Media Centre

WORK STARTS ON SYDENHAM SCHOOL UPGRADES

Students at Parkwood Green Primary School are a step closer to getting the facilities they need for a great start in life, with an architect appointed to design the school’s exciting upgrade. Member for Sydenham, Natalie Hutchins MP today announced that Gray Puksand Pty Ltd has been appointed to design the school’s $10 million upgrade. The upgrade will see the modernisation Parkwood Green Primary School. This ensures students are learning in an environment designed for delivering modern education. In the past seven years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $10.9 billion in building new schools and more than 1,700 school upgrades, creating around 13,500 jobs in construction and associated industries. It is now ahead of schedule in its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 62 new schools opening between 2019 and 2024. The Labor Government is building the Education State to ensure that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Member for Sydenham, Natalie Hutchins MP “We’re making sure that our schools have the best facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and that every child is given every chance to succeed.” “Sydenham families are a step closer to getting the great local school facilities their kids need to thrive."

WORK STARTS ON SYDENHAM SCHOOL UPGRADES

Students at Parkwood Green Primary School are a step closer to getting the facilities they need for a great start in life, with an architect appointed to design the school’s exciting upgrade. Member for Sydenham, Natalie Hutchins MP today announced that Gray Puksand Pty Ltd has been appointed to design the school’s $10 million upgrade. The upgrade will see the modernisation Parkwood Green Primary School. This ensures students are learning in an environment designed for delivering modern education. In the past seven years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $10.9 billion in building new schools and more than 1,700 school upgrades, creating around 13,500 jobs in construction and associated industries. It is now ahead of schedule in its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 62 new schools opening between 2019 and 2024. The Labor Government is building the Education State to ensure that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Member for Sydenham, Natalie Hutchins MP “We’re making sure that our schools have the best facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and that every child is given every chance to succeed.” “Sydenham families are a step closer to getting the great local school facilities their kids need to thrive."

MORE LEVEL CROSSINGS TO GO ON THE SUNBURY LINE

The Andrews Labor Government will remove more level crossings on the Sunbury line by 2025, boosting safety and easing congestion for train passengers and local motorists. Since 2016, the Labor Government has removed three level crossings on the Sunbury line and built two new stations – and the removal of Gap Road in Sunbury is underway. But there is more to do – so the level crossing at Calder Park Drive, Calder Park will go, allowing more trains more often and supporting small business and hundreds of jobs as our economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The nearby Holden Road crossing in Calder Park will be closed, easing congestion and boosting safety in the area. The Sunbury line is already level crossing free between Watergardens and the City, and removing more will boost safety, reduce congestion and allow more trains to run on the line without frustrating boom gate delays. With work underway at more than 20 sites across Melbourne and one crossing being removed on average every four weeks in 2021, it makes sense to get rid of this extra level crossing while crews are already on the ground. It will maximise efficiencies and means more level crossings can go sooner. These removals will support local businesses and create new jobs while also giving people across Melbourne better access to work, healthcare services, education and recreation. Early investigations suggest the most likely design to remove the Calder Park Drive crossing is a road bridge over the rail line, but technical engineers will continue to assess and refine this option before finalising designs. Nearly 11,000 vehicles travel through this crossing each day and, frustratingly, the boom gates can be down for up to 21 per cent of the morning peak, when up to 25 trains run through this crossing. More trains will run more often on the Sunbury line when the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025, which would mean even more boom gate downtime. Passengers on the Sunbury line will get huge benefits over the coming years, with the $2.1 billion Sunbury Line Upgrade installing next-generation capacity signalling and extending platforms for bigger trains. Together with the Metro Tunnel, these upgrades will make room for 113,000 extra peak hour passengers along the line each weekday. The level crossing removal at Calder Park Drive is part of an additional 10 level crossing removals across Melbourne announced by the Andrews Labor Government.  Construction on these next 10 level crossing removals – which will bring the total number of level crossings gone for good to 85 – will begin by 2022 and will be delivered by 2025. Since 2016, the Government has removed 46 level crossings, built 26 new and upgraded stations, delivered 30km of bike paths, created more than 5,000 jobs and is creating around 20 MCGs of open space and for local communities across Melbourne to enjoy. For more information about the new level crossing removals and preferred solutions, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan “Every Victorian knows the dinging sound of boom gates coming down and the frustration that comes with it, that’s why we’re getting rid of them – saving lives, easing congestion and getting you home sooner.” “We’ve already removed 46 level crossings well ahead of schedule. These extra sites will give a boost to our economy after the pandemic and support hundreds of jobs.” Quote attributable to Member for Sydenham Natalie Hutchins “We’re thrilled to have yet another level crossing gone for good on the Sunbury line, busting congestion for motorists and boosting safety for the local community.”

