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 we recover, we want our state to come back stronger than ever, delivering the biggest investment in inclusive education in our state’s history. That includes $10 million for the Victorian College for the Deaf – making sure students have the learning spaces they deserve.
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.
Every government school will benefit from the reform, enabling access for students who may have previously been ineligible for targeted support – such as those with autism, dyslexia or complex behaviours.
A world-leading pilot that currently operates in more than 100 schools will also be rolled out across Victoria, putting the needs of students with disability at the heart of our response.
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 Budget will help local families save on their power bill, cover the cost of kinder, deliver new social housing and give Victorians the break they so deserve.
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.
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.
And because Victorians have well and truly earned a holiday, the Labor Government is offering up to 120,000 $200 vouchers to encourage families to take a break in regional Victoria. The scheme is expected to be up and running by December, supporting local economies and local jobs into summer and beyond.
2020 has also reminded us of what matters most in life – the health and wellbeing of the people we love. As we begin our state’s recovery, that will continue to be our focus.
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.
We’re also investing more than $1 billion for children and families at risk, including targeted support to help families stay together.
A further $235 million will build our Recovery Workforce, creating 500 new jobs across mental health, family violence, health and child protection with hundreds more new training opportunities, so Victorians have the support they need as we recover from this pandemic.
We also want to make sure we continue to give patients flexibility in their care, allowing them to choose what is best for them and their families.
This Budget will invest $121 million for ‘Better at Home’, increasing the delivery of hospital services in patients’ homes – ensuring these Victorians can recuperate in the comfort of their own home. We’ll also expand virtual care technology, making it easier for busy families to access support.
This is a Budget to repair, recover and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget, and a Government, that puts people first.
“By investing in clean energy, we’re making an investment in our state’s future: helping Victorians make their home more efficient, creating jobs and fighting climate change.”
“As we recover from this pandemic, local families and our local community will continue to be my priority.”
- Member for Southern Metro Nina Taylor