Media Centre

Supporting COVIDSafe Multicultural Festivals And Events

The Andrews Labor Government is helping diverse communities come together in a COVIDSafe way to celebrate their culture and traditions. Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Shaun Leane today opened the Multicultural Festivals and Events Program, inviting organisations to apply for funding for events to be held between March and June this year. The funding recognises the important role of community connection and celebration and will support events held either in person or in a digital format. Any in-person event must adhere to the COVIDSafe Public Events Framework. With the entertainment and events industry one of the hardest hit because of the pandemic, this funding will help bring more life and colour to the state, celebrating our vibrant cultural diversity, whilst ensuring the health and safety of all Victorians. In March, Victoria’s Greek community will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Greek independence – a significant occasion on the cultural calendar. Delivering on an election commitment, the Labor Government is investing $200,000 to support celebrations. Victoria is home to the largest Greek population in the world outside of Greece. This year’s funding also includes $50,000 to support organisations holding Hindu celebrations, events and festivals. Applications close 3pm on Wednesday, 3 February. For more information or to apply, visit vic.gov.au/multicultural-festivals-and-events-program. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Shaun Leane “We have much to celebrate here in Victoria and this funding will ensure that, after such a challenging year, festivals and events are supported to take place.” “Projects funded will celebrate our rich cultural diversity whilst supporting the revitalisation of Victoria’s economy.” “I can’t wait to see Victorians out celebrating the 200th anniversary of Greek independence in March, our dedicated $200,000 funding will help it be COVIDSafe but importantly, a milestone to remember.”

Supporting COVIDSafe Multicultural Festivals And Events

The Andrews Labor Government is helping diverse communities come together in a COVIDSafe way to celebrate their culture and traditions. Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Shaun Leane today opened the Multicultural Festivals and Events Program, inviting organisations to apply for funding for events to be held between March and June this year. The funding recognises the important role of community connection and celebration and will support events held either in person or in a digital format. Any in-person event must adhere to the COVIDSafe Public Events Framework. With the entertainment and events industry one of the hardest hit because of the pandemic, this funding will help bring more life and colour to the state, celebrating our vibrant cultural diversity, whilst ensuring the health and safety of all Victorians. In March, Victoria’s Greek community will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Greek independence – a significant occasion on the cultural calendar. Delivering on an election commitment, the Labor Government is investing $200,000 to support celebrations. Victoria is home to the largest Greek population in the world outside of Greece. This year’s funding also includes $50,000 to support organisations holding Hindu celebrations, events and festivals. Applications close 3pm on Wednesday, 3 February. For more information or to apply, visit vic.gov.au/multicultural-festivals-and-events-program. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Shaun Leane “We have much to celebrate here in Victoria and this funding will ensure that, after such a challenging year, festivals and events are supported to take place.” “Projects funded will celebrate our rich cultural diversity whilst supporting the revitalisation of Victoria’s economy.” “I can’t wait to see Victorians out celebrating the 200th anniversary of Greek independence in March, our dedicated $200,000 funding will help it be COVIDSafe but importantly, a milestone to remember.”

Helping Victorians Recover From Alcohol And Drug Use

Victorians will have better access to specialist drug and alcohol treatment close to home thanks to a $52.1 million investment from the Andrews Labor Government for new residential rehabilitation facilities. Minister for Health Martin Foley today released the final designs for new rehabilitation facilities in the Gippsland, Hume and Barwon regions - the new facilities will provide care and support to an additional 900 Victorians every year. The facilities will provide a structured therapeutic and home-like environment where people experiencing addiction can develop coping skills and address underlying issues to overcome their alcohol and other drug use. New 30-bed adult residential rehabilitation facilities will be built in Corio and Wangaratta, providing 24-hour care and support for people who have been through withdrawal or stabilisation and need to continue their treatment. In Traralgon, a 20-bed youth-specific residential rehabilitation service will be built for young Victorians aged between 16 and 21. The facility will provide around-the-clock care and activities that support lasting behavioural change including coping, social and life skills development, relapse prevention, individual counselling and group work. The youth-specific facility will also support young people to reintegrate back into the community and access educational and vocational training and employment skills – a vital component of making positive and long-lasting change possible. The designs provide a first look at the facility exteriors, grounds and internal fit-outs, which have been carefully considered to create a welcoming and healing atmosphere for individuals and their families. Modscape has been appointed as the builder for three new facilities. The new rehabilitation facilities will help relieve pressure on local health services and reduce the impact of drug and alcohol use on local communities. The residential rehabilitation facilities are part of the Victorian Government’s implementation of wide-ranging reforms across the alcohol and drug sector, including more than $180 million as part of the Ice Action Plan and $87 million through the Drug Rehabilitation Plan. Construction will commence in early 2021, with all three facilities operational by the end of the year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “We know the damage addiction causes for families across the state – that’s why we’re doubling the number of rehab beds so more Victorians can get the support they need to beat their addiction faster.” “These new facilities will mean more Victorians can embark on their journey towards to recovery and wellbeing in a place close to their family and support networks.”