MORE LEVEL CROSSINGS TO GO ON THE SUNBURY LINE

The Andrews Labor Government will remove more level crossings on the Sunbury line by 2025, boosting safety and easing congestion for train passengers and local motorists. Since 2016, the Labor Government has removed three level crossings on the Sunbury line and built two new stations – and the removal of Gap Road in Sunbury is underway. But there is more to do – so the level crossing at Calder Park Drive, Calder Park will go, allowing more trains more often and supporting small business and hundreds of jobs as our economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The nearby Holden Road crossing in Calder Park will be closed, easing congestion and boosting safety in the area. The Sunbury line is already level crossing free between Watergardens and the City, and removing more will boost safety, reduce congestion and allow more trains to run on the line without frustrating boom gate delays. With work underway at more than 20 sites across Melbourne and one crossing being removed on average every four weeks in 2021, it makes sense to get rid of this extra level crossing while crews are already on the ground. It will maximise efficiencies and means more level crossings can go sooner. These removals will support local businesses and create new jobs while also giving people across Melbourne better access to work, healthcare services, education and recreation. Early investigations suggest the most likely design to remove the Calder Park Drive crossing is a road bridge over the rail line, but technical engineers will continue to assess and refine this option before finalising designs. Nearly 11,000 vehicles travel through this crossing each day and, frustratingly, the boom gates can be down for up to 21 per cent of the morning peak, when up to 25 trains run through this crossing. More trains will run more often on the Sunbury line when the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025, which would mean even more boom gate downtime. Passengers on the Sunbury line will get huge benefits over the coming years, with the $2.1 billion Sunbury Line Upgrade installing next-generation capacity signalling and extending platforms for bigger trains. Together with the Metro Tunnel, these upgrades will make room for 113,000 extra peak hour passengers along the line each weekday. The level crossing removal at Calder Park Drive is part of an additional 10 level crossing removals across Melbourne announced by the Andrews Labor Government.  Construction on these next 10 level crossing removals – which will bring the total number of level crossings gone for good to 85 – will begin by 2022 and will be delivered by 2025. Since 2016, the Government has removed 46 level crossings, built 26 new and upgraded stations, delivered 30km of bike paths, created more than 5,000 jobs and is creating around 20 MCGs of open space and for local communities across Melbourne to enjoy. For more information about the new level crossing removals and preferred solutions, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan “Every Victorian knows the dinging sound of boom gates coming down and the frustration that comes with it, that’s why we’re getting rid of them – saving lives, easing congestion and getting you home sooner.” “We’ve already removed 46 level crossings well ahead of schedule. These extra sites will give a boost to our economy after the pandemic and support hundreds of jobs.” Quote attributable to Member for Sydenham Natalie Hutchins “We’re thrilled to have yet another level crossing gone for good on the Sunbury line, busting congestion for motorists and boosting safety for the local community.”

