The Victorian Government unveiled a big-spending budget on Wednesday, with commitments to improve schools, public transport, and hospitals, and allocating more funds for police and job creation.
Announced in the budget was $1.1 billion funding for schools. $287 million of the allocated funding will go towards building 23 more state schools and $10 million towards building more kindergartens. Students with disabilities and upgrading teachers’ laptops will also be included in the $1.1 billion funding.
The transport sector will also get a large boost, with the Victorian government choosing to fully fund the Melbourne Metro Rail project, allocating about $2.9 billion in the budget.
Health services funding is jumping up by 8.3 per cent, with rural and regional hospitals receiving a $200 million upgrade. A $17.3 million dollar elective surgery unit will be built in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Broadmeadows, and there will be $356 million going towards the government’s 10 year plan to improve mental health in Victoria.
Jobs and businesses
The tax threshold for small businesses will go up steadily by $100,000 by 2020. Trades will also get a tax break, with apprentices and trainees now becoming tax exempt. Creative industries will be receiving a $152 million boost, as well as $324 million for regional Victoria, and $111 million for innovate industries to help create jobs. There will also be a jobs body set up, costing $53 million, aimed at helping people find jobs in skill shortage areas.
Victoria’s police will be receiving a $1 billion package for task forces to target high risk offenders. Victoria’s Shadow Treasurer, Michael O’Brien, said “Vic Coalition cut payroll tax, WorkCover premiums [and] abolished duty on life insurance.”
— Michael O'Brien (@michaelobrienmp) April 27, 2016
Full budget papers can be found here. – Taylor Yates
Top photo from Will’s Flickr photostream.