make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.” Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “Prevention is better than cure – we are supporting early intervention programs that reduce demand for crisis services and help Victorians build better lives.” Quote attributable to Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor “The Journey to Social Inclusion started as a pilot in St Kilda – I’m proud that with our support it has grown to be one of Victoria’s most effective programs targeting chronic homelessness.” Quote attributable to Sacred Heart Mission CEO Hang Vo “Our approach, combined with ongoing support from the Victorian Government’s crucial Early Intervention Investment Framework, enables people to access and sustain safe and secure housing and rebuild their lives.” Quote attributable to J2SI participant ‘Terri’ “J2SI was a game changer. Investing three years may seem like a lot but it’s nothing to turn around a life. It’s a great investment for me to return to the community, to reconnect with my family.”

10,000 SUPPORTED AS PHARMACY PILOT PASSES HALFWAY MARK

More than 10,000 consultations have been delivered as part of the Allan Labor Government’s Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot – ensuring Victorians are getting the basic care they need, without having to wait to get an appointment with a busy local doctor. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas is proud that nine of the 766 participating pharmacies are here in Werribee– with the pilot helping locals as it passes the halfway mark. Women are benefitting the most from this fast and affordable everyday healthcare – with more than 5,290 consultations delivered for the treatment of an uncomplicated urinary tract infection and 3,160 for a resupply of the oral contraceptive pill. Additionally, more than 2,200 Victorians have been able to easily access travel health and other vaccines. Treatment for shingles and flare ups of mild plaque psoriasis were added to the pilot in February this year. The pilot is making it easier for Werribee residents to seek the care or advice they need, with 27 per cent of participating pharmacies and more than 20 per cent of total consultations delivered in regional Victoria. With five months left of the pilot, eligible pharmacies are still able to join the pilot with no cap on the number of pharmacies that can join. Backed by a $20 million investment – the pilot is making it easier for people to access care without having to repeatedly visit a GP, helping to free up appointments for those who need them and give more viable alternatives than delaying care, going to an emergency department or calling Triple Zero. It is a clear winner with Victorians – 97 per cent reporting they are satisfied with the service they received and most stating they did not need to seek further healthcare. The 12-month pilot is guided by experts and clinical groups representing the pharmacy and medical professions –at its conclusion, the pilot will be evaluated, and any recommendations will inform longer-term decision making. The pilot is just one in a suite of initiatives the Labor Government is undertaking to improve access to timely care, including establishing 29 Priority Primary Care Centres and the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department. More information is available at betterhealth.vic.gov.au/services-support/community-pharmacist-pilot. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas “Our Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot is giving Victorians more choice in how they get access care – making accessing everyday healthcare simple and affordable.” “Women are overwhelmingly reaping the benefits of this pilot, making what has previously been a difficult process to access basic care - a simple and cost effective one.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Alongside our other initiatives to reduce demand on our hospitals, this pilot is making it easier and cheaper for locals in Werribee to get the care they need.”

10,000 SUPPORTED AS PHARMACY PILOT PASSES HALFWAY MARK

More than 10,000 consultations have been delivered as part of the Allan Labor Government’s Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot – ensuring Victorians are getting the basic care they need, without having to wait to get an appointment with a busy local doctor. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas is proud that nine of the 766 participating pharmacies are here in Werribee– with the pilot helping locals as it passes the halfway mark. Women are benefitting the most from this fast and affordable everyday healthcare – with more than 5,290 consultations delivered for the treatment of an uncomplicated urinary tract infection and 3,160 for a resupply of the oral contraceptive pill. Additionally, more than 2,200 Victorians have been able to easily access travel health and other vaccines. Treatment for shingles and flare ups of mild plaque psoriasis were added to the pilot in February this year. The pilot is making it easier for Werribee residents to seek the care or advice they need, with 27 per cent of participating pharmacies and more than 20 per cent of total consultations delivered in regional Victoria. With five months left of the pilot, eligible pharmacies are still able to join the pilot with no cap on the number of pharmacies that can join. Backed by a $20 million investment – the pilot is making it easier for people to access care without having to repeatedly visit a GP, helping to free up appointments for those who need them and give more viable alternatives than delaying care, going to an emergency department or calling Triple Zero. It is a clear winner with Victorians – 97 per cent reporting they are satisfied with the service they received and most stating they did not need to seek further healthcare. The 12-month pilot is guided by experts and clinical groups representing the pharmacy and medical professions –at its conclusion, the pilot will be evaluated, and any recommendations will inform longer-term decision making. The pilot is just one in a suite of initiatives the Labor Government is undertaking to improve access to timely care, including establishing 29 Priority Primary Care Centres and the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department. More information is available at betterhealth.vic.gov.au/services-support/community-pharmacist-pilot. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas “Our Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot is giving Victorians more choice in how they get access care – making accessing everyday healthcare simple and affordable.” “Women are overwhelmingly reaping the benefits of this pilot, making what has previously been a difficult process to access basic care - a simple and cost effective one.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Alongside our other initiatives to reduce demand on our hospitals, this pilot is making it easier and cheaper for locals in Werribee to get the care they need.”