LOCKDOWN LIFTED ACROSS VICTORIA

A range of restrictions will ease across Victoria tonight, thanks to the incredible work of our public health teams and every single Victorian who has done their part to keep our community safe from coronavirus. Following a reduction in community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has advised that the lockdown will be lifted state-wide from 11.59pm tonight. There are still thousands of Victorians in quarantine and people will need to remain vigilant to stay on top of this highly infectious Delta variant. That means COVIDSafe behaviours like checking in everywhere, every time, wearing a mask and getting vaccinated when you’re eligible will remain key as we cautiously open up again. From 11.59pm tonight, Victorians will be able to leave their homes for any reason. Restaurants and cafes can also reopen for seated service. Retail and beauty and personal care will open in line with density limits, as will entertainment venues and community facilities. The Authorised Worker List will no longer apply, meaning businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits of 1 person per 4sqm. Victoria will return to the rule that ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home’ but office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people, whichever is greater. In welcome news for families, kids can get back to the classroom with schools will reopening for onsite learning to all students from tomorrow. Public gatherings will be allowed with up to 10 people, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap. However, due to the significant transmission risk we have seen throughout the pandemic, gatherings in the home are still not permitted. People will only be able to book accommodation with their household, intimate partner or single bubble person. People will be free to visit ski fields again, but due to the higher risk in these settings and entry to Victoria’s alpine resorts will require a COVID test and receipt of a negative result within 72 hours prior to visiting. Children under 12 years of age are not required to be tested. Live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will all open with density requirements of 1 person per 4sqm. A maximum of 50 people will be permitted at weddings. Funerals will also have a cap of 50 mourners, plus those conducting the funeral. Infants under 12 months are not included in the cap for either. Masks will continue to be required everywhere indoors and outdoors (except private residences), unless an exception applies. Results from a recent Burnet Institute study show that masks played a huge role in slowing the spread of the virus in 2020 – and they will be an important part of our defences against the virus for some time to come. While case numbers in Sydney remain so high, we are still at risk of another significant incursion from NSW so on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, changes will also be made to tighten our cross-border bubble with NSW. The City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council and Murrumbidgee Council will no longer be included in the cross border bubble. These local government areas will be included under the Extreme Risk Zone from 11:59pm tonight, in line with the rest of NSW and residents will need a Specified Worker Permit, transit permit, or an exemption to enter Victoria. For more information on the latest COVIDSafe settings please visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “To every Victorian who checked in with our QR system, who got tested and quarantined, and stayed home to slow the spread of this virus, thank you – it’s because of you we’ve able to get on top of this Delta outbreak and open up our state” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “Today is welcome news but with thousands of Victorians in quarantine, we need to remain vigilant to keep each other safe – so please check in everywhere, every time, wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible.”

LOCKDOWN LIFTED ACROSS VICTORIA

A range of restrictions will ease across Victoria tonight, thanks to the incredible work of our public health teams and every single Victorian who has done their part to keep our community safe from coronavirus. Following a reduction in community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has advised that the lockdown will be lifted state-wide from 11.59pm tonight. There are still thousands of Victorians in quarantine and people will need to remain vigilant to stay on top of this highly infectious Delta variant. That means COVIDSafe behaviours like checking in everywhere, every time, wearing a mask and getting vaccinated when you’re eligible will remain key as we cautiously open up again. From 11.59pm tonight, Victorians will be able to leave their homes for any reason. Restaurants and cafes can also reopen for seated service. Retail and beauty and personal care will open in line with density limits, as will entertainment venues and community facilities. The Authorised Worker List will no longer apply, meaning businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits of 1 person per 4sqm. Victoria will return to the rule that ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home’ but office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people, whichever is greater. In welcome news for families, kids can get back to the classroom with schools will reopening for onsite learning to all students from tomorrow. Public gatherings will be allowed with up to 10 people, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap. However, due to the significant transmission risk we have seen throughout the pandemic, gatherings in the home are still not permitted. People will only be able to book accommodation with their household, intimate partner or single bubble person. People will be free to visit ski fields again, but due to the higher risk in these settings and entry to Victoria’s alpine resorts will require a COVID test and receipt of a negative result within 72 hours prior to visiting. Children under 12 years of age are not required to be tested. Live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will all open with density requirements of 1 person per 4sqm. A maximum of 50 people will be permitted at weddings. Funerals will also have a cap of 50 mourners, plus those conducting the funeral. Infants under 12 months are not included in the cap for either. Masks will continue to be required everywhere indoors and outdoors (except private residences), unless an exception applies. Results from a recent Burnet Institute study show that masks played a huge role in slowing the spread of the virus in 2020 – and they will be an important part of our defences against the virus for some time to come. While case numbers in Sydney remain so high, we are still at risk of another significant incursion from NSW so on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, changes will also be made to tighten our cross-border bubble with NSW. The City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council and Murrumbidgee Council will no longer be included in the cross border bubble. These local government areas will be included under the Extreme Risk Zone from 11:59pm tonight, in line with the rest of NSW and residents will need a Specified Worker Permit, transit permit, or an exemption to enter Victoria. For more information on the latest COVIDSafe settings please visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “To every Victorian who checked in with our QR system, who got tested and quarantined, and stayed home to slow the spread of this virus, thank you – it’s because of you we’ve able to get on top of this Delta outbreak and open up our state” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “Today is welcome news but with thousands of Victorians in quarantine, we need to remain vigilant to keep each other safe – so please check in everywhere, every time, wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible.”

