The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promises to Bendigo West with major investments in local schools, health and transport in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

As part of a massive $1.8 billion investment in schools around the state, this year’s Budget includes $6.4 million to make sure students at Marong Primary School have the learning spaces they deserve, delivering a new multi-purpose Performing Arts Centre, repurposing buildings for Outside of School Hours Care, and reconfiguring office space for a general purpose classroom and staff lounge.

Students and teachers at Winters Flat Primary School are also set to benefit from this year’s Budget, with the Labor Government delivering $2.92 million towards replacing older buildings with new architecturally-designed permanent modular buildings.

A further $58 million will expand School Breakfast Clubs and make sure more kids are learning on a full stomach. Building on the existing program, which provides free breakfasts in 500 schools across our state, this investment will see free breakfasts and lunches served up to students at 1000 primary and secondary schools every school day.

The Labor Government is determined to make sure our kids are ready for school and set for life, delivering on our commitment to begin the rollout of universal three-year-old kinder.

Thanks to a $882 million Budget investment, we will ensure that every three-year-old has access to at least five hours per week of subsidised kinder by 2022 – increasing to 15 hours per week.

A further $28.5 million will see early childhood added to the list of Free TAFE courses, reducing financial barriers for students, encouraging enrolments and supporting the Labor Government’s rollout of universal three-year-old kinder.

This year’s Budget also includes $33.6 million to build, expand and improve local kindergarten facilities. With funding provided to local councils and eligible providers, this investment will make sure our kids are getting the best start in life.

Students right across the state will have a brighter smile, thanks to the Labor Government’s rollout of free dental care at all public primary and secondary schools.

This year’s Budget begins that rollout, investing $321.9 million and delivering on our promise to bring back dental vans. This investment will save families around $400 a year per child in dental costs, as well as saving parents the inconvenience of taking time off work for appointments. Once fully rolled out, this initiative will also free up more than 100,000 places in the public dental care system each year.

Because every Victorian should be able to get the care they need when they need it, this year’s Budget boosts the numbers paramedics across the state as well as investing $59.5 million to build a new rehabilitation centre at Bendigo Hospital.

Bendigo’s new rehabilitation centre will ensure patients recovering from accidents, injuries and illnesses will have access to the very best care close to home. The new centre will bring together health services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, speech therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, clinical psychology and neuropsychology.

Under this year’s Budget, local patients will benefit from an extra 27,000 dedicated appointments with medical specialists. With a $136 million investment to deliver an extra 500,000 appointments across regional communities, this will help ensure patients don’t have to spend hours away from loved ones to access specialist care.

The Labor Government will establish a new parenting centre in Bendigo, part of a $213.7 million Budget investment to provide extra support to new mums and dads.

One of nine across the state, the brand-new Bendigo parenting centre will help make sure new mums and dads can get the advice they need, including support with sleeping, feeding and extra care for babies with additional needs.

Delivering on a key election commitment for one of Victoria’s fastest growing regional cities, this year’s Budget invests $49.6 million towards the next stage of Bendigo Metro. Creating up to 150 jobs, this project enables planning to begin on the reopening of Harcourt Station and the upgrade of the track on the Bendigo line between Bendigo and Kyneton to allow trains every 40 minutes during off peak times.

Continuing the transformation of central Bendigo, this year’s Budget invests $152.4 million for a multi-jurisdictional court facility for Bendigo and the wider region giving the community the safe and modern facilities they need, while creating hundreds of local jobs.

Our young athletes will be one step closer to becoming the next basketball legends, thanks to a brand-new high-performance basketball hub in Bendigo. One of seven across our state, this year’s Budget includes funding to establish the hub, giving local kids access to the very best training programs with a clear pathway to playing elite level basketball.

Our sporting clubs are the heart and soul of our community. With this Budget, the Labor Government is ensuring local sporting stars have the facilities they deserve, with $330,000 to deliver stage 1 of the masterplan and towards the installation of a new synthetic green for the Kangaroo Flat Bowling Club.

We promised to put power back in the hands of Victorians. And through our landmark Solar Homes program that’s exactly what we’re doing.

This year’s Budget delivers on the Labor Government’s positive plan for solar, investing $1.3 billion to make sure more Victorians can take control and cut their power bills. This includes rolling out solar panels, solar hot water or solar batteries to 770,000 homes over the next decade, expanding the program to renters and ensuring the safety and sustainability of the rollout, with funding for training, safety and quality audits.

Honouring our promise to the Newstead community, the Budget is also investing $1 million towards the Newstead Community Solar Project to help the town transition to 100 per cent renewable energy.

In last year’s Budget we cut payroll tax for regional business to 2.425 per cent, and as part of the Budget, we are going even further, reducing regional payroll tax to a quarter of the metro rate – down to 1.2125 per cent by 2022-23.

This is a Budget that delivers for all Victorians.

“The local community has fought long and hard for new facilities at Marong Primary School to cater to their growing enrolments and I’m proud we’re delivering this much needed investment for students, staff and families.”

“Labor Governments are all about investing in the infrastructure and services that build strong communities, and that’s exactly what this budget does.”

Posted by:Maree Edwards MP