When the Andrews Labor Government was elected, we promised to put people first. As our state begins its recovery from the global pandemic, people will continue to be our priority.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 delivers on the investments that will see our community recover – and come back even stronger.

As kids get back into the classroom, this Budget delivers the single biggest investment ever in our schools – making sure students have the classrooms, libraries and learning spaces they deserve. This includes a $10.66 million upgrade for Woodville Primary School, with students to benefit from modernisation of Block A and Block B.

As we recover, we want our state to come back stronger than ever, delivering the biggest investment in inclusive education in our state’s history. This includes a $7.97 million upgrade for Warringa Park School, supporting students by delivering the next stage of the school’s masterplan. The Government’s investment will also support local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs.

A further $1.6 billion will transform support for students with disability, doubling the number of students receiving extra support to 55,000, and creating up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025.

The Labor Government is continuing to build the schools local families need. Land will be acquired for new local schools Holyoake Parade Primary School (interim name) and Lollypop Creek Primary School (interim name), giving families confidence about their kids’ future.

This Budget creates new morning and afternoon bus connections for students living in Wyndham Harbour at Werribee South to attend Alamanda College in Point Cook. This will make it easier for kids to get to and from school, while also making it easier for parents juggling work and care.

This Budget will also deliver $84 million to transform Werribee Zoo into Australia’s leading open range zoo – including building a new home for the city’s much-loved Asian elephant herd, currently housed at Melbourne Zoo. The expansion will create almost 350 local jobs – including 90 direct jobs looking after animals and visitors once the exhibits are up and running.

Our hospitals have been on the frontline of our response to the pandemic. This Budget helps keep them strong into the future with $4.8 million to plan for the future expansion of the Werribee Mercy Hospital, helping to meet the needs of our community. This investment is on top of the Labor Government’s $87 million Werribee Mercy Hospital critical care expansion completed in 2018.

The Budget also includes $272 million to build new law courts in Wyndham, including a new headquarter court with 13 courtrooms, four hearing rooms, three mediation suites, and a Specialist Family Violence Court.

The Budget will also deliver $2 billion towards Geelong Fast Rail, reducing travel times and supporting more passengers on our state’s busiest regional rail line. Once complete, it will mean fewer stops, faster trips and less crowded trains for locals. Most importantly, it’ll mean less time commuting – and more time spent with the people you love. The project will create 2,800 new jobs, while supporting thousands more with increased connections between Melbourne and Geelong.

This Budget recognises that as we grow, our infrastructure needs to grow too – that’s why we’re extending our Growing Suburbs Fund. On top of the $25 million boost earlier this year, an additional $50 million will help build new local facilities – from playgrounds to sporting pavilions – bringing communities together while also supporting local jobs.

As we recover from the pandemic, we’re committed to building back stronger and fairer, which is why the Budget includes funding to transform vacant rail buildings into a space for our community. Little River locals will benefit from the restoration of spaces at the Little River Station, building local connection and community.

To help get more Victorians back into work, the Labor Government is setting itself an ambitious target – creating 400,000 new jobs by 2025, half of them by 2022.

Our new Jobs for Victoria initiative will help locals find a new job – and with it, security, stability and certainty. This includes $250 million to partner with employers to cover the wages of at least 10,000 new workers. These positions will be for Victorians hardest hit by this pandemic, including women, young people, retrenched workers and people who have been long-term unemployed.

This investment will also deliver targeted and tailored support for those who need it – such as mentoring, career counselling or more intensive support.

And because we know too many Victorians are having to choose between going to work sick and losing wages, the Labor Government will invest $5 million to develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme. Once in place, the two-year pilot will provide up to five days of sick and carer’s pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries.

This year’s Budget will help nearly one million families save hundreds on their power bill. Concession card holders, such as Victorians receiving JobSeeker payments, will be eligible for a one-off $250 payment to help cover the cost of their energy bills.

An extra 250,000 low-income households will benefit from new more efficient heating and cooling, while heating, cooling or hot water systems will be upgraded across an extra 35,000 social housing homes – reducing bills for tenants and making winter and summer more comfortable.

The Labor Government’s Solar Homes will also be expanded to an extra 42,000 rooftop solar rebates plus 14,500 solar batteries, cutting power bills for local families. And for the very first time, small businesses will also be eligible.

We’re also delivering the biggest investment in public and community housing in Australia, ever. This investment will build more than 12,000 new homes – making sure thousands of Victorians have a place to call home, and thousands more Victorians have a job. The City of Wyndham is a priority area for investment, with procurement starting straight away to build new homes.

Even with kids back at school, the balancing act that many families know all too well isn’t easy. That’s why this Budget will make kinder free in 2021 and deliver outside school hours care at up to 400 extra schools, saving parents money and giving them greater flexibility when it comes to work and care.

This Budget will ensure Victorians have the mental health support they need as we get on with fixing a broken system. That includes nearly $870 million for mental health, including to implement the Royal Commission into Mental Health’s interim report findings and recommendations and deliver care for local families.

This is a Budget to repair, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget, and a Government, that puts people first.


Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

“This Budget delivers for our local community, now and into the future. We’re investing in local schools and planning for an even better Werribee Mercy Hospital for local families.”

“As a Government we understand, a secure, decent job provides financial security for you and the people you love. That’s why we’re making big investments to create new jobs and new opportunity for local families.”