Support Builds For Businesses Through Lockdown

New support will bolster communities and businesses most affected by restrictions to drive down the fast-moving Delta strain – and protect the health and livelihoods of all Victorians. An injection of $282.5 million means 90,000 Victorian businesses and sole traders will now share in up to $484.3 million in support for the 12 days of the current vital public health action, with automatic top-ups for the lockdown extension to be made in coming days. Eligible Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund recipients will receive $4,200, taking the total payment to $7,200, while Business Costs Assistance Program recipients will receive $2,800, increasing the total grant to $4,800. Businesses that had chosen not to apply for these support programs in relation to the May/June lockdown, or had been ineligible to apply but are now eligible, will be welcome to apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process. Discussions with the Commonwealth Government have confirmed that the vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the Covid-19 Disaster Payment of $600/$375 per seven-day period. The Victorian Government will establish a concierge service to help these businesses access this support. Alpine hospitality, retail, accommodation and experience operators have been hit hard in their high season. Businesses that were eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an extra $3,000 through a fresh $1.2 million injection, on top of any entitlements under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund or Business Costs Assistance Program. Eligible public events and public events suppliers affected by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000 respectively through an extension of the Impacted Public Events Support Program. A new round of the Live Performance Support programs, with funding of up to $7,000 for presenters and up to $2,000 for suppliers, has also been confirmed. Benefiting regional areas and metropolitan Melbourne, a new round of the Sporting Clubs Grants Program will provide $2,000 grants for community sport and active recreation organisations for events that have been unable to proceed or will have to be cancelled or postponed. The Victorian Government has provided almost $7 billion in direct economic support for businesses over the course of the pandemic, including more than $500 million through the May/June restrictions period with $461.2 million allocated for the lead Business Costs Assistance Program and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. Some $180 million has been automatically paid over the past two days to more than 86,000 Victorian businesses eligible for the first five days of the current lockdown. More information about businesses support is available at business.vic.gov.au. 

Support Builds For Businesses Through Lockdown

New support will bolster communities and businesses most affected by restrictions to drive down the fast-moving Delta strain – and protect the health and livelihoods of all Victorians. An injection of $282.5 million means 90,000 Victorian businesses and sole traders will now share in up to $484.3 million in support for the 12 days of the current vital public health action, with automatic top-ups for the lockdown extension to be made in coming days. Eligible Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund recipients will receive $4,200, taking the total payment to $7,200, while Business Costs Assistance Program recipients will receive $2,800, increasing the total grant to $4,800. Businesses that had chosen not to apply for these support programs in relation to the May/June lockdown, or had been ineligible to apply but are now eligible, will be welcome to apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process. Discussions with the Commonwealth Government have confirmed that the vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the Covid-19 Disaster Payment of $600/$375 per seven-day period. The Victorian Government will establish a concierge service to help these businesses access this support. Alpine hospitality, retail, accommodation and experience operators have been hit hard in their high season. Businesses that were eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an extra $3,000 through a fresh $1.2 million injection, on top of any entitlements under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund or Business Costs Assistance Program. Eligible public events and public events suppliers affected by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000 respectively through an extension of the Impacted Public Events Support Program. A new round of the Live Performance Support programs, with funding of up to $7,000 for presenters and up to $2,000 for suppliers, has also been confirmed. Benefiting regional areas and metropolitan Melbourne, a new round of the Sporting Clubs Grants Program will provide $2,000 grants for community sport and active recreation organisations for events that have been unable to proceed or will have to be cancelled or postponed. The Victorian Government has provided almost $7 billion in direct economic support for businesses over the course of the pandemic, including more than $500 million through the May/June restrictions period with $461.2 million allocated for the lead Business Costs Assistance Program and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. Some $180 million has been automatically paid over the past two days to more than 86,000 Victorian businesses eligible for the first five days of the current lockdown. More information about businesses support is available at business.vic.gov.au. 

