Helping Families in Bendigo West - 24/25 State Budget

08 May 2024

The Allan Labor Government’s first Budget is dedicated to helping families in Bendigo West.  

Whether it’s helping with the cost of living, making sure our kids can be their best, record funding for our healthcare system or continuing to invest in more of the services families rely on – the Victorian Budget 2024/25 invests in our community. 

With the current cost of living, covering supplies and extracurricular activities can be hard on families doing it tough. Uniforms, camps and excursions – it all adds up.  

That’s why we are providing a one-off School Saving Bonus to help cover the costs. This $400 bonus will help make sure our kids have everything they need for the school day, supporting families with children at government schools and families at our non-government schools who need it most.

Dedicated to helping cover the cost of learning essentials and the extracurriculars that make school fun – we’ll work with schools to make it available for the start of the 2025 school year.

With this Budget, we’re investing more than $1.8 billion to continue building the Education State – and building a better future for Victoria’s children. 

We want young Victorians to have what they need to succeed in the classroom. It's why this Budget invests in upgrading schools across our state, including Camp Hill Primary School. This $4.1 million upgrade will replace relocatable buildings with permanent buildings – ensuring the great spaces kids and their hardworking teachers in Bendigo deserve.

As the cost-of-living rises, we’re also delivering an extra $3.5 million to support organisations and neighbourhood houses to provide food relief, as well as continuing the work of our six regional food relief hubs – including in Bendigo

Community legal services do an incredible job, making sure Victorians can access the legal support they need. We’re supporting this important work with $28.8 million for community legal centres and specialist legal services – including ARC Justice at the Loddon Campaspe Legal Centre

“This Budget will make a real difference to families. Our $400 School Saving Bonus will help cover the costs of kids’ uniforms and activities – giving families one less thing to worry about," Ms Edwards said.

“Every family deserves a great school close to home, which is why the Allan Labor Government is delivering $4.1 million to deliver permanent, modern classrooms at Camp Hill Primary School.

“We’re proud to continue funding the Bendigo Food Relief Hub, making sure local families in need can access fresh and nutritious food.” 

We’re also backing the community organisations that provide support and connection to young Victorians – with $12 million towards the Victorian African Communities Action Plan, including $5.13 million to continue the delivery of homework clubs.

We’re also tripling our free Glasses for Kids program – making sure even more young Victorians can be their best in the classroom, and beyond. Having already helped 34,000 kids across our state – this investment will help 74,000 more, providing free vision screening and prescription glasses for students who need it. 

And because we know that learning isn’t limited to the classroom, we’re investing $6 million to extend our Get Active Kids vouchers – providing up to $200 to help eligible families with the cost of sporting club registration, uniforms and equipment. 

But we’re not just building classrooms, we’re improving what happens inside them too. From extra help for teachers, to supporting more kids to finish their education – this year’s Budget provides targeted investment where it matters most.   

Last year, our Free Kinder program saved around 140,000 families up to $2,500 in fees, helping with the cost of living and ensuring cost was not a barrier to participation. This year’s Budget continues this investment with an additional $129 million to continue delivering Free Kinder and the statewide rollout of Three‑Year‑Old Kinder. 

An extra $19 million will deliver new Building Blocks grants – enabling kinders to renovate and upgrade early learning facilities. From expanding classrooms to funding native gardens, upgrading technology or transforming outdoor play spaces, these projects are an investment in our youngest learners.  

We know how important our frontline healthcare services are for patients and their families. Since we came to government, Victoria’s public hospitals now employ over 5,000 more doctors, and over 13,000 more nurses. During the pandemic, when our health system was stretched like never before, we acted decisively – providing record funding to bolster our health system. 

Since the pandemic, the cost of running our health system has continued to increase – but every cent is worth it to keep Victorians healthy. That’s why we’re making the biggest multi-year investment in our health system in Victoria’s history. It’ll mean our hospitals have the long-term certainty they need over the coming years. 

Each investment is an investment in the people of Bendigo West. 

Because this is a Budget – and a Government – dedicated to helping families.