Helping Victorians Recover From Alcohol And Drug Use

Victorians will have better access to specialist drug and alcohol treatment close to home thanks to a $52.1 million investment from the Andrews Labor Government for new residential rehabilitation facilities. Minister for Health Martin Foley today released the final designs for new rehabilitation facilities in the Gippsland, Hume and Barwon regions - the new facilities will provide care and support to an additional 900 Victorians every year. The facilities will provide a structured therapeutic and home-like environment where people experiencing addiction can develop coping skills and address underlying issues to overcome their alcohol and other drug use. New 30-bed adult residential rehabilitation facilities will be built in Corio and Wangaratta, providing 24-hour care and support for people who have been through withdrawal or stabilisation and need to continue their treatment. In Traralgon, a 20-bed youth-specific residential rehabilitation service will be built for young Victorians aged between 16 and 21. The facility will provide around-the-clock care and activities that support lasting behavioural change including coping, social and life skills development, relapse prevention, individual counselling and group work. The youth-specific facility will also support young people to reintegrate back into the community and access educational and vocational training and employment skills – a vital component of making positive and long-lasting change possible. The designs provide a first look at the facility exteriors, grounds and internal fit-outs, which have been carefully considered to create a welcoming and healing atmosphere for individuals and their families. Modscape has been appointed as the builder for three new facilities. The new rehabilitation facilities will help relieve pressure on local health services and reduce the impact of drug and alcohol use on local communities. The residential rehabilitation facilities are part of the Victorian Government’s implementation of wide-ranging reforms across the alcohol and drug sector, including more than $180 million as part of the Ice Action Plan and $87 million through the Drug Rehabilitation Plan. Construction will commence in early 2021, with all three facilities operational by the end of the year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “We know the damage addiction causes for families across the state – that’s why we’re doubling the number of rehab beds so more Victorians can get the support they need to beat their addiction faster.” “These new facilities will mean more Victorians can embark on their journey towards to recovery and wellbeing in a place close to their family and support networks.”

Free Travel For Victorians This Christmas

The Andrews Labor Government will provide free public transport on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to make sure Victorians can celebrate and reconnect with family and friends across the state. On Christmas Day, metropolitan and regional public transport will run to a regular public holiday timetable and will be free from 3am until 3am on Boxing Day, with Night Network services running through the night. Passengers using a myki are not required to touch on and off and will not be charged if they do. Passengers on V/Line services still need to book their travel on reserved services, but will be issued a ticket free of charge. As Victorians welcome in the new year after a challenging 2020, all train, tram and bus services will also be free from 6pm on 31 December until 6am on 1 January. With COVIDSafe plans in place and limits on gathering sizes applying Melburnians are encouraged to avoid the city – and to plan ahead and pre-book venues to ensure everyone can celebrate safely. Crowd numbers in the CBD are expected to be significantly reduced, with no large fireworks or public celebrations planned. With people expected to celebrate more locally, public transport will continue across the network all night on New Year’s Eve, ensuring everyone can get back home safely. A normal weekday public transport timetable will be in place between 6pm and midnight, with additional services after midnight. Metropolitan trains will run to a 15-minute frequency between midnight and 1am, a 30-minute frequency between 1am and 2am, and every hour from 2am. On the tram network, most services will operate all night – running to a 15 to 20-minute frequency between midnight and 2am, and every 60 minutes from 2am. In addition to free travel during the festive season, the Labor Government will not increase public transport fares in 2021 – in recognition of the difficult year Victorians have had. All myki and regional fares and passes will remain at their 2020 rates next year to ease the financial pressure on Victorian families and encourage people to return to the public transport network into the new year. Face masks must be worn at all times on public transport. For information and to plan your journey on Christmas or New Year’s Eve visit ptv.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll “This year’s festive season is set to be very different – but we’re making public transport free to ensure all Victorians can catch up and celebrate with their loved ones right across the state.” “We know 2020 has been really challenging for a lot of Victorians, so we’re freezing public transport fares for next year to ease the pressure on families wherever we can.”