 

Extended Lockdown And Stronger Borders To Keep Us Safe

Due to the current level of community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria from the recent New South Wales (NSW) incursions, the current lockdown will be extended and travel to Victoria using Red Zone Permits will be temporarily paused, to ensure we run this Delta outbreak to ground. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that the current restrictions in Victoria will remain in place for at least another seven days in order stamp out this Delta variant and keep Victorians safe. Just over a week ago, the Delta variant made its way into our state from NSW and since then, Victoria’s contact tracers have worked around the clock to contain this virus but today we still stand with 85 active cases and: more than 15,000 primary close contacts in quarantine more than 250 exposure sites online stretching from Phillip Island to the Mallee; and daily cases in double figures. This is how quickly the Delta variant is moving – faster than anything Victoria’s public health experts have seen before it. It means we need to limit movement for a longer period of time so contact tracers can get ahead of the virus, instead of just keeping pace with it. This means that current settings will continue for the next seven days until Tuesday, 27 July at 11.59pm. There are only five reasons to leave home: getting the food and the supplies you need, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location. Shopping and exercise must be done within 5kms of your home or the nearest location. It also means face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools. Minor changes will be made to the Authorised Premises and Authorised Worker List to include services that operate solely outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained at all times, pet grooming mobile services and pamphlet delivery services. Further details can be found at coronavirus.vic.gov.au. In welcome news for many families, from Wednesday 21 July more students with disability will be able to return to on-site learning. Where a parent or carer indicates that a student with a disability cannot learn from home due to vulnerability or family stress, the school must provide on-site learning for that student. This change will apply to students enrolled in specialist schools and students with a disability enrolled in mainstream schools. Since the beginning of the second wave in Sydney, the Victorian Government has supported around 10,000 Victorians to return home from orange and red zone areas and health authorities have provided clear warnings that Victorians in NSW should get home as quickly as possible because of the escalating situation there. Given how fast we have seen cases spread over the last week, it is clear a further incursion of the Delta strain cases from interstate would potentially cause the lockdown to last even longer and threaten our ability to ease restrictions. Due to the serious and persistent nature of the risk in NSW, we cannot continue to have hundreds of people coming to Victoria from the red zone every day. For this reason, the Chief Health Officer will temporarily pause the issuing of Red Zone Permits from 11:59pm on Tuesday 20 July – pending a further review in a fortnight. For at least the next two weeks, Victorian residents in red zones will require an exemption to enter the state – and these will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. If people enter Victoria from New South Wales without an exemption, they will be put on a return flight or placed in 14 days mandatory quarantine under the COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) program. Fines of $5,452 may be imposed if a person is found to have entered Victoria from a red zone without a permit. A person will still be able to enter Victoria from a red zone if they are aircrew, listed on the Specified Worker List, or transiting through Victoria to another jurisdiction – e.g. traveling from regional NSW through Mildura to get home to South Australia. The CHO will continue to consider the status of the Australian Capital Territory, but the pause of Red Zone Permits also applies to that jurisdiction while it is classified as a red zone. There are no changes to the current arrangements for border communities. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We cannot put Victoria’s hard-earned gains at risk by letting this Delta variant run free. We want Victoria back open as soon as possible – and we’ll do everything in our power to get us there safely and quickly.”   Quote attributable Minister for Health Martin Foley “We’ve had thousands of Victorians return from New South Wales in recent weeks, but with the situation escalating, the recent incursions and the increased infectiousness of the Delta variant, we must act to protect Victoria and temporarily pause Red Zone Permits.” Quote attributable to Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton “The Delta variant is more infectious and moving faster than we’ve seen in any of our other outbreaks and we will not take the risk of opening up too soon – this extension of the current restrictions will help us contain this outbreak.”