BOOST FOR SPORTING CLUBS

The Allan Labor Government is backing Werribee’s sporting clubs to break down barriers to participation and get more community members involved in local sport. Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence recently announced the latest recipients of the Sporting Club Grants Program with more than 400 grants of up to $4,000 going to local clubs across the state including here in Werribee. The Sporting Club Grants Program provides grants to clubs for uniforms and equipment that improve accessibility and engagement, projects that strengthen volunteering and officiating, new sport or recreation programs to inspire more people to get involved, and support for athlete travel to competitions. Werribee recipients include: Inspirafit Inc received $823.90 to deliver first aid kits, training football jerseys and equipment with goalkeeper kits. Werribee and District Anglers Club Ind received $1,000.00 to deliver new uniforms. Werribee Districts Football Club Inc received $1,000.00 to deliver new goal post padding for secondary ground. Werribee Masters Football Club received $1,000.00 to deliver new jerseys. In this round, the program is also investing in local athletes to help them represent Victoria on the world stage. The Australian Deaf Sports Federation received $3,000 for the travel and accommodation costs of four Victorian athletes representing Australia at the 2024 World Deaf Golf Championships in August. Since 2015 the Sporting Club Grants Program has invested more than $16.7 million to support thousands of community sport and recreation clubs across the state, helping grow grassroots sport and recreation and ensuring clubs have the skills and resources they need to succeed. For more information on the grants and a full list of recipients visit sport.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence “We’re backing more clubs, volunteers and athletes across Victoria with grants to help them grow participation and serve their community in a way that matters to locals.” “These grants are opening up a range of opportunities on and off the field and ensuring clubs have the resources they need to encourage everyone to get involved in grassroots sport.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “These grants are a massive boost for Werribee clubs and will support the purchase of new uniforms and equipment, helping the clubs to remove the barriers restricting locals from getting involved in sport.”

BOOST FOR SPORTING CLUBS

The Allan Labor Government is backing Werribee’s sporting clubs to break down barriers to participation and get more community members involved in local sport. Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence recently announced the latest recipients of the Sporting Club Grants Program with more than 400 grants of up to $4,000 going to local clubs across the state including here in Werribee. The Sporting Club Grants Program provides grants to clubs for uniforms and equipment that improve accessibility and engagement, projects that strengthen volunteering and officiating, new sport or recreation programs to inspire more people to get involved, and support for athlete travel to competitions. Werribee recipients include: Inspirafit Inc received $823.90 to deliver first aid kits, training football jerseys and equipment with goalkeeper kits. Werribee and District Anglers Club Ind received $1,000.00 to deliver new uniforms. Werribee Districts Football Club Inc received $1,000.00 to deliver new goal post padding for secondary ground. Werribee Masters Football Club received $1,000.00 to deliver new jerseys. In this round, the program is also investing in local athletes to help them represent Victoria on the world stage. The Australian Deaf Sports Federation received $3,000 for the travel and accommodation costs of four Victorian athletes representing Australia at the 2024 World Deaf Golf Championships in August. Since 2015 the Sporting Club Grants Program has invested more than $16.7 million to support thousands of community sport and recreation clubs across the state, helping grow grassroots sport and recreation and ensuring clubs have the skills and resources they need to succeed. For more information on the grants and a full list of recipients visit sport.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence “We’re backing more clubs, volunteers and athletes across Victoria with grants to help them grow participation and serve their community in a way that matters to locals.” “These grants are opening up a range of opportunities on and off the field and ensuring clubs have the resources they need to encourage everyone to get involved in grassroots sport.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “These grants are a massive boost for Werribee clubs and will support the purchase of new uniforms and equipment, helping the clubs to remove the barriers restricting locals from getting involved in sport.”