Free Travel For Victorians This Christmas

The Andrews Labor Government will provide free public transport on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to make sure Victorians can celebrate and reconnect with family and friends across the state. On Christmas Day, metropolitan and regional public transport will run to a regular public holiday timetable and will be free from 3am until 3am on Boxing Day, with Night Network services running through the night. Passengers using a myki are not required to touch on and off and will not be charged if they do. Passengers on V/Line services still need to book their travel on reserved services, but will be issued a ticket free of charge. As Victorians welcome in the new year after a challenging 2020, all train, tram and bus services will also be free from 6pm on 31 December until 6am on 1 January. With COVIDSafe plans in place and limits on gathering sizes applying Melburnians are encouraged to avoid the city – and to plan ahead and pre-book venues to ensure everyone can celebrate safely. Crowd numbers in the CBD are expected to be significantly reduced, with no large fireworks or public celebrations planned. With people expected to celebrate more locally, public transport will continue across the network all night on New Year’s Eve, ensuring everyone can get back home safely. A normal weekday public transport timetable will be in place between 6pm and midnight, with additional services after midnight. Metropolitan trains will run to a 15-minute frequency between midnight and 1am, a 30-minute frequency between 1am and 2am, and every hour from 2am. On the tram network, most services will operate all night – running to a 15 to 20-minute frequency between midnight and 2am, and every 60 minutes from 2am. In addition to free travel during the festive season, the Labor Government will not increase public transport fares in 2021 – in recognition of the difficult year Victorians have had. All myki and regional fares and passes will remain at their 2020 rates next year to ease the financial pressure on Victorian families and encourage people to return to the public transport network into the new year. Face masks must be worn at all times on public transport. For information and to plan your journey on Christmas or New Year’s Eve visit ptv.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll “This year’s festive season is set to be very different – but we’re making public transport free to ensure all Victorians can catch up and celebrate with their loved ones right across the state.” “We know 2020 has been really challenging for a lot of Victorians, so we’re freezing public transport fares for next year to ease the pressure on families wherever we can.”

Improving Hardship Support In Response To Rates Review

The Andrews Labor Government will introduce reforms to improve the local government rates system in response to a major review. The Local Government Rating System Review, provides an in-depth analysis of Victoria’s rates system. A 2018 election commitment, the review assessed the fairness and equity of the current system and recommends improvements. Local Government Minister Shaun Leane has backed the comprehensive examination delivered by the three-member panel, which concluded the rating system aligns with many of the principles that underpin sound revenue management and highlights more can be done to help people who are struggling. The Labor Government response will support ratepayers in financial hardship, improve transparency and consistent decision-making across councils, and build a fairer system. The Government will adopt 36 of the review’s 56 recommendations in full, in part or in principle. Among the most significant measures, the Government will improve how the system can better support ratepayers who are struggling to pay their rates and will examine the merits of a valuation averaging mechanism to lessen the impact of sudden property value movements that particularly affect farmers. The Government will also pursue reforms to system administration and give councils improved tools for waste charges, special rate and charge schemes and more flexible rate concessions. Enhanced transparency and community engagement requirements in the Local Government Act 2020 will support the implementation of the reforms. As Victoria’s focus shifts to economic recovery from the pandemic, the Government will not support substantial change to how general rates, exemptions and alternative rating arrangements work, which would risk creating financial uncertainty during the recovery period. Consistent with previous years, Minister Leane has also announced the Fair Go Rates Cap for 2021-22 will be set at 1.5 per cent – the forecast Consumer Price Index for the period. The rate cap places a limit on the increase in the total amount of revenue raised by councils through rates each year. This is the lowest the rate cap has been set since it was introduced in 2016. The rate cap mechanism was excluded from the rating system review and will be separately reviewed by the end of 2021, after its first five years of operation. The report and Government response can be read at engage.vic.gov.au/rating-review. Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “This review has produced the first in-depth look for many years at how rates work in Victoria. I thank the Panel Members for their work and their recommendations for a stronger rating system.” “Our response prioritises reforms that support ratepayers in financial hardship, enhance transparency and consistent decision-making and lay the foundations for greater equity and fairness in the rating system.”