Extended Lockdown And Stronger Borders To Keep Us Safe

Due to the current level of community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria from the recent New South Wales (NSW) incursions, the current lockdown will be extended and travel to Victoria using Red Zone Permits will be temporarily paused, to ensure we run this Delta outbreak to ground. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that the current restrictions in Victoria will remain in place for at least another seven days in order stamp out this Delta variant and keep Victorians safe. Just over a week ago, the Delta variant made its way into our state from NSW and since then, Victoria’s contact tracers have worked around the clock to contain this virus but today we still stand with 85 active cases and: more than 15,000 primary close contacts in quarantine more than 250 exposure sites online stretching from Phillip Island to the Mallee; and daily cases in double figures. This is how quickly the Delta variant is moving – faster than anything Victoria’s public health experts have seen before it. It means we need to limit movement for a longer period of time so contact tracers can get ahead of the virus, instead of just keeping pace with it. This means that current settings will continue for the next seven days until Tuesday, 27 July at 11.59pm. There are only five reasons to leave home: getting the food and the supplies you need, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location. Shopping and exercise must be done within 5kms of your home or the nearest location. It also means face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools. Minor changes will be made to the Authorised Premises and Authorised Worker List to include services that operate solely outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained at all times, pet grooming mobile services and pamphlet delivery services. Further details can be found at coronavirus.vic.gov.au. In welcome news for many families, from Wednesday 21 July more students with disability will be able to return to on-site learning. Where a parent or carer indicates that a student with a disability cannot learn from home due to vulnerability or family stress, the school must provide on-site learning for that student. This change will apply to students enrolled in specialist schools and students with a disability enrolled in mainstream schools. Since the beginning of the second wave in Sydney, the Victorian Government has supported around 10,000 Victorians to return home from orange and red zone areas and health authorities have provided clear warnings that Victorians in NSW should get home as quickly as possible because of the escalating situation there. Given how fast we have seen cases spread over the last week, it is clear a further incursion of the Delta strain cases from interstate would potentially cause the lockdown to last even longer and threaten our ability to ease restrictions. Due to the serious and persistent nature of the risk in NSW, we cannot continue to have hundreds of people coming to Victoria from the red zone every day. For this reason, the Chief Health Officer will temporarily pause the issuing of Red Zone Permits from 11:59pm on Tuesday 20 July – pending a further review in a fortnight. For at least the next two weeks, Victorian residents in red zones will require an exemption to enter the state – and these will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. If people enter Victoria from New South Wales without an exemption, they will be put on a return flight or placed in 14 days mandatory quarantine under the COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) program. Fines of $5,452 may be imposed if a person is found to have entered Victoria from a red zone without a permit. A person will still be able to enter Victoria from a red zone if they are aircrew, listed on the Specified Worker List, or transiting through Victoria to another jurisdiction – e.g. traveling from regional NSW through Mildura to get home to South Australia. The CHO will continue to consider the status of the Australian Capital Territory, but the pause of Red Zone Permits also applies to that jurisdiction while it is classified as a red zone. There are no changes to the current arrangements for border communities. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We cannot put Victoria’s hard-earned gains at risk by letting this Delta variant run free. We want Victoria back open as soon as possible – and we’ll do everything in our power to get us there safely and quickly.”   Quote attributable Minister for Health Martin Foley “We’ve had thousands of Victorians return from New South Wales in recent weeks, but with the situation escalating, the recent incursions and the increased infectiousness of the Delta variant, we must act to protect Victoria and temporarily pause Red Zone Permits.” Quote attributable to Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton “The Delta variant is more infectious and moving faster than we’ve seen in any of our other outbreaks and we will not take the risk of opening up too soon – this extension of the current restrictions will help us contain this outbreak.”

More Housing For Vulnerable People In Healesville

Vulnerable people will have more stable housing with an expansion and upgrade of residential rehabilitation services in Healesville supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins today announced more than $2.3 million to deliver two new buildings and expand the current residential facility at EACH, which provides support and housing to people with complex needs. EACH is a not-for-profit community services provider that works with vulnerable people through an integrated range of health, disability, counselling and community mental health services. The new buildings will feature a dedicated dining hall, community meeting area, counselling spaces, a medication dispensing room and a large outdoor deck and activity area. The construction will also expand the total capacity to 23 beds, providing 12 additional places for vulnerable clients. The funding is part of an almost $500 million social housing boost through the Maintenance Stimulus Package, that included $50 million to create secure and stable housing for Victorians in contact with the justice system. EACH also provides housing and services to support people with complex needs, with residents able to access alcohol and drug counselling, health and other vital supports needed to support their successful reintegration into the community. Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Natalie Hutchins “This project is about creating safe homes for vulnerable people and providing them with the support services they need.” “The combination of an integrated 24-hour service by EACH and our investment of $2.3 million will mean more people have the chance to get their lives back on track.”

More Housing For Vulnerable People In Healesville

Vulnerable people will have more stable housing with an expansion and upgrade of residential rehabilitation services in Healesville supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins today announced more than $2.3 million to deliver two new buildings and expand the current residential facility at EACH, which provides support and housing to people with complex needs. EACH is a not-for-profit community services provider that works with vulnerable people through an integrated range of health, disability, counselling and community mental health services. The new buildings will feature a dedicated dining hall, community meeting area, counselling spaces, a medication dispensing room and a large outdoor deck and activity area. The construction will also expand the total capacity to 23 beds, providing 12 additional places for vulnerable clients. The funding is part of an almost $500 million social housing boost through the Maintenance Stimulus Package, that included $50 million to create secure and stable housing for Victorians in contact with the justice system. EACH also provides housing and services to support people with complex needs, with residents able to access alcohol and drug counselling, health and other vital supports needed to support their successful reintegration into the community. Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Natalie Hutchins “This project is about creating safe homes for vulnerable people and providing them with the support services they need.” “The combination of an integrated 24-hour service by EACH and our investment of $2.3 million will mean more people have the chance to get their lives back on track.”