WYNDHAM PARK TOOL LIBRARY

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (09:40): I rise to update the house on the new Wyndham Park tool library, recently opened in my electorate. The library was made possible with $91,900 delivered through Sustainability Victoria with additional support from Wyndham City Council and Wyndham Park Community Centre. The library allows local residents to borrow up to 400 items for a low annual fee. As some people in this place may have twigged, I know a tool when I see one. The Wyndham Park tool library includes a wide array of garden tools, woodworking and carpentry tools, artists’ tools, construction tools, camping equipment and more. This initiative not only promotes sustainability by encouraging the sharing and reuse of tools but also fosters a sense of community amongst residents.   I would like to thank Wyndham mayor Jennie Barrera, who joined me to cut the ribbon, as well as Lyn Mackay, a volunteer who assists with the running of the library. This library would not be possible without the incredible work of volunteers such as Lyn. Thank you also to Dan Schultheis and Ian Fenton, the community shed and tool library manager and centre manager respectively, for their good work. Libraries like this are the glue or perhaps more appropriately the heavy-duty liquid nails that hold communities together. I look forward to seeing the library grow and to borrowing a tool now and again and encourage others to do so.

WYNDHAM PARK TOOL LIBRARY

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (09:40): I rise to update the house on the new Wyndham Park tool library, recently opened in my electorate. The library was made possible with $91,900 delivered through Sustainability Victoria with additional support from Wyndham City Council and Wyndham Park Community Centre. The library allows local residents to borrow up to 400 items for a low annual fee. As some people in this place may have twigged, I know a tool when I see one. The Wyndham Park tool library includes a wide array of garden tools, woodworking and carpentry tools, artists’ tools, construction tools, camping equipment and more. This initiative not only promotes sustainability by encouraging the sharing and reuse of tools but also fosters a sense of community amongst residents.   I would like to thank Wyndham mayor Jennie Barrera, who joined me to cut the ribbon, as well as Lyn Mackay, a volunteer who assists with the running of the library. This library would not be possible without the incredible work of volunteers such as Lyn. Thank you also to Dan Schultheis and Ian Fenton, the community shed and tool library manager and centre manager respectively, for their good work. Libraries like this are the glue or perhaps more appropriately the heavy-duty liquid nails that hold communities together. I look forward to seeing the library grow and to borrowing a tool now and again and encourage others to do so.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: EMPLOYMENT

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (14:21): It gives me great pleasure to announce to the house the updated and stellar performance that the state of Victoria has had in terms of jobs growth. Victorian employment rose by 10,000 new jobs in April, taking the increase in employment over the past year to more than 117,000 ‍new jobs. The number of Victorians employed has increased by over 570,000 jobs since September 2020. That is the highest growth in jobs in the nation both in percentage terms and in absolute terms. This has smashed the government’s jobs target of 400,000 jobs by 2025. This means that we have an all-time high in the number of Victorians in employment.   The visitor economy sector has also enjoyed its share of growth over this time. According to the latest figures, tourism in Victoria generated 257,500 filled jobs and contributed $28.2 billion to the economy in gross state product in 2022–23. Businesses and workers are flocking to Victoria, and it is very clear why they are doing it. The most recent ABS statistics show that Victoria created 90,000 new businesses since 2021 alone, more than any other state, and 170,000 businesses since coming to government. Indeed following the difficulties of the pandemic nearly 100,000 new jobs in the tourism sector were created in 2022–23 alone. Those opposite managed, for the whole state of Victoria in their entire term of government – get this – 11,000 new jobs. That is how pathetic they were as economic managers.

MINISTERS STATEMENTS: EMPLOYMENT

Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (14:21): It gives me great pleasure to announce to the house the updated and stellar performance that the state of Victoria has had in terms of jobs growth. Victorian employment rose by 10,000 new jobs in April, taking the increase in employment over the past year to more than 117,000 ‍new jobs. The number of Victorians employed has increased by over 570,000 jobs since September 2020. That is the highest growth in jobs in the nation both in percentage terms and in absolute terms. This has smashed the government’s jobs target of 400,000 jobs by 2025. This means that we have an all-time high in the number of Victorians in employment.   The visitor economy sector has also enjoyed its share of growth over this time. According to the latest figures, tourism in Victoria generated 257,500 filled jobs and contributed $28.2 billion to the economy in gross state product in 2022–23. Businesses and workers are flocking to Victoria, and it is very clear why they are doing it. The most recent ABS statistics show that Victoria created 90,000 new businesses since 2021 alone, more than any other state, and 170,000 businesses since coming to government. Indeed following the difficulties of the pandemic nearly 100,000 new jobs in the tourism sector were created in 2022–23 alone. Those opposite managed, for the whole state of Victoria in their entire term of government – get this – 11,000 new jobs. That is how pathetic they were as economic managers.

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.”