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. This includes a $10 million upgrade for Diamond Valley Special Development School supporting students with upgrades for the whole school community.

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.

As kids get back into the classroom, this Budget also delivers the single biggest investment ever in our schools – making sure students have the classrooms, libraries and learning spaces they deserve. This includes Wallan Primary School, with students to benefit from a new competition grade gym. This is in addition to projects already underway at Diamond Valley College and Diamond Creek East Primary School. The Government’s investment will also support local jobs, with our school infrastructure build expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state.

Our health workers have been heroes this year.

The Labor Government is also moving forward on delivering community hospitals for local families. This year’s Budget includes funding to acquire land for community hospitals servicing families in Whittlesea and Nillumbik, giving local families confidence that care is just around the corner.

And to support local jobs, a new Skills and Jobs Centre will be established at the North East Link project site, providing onsite advice for Victorians who want to be a part of the project. The Centre will connect Victorians with available opportunities, while also providing advice on training and apprenticeships.

Our buses connect our community. That’s why this year’s Budget will improve local bus services with the Plenty Valley bus network to be expanded.

This year we’ve come to appreciate our local parks and playgrounds more than ever. As Victorians spend more time outdoors with the people they love, this Budget invests in our community spaces, including Yan Yean Reservoir Park and Hawkstowe Park. These investments will deliver even better parks for local families to enjoy.

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.

The Labor Government is also investing $465 million through the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package to attract more visitors to regional Victoria – supporting local jobs and making sure more Victorian families can experience the best our state has to offer. That includes $13 million to fund regional tourism boards, including Yarra Ranges Tourism and Tourism North East to continue coordinating our regional tourism efforts.

This Budget will also provide funding to build and upgrade 1,447 kilometres of bushfire fuel breaks across the state, providing additional protection for towns and communities, as well as $18.3 million for a Deer Control Project.

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.

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.

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.

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 Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire will be priority areas for investment, with procurement starting straight away to build new homes. Mitchell Shire will also be guaranteed $25 million minimum investment to share in the social and economic benefits of the Big Housing Build.

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.

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, including 30 mental health beds at Epping.

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 Yan Yean Danielle Green

“I know our community will recover. This Budget will make sure we recover stronger and fairer too.”

“With these investments we’ll help Yan Yean locals reskill, upskill and find new opportunity, giving them security and certainty about their future.”