Cash Support For Victorian Businesses During Lockdown

The Victorian Government will provide new cash grants for businesses affected by the short lockdown necessary to get ahead of the Delta strain, so they can have a strong recovery on the other side of the public health restrictions. Automatic payments will be made to eligible businesses and sole traders across the state to minimise delays and swiftly get money into the pockets of businesses who need it most. Up to 90,000 businesses that have and will receive payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program relating to the May-June lockdown will receive the Victorian Government’s new support payments of $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. Payments are due to commence over the course of next week – with total funding of $201.8 million. Eligible businesses will include restaurants, cafes bars, event suppliers, tourism and accommodation providers and non-essential retailers. The Victorian Government has also reached agreement with the Commonwealth Government to fund income support payments from day one of the lockdown. Workers affected by the public health restrictions are now eligible for the same payments afforded by the Commonwealth to New South Wales workers: Payments of $600 will be made to Victorians that lose 20 hours or more of work during the period of the lockdown Payments of $375 will be made to individuals that lose between 8-20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown There is no liquid assets test applied to receive these payments The Federal Government will fund payments for those Victorians who work or live in a COVID-19 Hotspot declared by the Commonwealth – that includes Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliffe and the Surf Coast Shire. The Victorian Government will fund payments for Victorians who live outside of these areas but are still subject to the lockdown. All applications can be made through the Services Australia at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au. The Victorian Government’s direct economic support for businesses has topped $6 billion over the course of the pandemic, including more than $500 million through the last restrictions period with $461.2 million allocated for the Business Costs Assistance Program and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. Some 90 per cent of those program allocations have been delivered to date – $413 million in grants to more than 86,000 small and medium-sized businesses and sole traders. The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is working with 22,000 applicants to the Business Costs Assistance Program to finalise those applications where information has been missing or further detail has been requested to confirm eligibility. It is expected thousands of these applicants will be successful and paid by the end of next week. The May/June support package also included the $20 million Victorian Events Support Package, $16 million for 80,000 regional travel vouchers and $4.4 million for the Alpine Support Program providing businesses in the alpine resorts with grants of up to $15,000. More information about businesses support is available at business.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “No one wanted to be here, but Victorians know we must take decisive action to drive this virus down – so we’re in this situation for days, not months.” “People start needing support from day one – hour one – of a lockdown. We know this is tough on Victorian businesses and we’re standing with them, just as we’ve done from the very start of the pandemic.” Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula “Local businesses across Victoria are the backbone of our economy. This critical support will make sure business owners can weather this new challenge and recover strongly.” Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “Victoria’s small businesses have been important players in this fight for 18 months, and they continue to do the right thing to protect the community. We know it’s really hard and we thank each and every one of them.”