Improving Hardship Support In Response To Rates Review

The Andrews Labor Government will introduce reforms to improve the local government rates system in response to a major review. The Local Government Rating System Review, provides an in-depth analysis of Victoria’s rates system. A 2018 election commitment, the review assessed the fairness and equity of the current system and recommends improvements. Local Government Minister Shaun Leane has backed the comprehensive examination delivered by the three-member panel, which concluded the rating system aligns with many of the principles that underpin sound revenue management and highlights more can be done to help people who are struggling. The Labor Government response will support ratepayers in financial hardship, improve transparency and consistent decision-making across councils, and build a fairer system. The Government will adopt 36 of the review’s 56 recommendations in full, in part or in principle. Among the most significant measures, the Government will improve how the system can better support ratepayers who are struggling to pay their rates and will examine the merits of a valuation averaging mechanism to lessen the impact of sudden property value movements that particularly affect farmers. The Government will also pursue reforms to system administration and give councils improved tools for waste charges, special rate and charge schemes and more flexible rate concessions. Enhanced transparency and community engagement requirements in the Local Government Act 2020 will support the implementation of the reforms. As Victoria’s focus shifts to economic recovery from the pandemic, the Government will not support substantial change to how general rates, exemptions and alternative rating arrangements work, which would risk creating financial uncertainty during the recovery period. Consistent with previous years, Minister Leane has also announced the Fair Go Rates Cap for 2021-22 will be set at 1.5 per cent – the forecast Consumer Price Index for the period. The rate cap places a limit on the increase in the total amount of revenue raised by councils through rates each year. This is the lowest the rate cap has been set since it was introduced in 2016. The rate cap mechanism was excluded from the rating system review and will be separately reviewed by the end of 2021, after its first five years of operation. The report and Government response can be read at engage.vic.gov.au/rating-review. Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “This review has produced the first in-depth look for many years at how rates work in Victoria. I thank the Panel Members for their work and their recommendations for a stronger rating system.” “Our response prioritises reforms that support ratepayers in financial hardship, enhance transparency and consistent decision-making and lay the foundations for greater equity and fairness in the rating system.”

 

Planning Revamp To Boost Economic Recovery And Jobs

Improving the efficiency of Victoria’s planning system will help make sure our state’s recovery isn’t held back by bureaucratic red tape or unnecessary delays. As businesses reopen and people get back to work, the Andrews Labor Government will invest $111 million to unlock Victoria’s planning system, speeding up delivery of vital major projects and boosting construction of social and affordable housing – and the jobs that go with them. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 provides $38 million to improve planning processes, as recommended by the Commissioner for Better Regulation, streamlining decision-making and giving the private sector greater certainty to invest, create jobs and bring their business to Victoria. To drive investment in big projects, the Labor Government will create a new assessment model for development proposals greater than $50 million. This model will make the approvals process simpler and quicker for these developments, giving investors even more confidence to build more projects here in Victoria – creating more jobs for Victorians. To boost construction of new social and affordable housing, the Budget also includes $3.86 million to streamline the approval pathway, making it easier for private builders to include social and affordable housing in their developments – and making sure more Victorians have the certainty and security of home. The pandemic pushed a range of planning systems online. To help maintain and improve digital systems for permit and planning scheme amendments – and reduce the bureaucratic burden for Victorians – the Budget invests $15.7 million to deliver ongoing upgrades to these online services. The Labor Government will also invest $4 million to help councils upgrade their digital planning permit systems making it easier to lodge and track permits online, speeding up the process and reducing the hassle of having to lodge paperwork in person. We will also provide a further $14 million to the Victorian Planning Authority, including funding the Streamlining for Growth program. The program provides support to local councils to fast-track local planning applications, boosting employment and making housing more affordable. More than $2 million will go towards a trial of an innovative new 3D spatial data program called Digital Twin Victoria. The trial will bring together a whole host of currently disparate spatial data to develop digital models of Victoria – making it easier to accurately assess and plan projects remotely. To better assess the safety of building and plumbing works in new developments across Victoria, $4.45 million will expand the Victorian Building Authority’s proactive building inspection program, to keep Victorians safe. The Budget also includes $4.4 million to ensure heritage protection for Jacksons Hill in Sunbury – maintaining its numerous heritage-listed buildings and protecting the site’s surrounds while a master plan is developed. More than $3.2 million will continue the implementation of Plan Melbourne – the blueprint guiding Melbourne’s growth, ensuring we continue to plan for strong communities, jobs, and everything that makes our city great. Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne “As we begin rebuilding from the pandemic, we need a planning system that is set up to drive growth and create jobs as we recover from coronavirus – that’s what these reforms will do.” “This year we’ve seen just how much can be achieved online. We want to build on that strength, creating an easy, online and accessible planning and permit system.”

