The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Werribee.

Across our nation – and around the world – the pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on health systems. From a sharp increase of critical COVID patients to disrupted care, resulting in longer hospital recovery time, the last two years have really knocked our health system around.

When we came to government, we put an end to the war on our paramedics. We took ambulance response times from the worst in our history to the best. Now – just like we did before – we’ll ease the pandemic pressure on our hospitals and our healthcare workers.

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 will invest over $12 billion to put patients first, with a Pandemic Repair Plan for more staff, better hospitals and first-class care.

Our healthcare workers have been on the frontline of this pandemic, and we know how important it is that we support them into the future.

We’re backing our healthcare workers with training and the extra pair of helping hands they need, so they can give you the very best care.

That’s why the Budget is delivering funding to train and hire up to 7,000 new healthcare workers, including 5,000 nurses.

We’ll provide 1,125 new Registered Undergraduate Nursing Positions and 75 new Registered Undergraduate Student of Midwifery roles over the next two years, and we’re also recruiting up to 2,000 ex-pat and international healthcare workers through a global workforce recruitment drive.

Right around the nation, demand for emergency services is at an all-time high. Our Triple Zero call-takers and dispatchers are dealing with unprecedented call volumes.

But when you call for an ambulance, every Victorian should have the confidence one will arrive. That’s why we’re delivering another 90 paramedics – which means we’ve added 790 extra paramedics to the workforce since we came to government.

And to help our frontline workers reach Victorians who need help faster, we’re investing $333 million to add nearly 400 new staff to increase Triple Zero call-taking and dispatch capacity for Triple Zero services, including ambulances, and training more operators to allocate calls across the state.

We’re also going to make sure that every local community gets the health infrastructure and services they deserve. That’s why this Budget invests $2.9 billion to build new hospitals and deliver upgrades to health services in every corner of our state. By expanding our emergency departments, adding more surgical beds to get more elective surgeries done and increasing maternity care services – this Budget will ensure more Victorians get the very best of care, close to home.

We’re also addressing significant demand for emergency services in our west by redeveloping and expanding the emergency department at Werribee Mercy Hospital as part of a $236 million package. This will ensure locals get the very best healthcare, while giving our nurses and ED staff, extra resources and rooms to treat more patients.

As we roll-out our Pandemic Repair Plan to make sure people in Werribee get the care they deserve, we’re also getting on with delivering the schools, roads and public transport services they rely on.

Local families deserve great local schools and in Werribee they will get them. We’re building three brand new schools in our growing community, Black Forest East Primary School (interim name), Lollypop Creek Secondary School (interim name) and Lollypop Creek Special School (interim name) receiving funding for construction, part of an overall budget package worth $527.233 million. This will give kids great classrooms for a great education – and at the same time creating local jobs to build them.

You can’t get a first-rate education, in a second-rate classroom. It’s why we’re going to upgrade Warringa Park School with $14.6 million to replace relocatable buildings with new permanent facilities at the Bethany Road and Warringa Park Crescent Campuses, because under an Andrews Labor Government, we’re giving every child the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

To make sure every young Victorian gets the education they need for the career they want, the new VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate will replace VCAL, offering students more choices, a higher-quality curriculum and better workplace experiences – preparing students to jump into further study, training at TAFE or work as soon as they leave school.

The VCAL reforms will save many Victorian families up to $1,000 by cutting out-of-pocket costs, with students no longer having to pay for essential learning materials for VET studies.

We’ll also keep supporting our growing suburbs, with an additional $50 million for our Growing Suburbs Fund so we can continue building health and wellbeing hubs, new parks, and community centres in our growing suburban and peri-urban communities.

We’re getting on with supporting our creative industries and artists in the West with a $2.4 million investment. As part of the Go West fund, creatives and community groups will be supported to hold festivals, family activities and performances and access more affordable creative spaces  – taking creativity to the next level, in the west.

Our local history is treasured and so should be protected. So this Budget provides $6 million to Werribee Park Mansion for major repairs, ensuring this historic local site is maintained and preserved for generations to come.

We know that many Victorians are still paying too much for their energy bills – that’s why we’re stepping in to help families get the best deal. We’re providing a once-off $250 payment for all Victorian households that use the Victorian Energy Compare (VEC) website – the Victorian Government’s independent price comparator website – to search for the cheapest electricity plan that suits their needs.

With this Budget, we’re getting on with delivering for all Victorians.

Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

“Our healthcare workers have worked incredibly hard to keep us safe and healthy these last few years. With this Budget, we’re backing in their hard work, investing in the extra pair of helping hands they need to keep looking after Victorians and their families.”

“With 48 schools built since 2019 under the Andrews Labor Government and 14 more under construction, we’re getting on with building even more – because we want every community have great schools, close to home.”