Cash Support For Victorian Businesses During Lockdown

The Victorian Government will provide new cash grants for businesses affected by the short lockdown necessary to get ahead of the Delta strain, so they can have a strong recovery on the other side of the public health restrictions. Automatic payments will be made to eligible businesses and sole traders across the state to minimise delays and swiftly get money into the pockets of businesses who need it most. Up to 90,000 businesses that have and will receive payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program relating to the May-June lockdown will receive the Victorian Government’s new support payments of $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. Payments are due to commence over the course of next week – with total funding of $201.8 million. Eligible businesses will include restaurants, cafes bars, event suppliers, tourism and accommodation providers and non-essential retailers. The Victorian Government has also reached agreement with the Commonwealth Government to fund income support payments from day one of the lockdown. Workers affected by the public health restrictions are now eligible for the same payments afforded by the Commonwealth to New South Wales workers: Payments of $600 will be made to Victorians that lose 20 hours or more of work during the period of the lockdown Payments of $375 will be made to individuals that lose between 8-20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown There is no liquid assets test applied to receive these payments The Federal Government will fund payments for those Victorians who work or live in a COVID-19 Hotspot declared by the Commonwealth – that includes Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliffe and the Surf Coast Shire. The Victorian Government will fund payments for Victorians who live outside of these areas but are still subject to the lockdown. All applications can be made through the Services Australia at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au. The Victorian Government’s direct economic support for businesses has topped $6 billion over the course of the pandemic, including more than $500 million through the last restrictions period with $461.2 million allocated for the Business Costs Assistance Program and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. Some 90 per cent of those program allocations have been delivered to date – $413 million in grants to more than 86,000 small and medium-sized businesses and sole traders. The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is working with 22,000 applicants to the Business Costs Assistance Program to finalise those applications where information has been missing or further detail has been requested to confirm eligibility. It is expected thousands of these applicants will be successful and paid by the end of next week. The May/June support package also included the $20 million Victorian Events Support Package, $16 million for 80,000 regional travel vouchers and $4.4 million for the Alpine Support Program providing businesses in the alpine resorts with grants of up to $15,000. More information about businesses support is available at business.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “No one wanted to be here, but Victorians know we must take decisive action to drive this virus down – so we’re in this situation for days, not months.” “People start needing support from day one – hour one – of a lockdown. We know this is tough on Victorian businesses and we’re standing with them, just as we’ve done from the very start of the pandemic.” Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula “Local businesses across Victoria are the backbone of our economy. This critical support will make sure business owners can weather this new challenge and recover strongly.” Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “Victoria’s small businesses have been important players in this fight for 18 months, and they continue to do the right thing to protect the community. We know it’s really hard and we thank each and every one of them.”

Improving Community Safety In Melton

The Andrews Labor Government is backing local ideas to improve community safety and tackle the root causes of crime in the City of Melton, as part of a major crime prevention funding boost. Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins today announced that the City of Melton would be a local government Crime Prevention partner as part of the Government’s Building Safer Communities Program The partnership will result in $700,000 in grants being spent on crime prevention programs determined by the local community. A Building Safer Communities Forum was held in the City of Melton in March, providing locals with the opportunity to come together to discuss their concerns on crime and safety issues. The Empowering Communities Grant builds on the local concerns raised at the forum and on the Government’s recent investment in crime prevention in Melton, including the redevelopment of local parkland ‘Little Blind Creek’ to create a playground, exercise equipment, park seating and picnic tables. Feedback shows that community driven initiatives work when communities have the resources to identify and address the local issues which matter most to them. The Labor Government has invested more than $1.77 million in nine crime prevention projects in the Melton local government area through the Community Crime Prevention Program since 2015. The Government has invested $11 million into the Building Safer Communities Program through the Victorian Budget 2020/21 and will support additional community led initiatives as part of a further $19.8 million investment in crime prevention through this year’s budget. Applications for the next round of competitive grants will open in November. For more information go to crimeprevention.vic.gov.au Quote attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins This grant will give Melton residents the resources and support to tackle important community safety issues identified at the Building Safer Communities forum.”  Quote attributable to Member for Melton Steve McGhie “Local residents and councils understand their community better than anyone else, that is why this grant will directly support the Melton community”

Improving Community Safety In Melton

The Andrews Labor Government is backing local ideas to improve community safety and tackle the root causes of crime in the City of Melton, as part of a major crime prevention funding boost. Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins today announced that the City of Melton would be a local government Crime Prevention partner as part of the Government’s Building Safer Communities Program The partnership will result in $700,000 in grants being spent on crime prevention programs determined by the local community. A Building Safer Communities Forum was held in the City of Melton in March, providing locals with the opportunity to come together to discuss their concerns on crime and safety issues. The Empowering Communities Grant builds on the local concerns raised at the forum and on the Government’s recent investment in crime prevention in Melton, including the redevelopment of local parkland ‘Little Blind Creek’ to create a playground, exercise equipment, park seating and picnic tables. Feedback shows that community driven initiatives work when communities have the resources to identify and address the local issues which matter most to them. The Labor Government has invested more than $1.77 million in nine crime prevention projects in the Melton local government area through the Community Crime Prevention Program since 2015. The Government has invested $11 million into the Building Safer Communities Program through the Victorian Budget 2020/21 and will support additional community led initiatives as part of a further $19.8 million investment in crime prevention through this year’s budget. Applications for the next round of competitive grants will open in November. For more information go to crimeprevention.vic.gov.au Quote attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins This grant will give Melton residents the resources and support to tackle important community safety issues identified at the Building Safer Communities forum.”  Quote attributable to Member for Melton Steve McGhie “Local residents and councils understand their community better than anyone else, that is why this grant will directly support the Melton community”