Planning Revamp To Boost Economic Recovery And Jobs

Improving the efficiency of Victoria’s planning system will help make sure our state’s recovery isn’t held back by bureaucratic red tape or unnecessary delays. As businesses reopen and people get back to work, the Andrews Labor Government will invest $111 million to unlock Victoria’s planning system, speeding up delivery of vital major projects and boosting construction of social and affordable housing – and the jobs that go with them. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 provides $38 million to improve planning processes, as recommended by the Commissioner for Better Regulation, streamlining decision-making and giving the private sector greater certainty to invest, create jobs and bring their business to Victoria. To drive investment in big projects, the Labor Government will create a new assessment model for development proposals greater than $50 million. This model will make the approvals process simpler and quicker for these developments, giving investors even more confidence to build more projects here in Victoria – creating more jobs for Victorians. To boost construction of new social and affordable housing, the Budget also includes $3.86 million to streamline the approval pathway, making it easier for private builders to include social and affordable housing in their developments – and making sure more Victorians have the certainty and security of home. The pandemic pushed a range of planning systems online. To help maintain and improve digital systems for permit and planning scheme amendments – and reduce the bureaucratic burden for Victorians – the Budget invests $15.7 million to deliver ongoing upgrades to these online services. The Labor Government will also invest $4 million to help councils upgrade their digital planning permit systems making it easier to lodge and track permits online, speeding up the process and reducing the hassle of having to lodge paperwork in person. We will also provide a further $14 million to the Victorian Planning Authority, including funding the Streamlining for Growth program. The program provides support to local councils to fast-track local planning applications, boosting employment and making housing more affordable. More than $2 million will go towards a trial of an innovative new 3D spatial data program called Digital Twin Victoria. The trial will bring together a whole host of currently disparate spatial data to develop digital models of Victoria – making it easier to accurately assess and plan projects remotely. To better assess the safety of building and plumbing works in new developments across Victoria, $4.45 million will expand the Victorian Building Authority’s proactive building inspection program, to keep Victorians safe. The Budget also includes $4.4 million to ensure heritage protection for Jacksons Hill in Sunbury – maintaining its numerous heritage-listed buildings and protecting the site’s surrounds while a master plan is developed. More than $3.2 million will continue the implementation of Plan Melbourne – the blueprint guiding Melbourne’s growth, ensuring we continue to plan for strong communities, jobs, and everything that makes our city great. Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne “As we begin rebuilding from the pandemic, we need a planning system that is set up to drive growth and create jobs as we recover from coronavirus – that’s what these reforms will do.” “This year we’ve seen just how much can be achieved online. We want to build on that strength, creating an easy, online and accessible planning and permit system.”

Massive Boost For Court Capacity

Like all of us, our justice system has had to do things differently this year – which means our courts haven’t been able to move through cases as quickly as they normally do. That’s why the Victorians Budget 2020/21 delivers major investments in new courts and court systems – to provide a strong, efficient, cutting-edge justice system that allows matters to be heard remotely and safely. The Budget invests $47.3 million to improve audio-visual technology and provide greater flexibility in court and justice processes. This means matters before our busiest courts can be heard in a timely manner – building capacity in our justice system and helping reduce delays caused by the pandemic. Not only will this investment enable safety measures likes physical distancing in the short-term – it'll create a faster, more adaptable and efficient court system in the long-term too. The Andrews Labor Government is also delivering new and upgraded court buildings for Victoria, with $272 million to build new law courts in Wyndham. The new precinct will include a new headquarter court with 13 courtrooms, four hearing rooms, three mediation suites and a dedicated Specialist Family Violence Court. The build will also support more Victorians back into work, creating around 400 local jobs. The Labor Government is also delivering $26.8 million to upgrade the Sunshine Law Courts, including building two additional court rooms and creating around 200 jobs. The Budget is delivering $27.2 million for the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) to continue and expand its important work – and to assist IBAC's transition to budgetary independence. The Budget also provides $28.5 million to ensure young and disadvantaged Victorians have access to community legal services – including more support for Victoria Legal Aid’s 24/7 on-call service. Registered Aboriginal Parties will share in $20.2 million to ensure the rights, responsibilities and voice of Traditional Owners continues to be upheld and protected. This includes a new commercial and cultural hub in Bendigo – providing a new home for the Dja Dja Wurrung people to share and celebrate their culture and identity with the local community. The Labor Government is also investing in forensic medical investigation services to further improve the efficiency of our justice system and ensure families who are dealing with the devastating loss a loved one get the answers and support they need. The Budget provides a further $5.9 million for the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine to deliver forensic analysis for police and courts, as well as to continue the work of the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria. The Labor Government is also investing $2.5 million towards the Office of the Public Advocate to continue to safeguard the rights of people with disability. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jill Hennessy “Like all of us, our courts have had to adapt this year – this investment will help them keep evolving and delivering the justice Victorians deserve.” “Not only will this ensure the safety of our courts in the short-term, it’ll create a stronger, faster and more flexible justice system on the other side of this pandemic.”

Massive Boost For Court Capacity

Like all of us, our justice system has had to do things differently this year – which means our courts haven’t been able to move through cases as quickly as they normally do. That’s why the Victorians Budget 2020/21 delivers major investments in new courts and court systems – to provide a strong, efficient, cutting-edge justice system that allows matters to be heard remotely and safely. The Budget invests $47.3 million to improve audio-visual technology and provide greater flexibility in court and justice processes. This means matters before our busiest courts can be heard in a timely manner – building capacity in our justice system and helping reduce delays caused by the pandemic. Not only will this investment enable safety measures likes physical distancing in the short-term – it'll create a faster, more adaptable and efficient court system in the long-term too. The Andrews Labor Government is also delivering new and upgraded court buildings for Victoria, with $272 million to build new law courts in Wyndham. The new precinct will include a new headquarter court with 13 courtrooms, four hearing rooms, three mediation suites and a dedicated Specialist Family Violence Court. The build will also support more Victorians back into work, creating around 400 local jobs. The Labor Government is also delivering $26.8 million to upgrade the Sunshine Law Courts, including building two additional court rooms and creating around 200 jobs. The Budget is delivering $27.2 million for the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) to continue and expand its important work – and to assist IBAC's transition to budgetary independence. The Budget also provides $28.5 million to ensure young and disadvantaged Victorians have access to community legal services – including more support for Victoria Legal Aid’s 24/7 on-call service. Registered Aboriginal Parties will share in $20.2 million to ensure the rights, responsibilities and voice of Traditional Owners continues to be upheld and protected. This includes a new commercial and cultural hub in Bendigo – providing a new home for the Dja Dja Wurrung people to share and celebrate their culture and identity with the local community. The Labor Government is also investing in forensic medical investigation services to further improve the efficiency of our justice system and ensure families who are dealing with the devastating loss a loved one get the answers and support they need. The Budget provides a further $5.9 million for the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine to deliver forensic analysis for police and courts, as well as to continue the work of the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria. The Labor Government is also investing $2.5 million towards the Office of the Public Advocate to continue to safeguard the rights of people with disability. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jill Hennessy “Like all of us, our courts have had to adapt this year – this investment will help them keep evolving and delivering the justice Victorians deserve.” “Not only will this ensure the safety of our courts in the short-term, it’ll create a stronger, faster and more flexible justice system on the other side of this pandemic.”

Help Where It’s Needed: Supporting Victorians With Disability

As our state recovers stronger and fairer, we need to make sure every Victorian has the support they need. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will invest an unprecedented extra $1.9 billion to make sure Victorians with disability are supported – including our youngest Victorians. A nearly $1.6 billion record investment will transform support for students with disability in Victorian government schools – doubling the number of students receiving extra support in the classroom to 55,000 – and is expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025. All schools will benefit from the change, providing access to students who may have previously been ineligible for targeted support – such as those with autism, dyslexia or complex behaviours. A world-leading pilot successfully run in more than 100 schools will now be rolled out across the state, providing an innovative approach to identify and respond to the needs of students with disability. This new approach puts the needs of the student at the heart of our response – shifting away from current practices and focusing on what a child can achieve, rather than what they can’t. A new facilitator role will be established to help schools and families work through this new approach. This investment also includes $102.8 million to deliver new resources and support to build the skills and knowledge of our incredible school staff in delivering inclusive education for every student. In addition to this, the Andrews Labor Government will invest an extra $223.3 million over the next four years to support Victorians with a disability who are not eligible for the NDIS. As part of this, $5 million has been allocated to provide coordination supports for Victorians with complex needs including continuing the Government’s Intensive Support Team for a further two years, which has already helped more than 1,300 Victorians with complex needs who have found difficulty in navigating the NDIS or receiving an appropriate plan. Younger people living with disability who are ineligible for the NDIS will also be afforded the independence they deserve with another $41.9 million through our Home and Community Care Program for Younger People. A strong, inclusive and fair future for our state depends on achieving a strong, inclusive and fair future for people with disability, which is why we will work the sector, community organisations and Victorians with disability to develop Victoria's new Disability Plan. As part of this, more than $7 million has been allocated for 3,150 extra publicly-funded autism assessments over the next four years, to improve access to early intervention and support. This also builds on the important work being done through the Labor Government’s Victorian Autism Plan, released last year. The Government has already made significant investments in the sector in response to the pandemic with $17 million to ensure all Victorians with disability get the help they need, when they need it. This includes $2.9 million allocated for infection control training for disability service providers. Another $2.7 million will continue the work of COVID-19 Disability Liaison Officers in our health services, assisting with access and support to testing and treatment for people with disability. On top of this, $850,000 will continue the COVID-19 Disability Advocacy Outreach Initiative to provide greater outreach support to diverse and hard to reach groups for a further six months. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is the biggest change in disability support in our schools Victoria has ever seen, and it will make a difference in classrooms and to kids across the state.” “Because every student – including those with the most complex of needs – deserves a great education.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability Luke Donnellan “We’re making sure Victorians with a disability and the dedicated people who care for them have the support they need.” “Building a fairer Victoria means looking after our most vulnerable and making sure they have the independence, care and support they deserve.”

Help Where It’s Needed: Supporting Victorians With Disability

As our state recovers stronger and fairer, we need to make sure every Victorian has the support they need. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will invest an unprecedented extra $1.9 billion to make sure Victorians with disability are supported – including our youngest Victorians. A nearly $1.6 billion record investment will transform support for students with disability in Victorian government schools – doubling the number of students receiving extra support in the classroom to 55,000 – and is expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025. All schools will benefit from the change, providing access to students who may have previously been ineligible for targeted support – such as those with autism, dyslexia or complex behaviours. A world-leading pilot successfully run in more than 100 schools will now be rolled out across the state, providing an innovative approach to identify and respond to the needs of students with disability. This new approach puts the needs of the student at the heart of our response – shifting away from current practices and focusing on what a child can achieve, rather than what they can’t. A new facilitator role will be established to help schools and families work through this new approach. This investment also includes $102.8 million to deliver new resources and support to build the skills and knowledge of our incredible school staff in delivering inclusive education for every student. In addition to this, the Andrews Labor Government will invest an extra $223.3 million over the next four years to support Victorians with a disability who are not eligible for the NDIS. As part of this, $5 million has been allocated to provide coordination supports for Victorians with complex needs including continuing the Government’s Intensive Support Team for a further two years, which has already helped more than 1,300 Victorians with complex needs who have found difficulty in navigating the NDIS or receiving an appropriate plan. Younger people living with disability who are ineligible for the NDIS will also be afforded the independence they deserve with another $41.9 million through our Home and Community Care Program for Younger People. A strong, inclusive and fair future for our state depends on achieving a strong, inclusive and fair future for people with disability, which is why we will work the sector, community organisations and Victorians with disability to develop Victoria's new Disability Plan. As part of this, more than $7 million has been allocated for 3,150 extra publicly-funded autism assessments over the next four years, to improve access to early intervention and support. This also builds on the important work being done through the Labor Government’s Victorian Autism Plan, released last year. The Government has already made significant investments in the sector in response to the pandemic with $17 million to ensure all Victorians with disability get the help they need, when they need it. This includes $2.9 million allocated for infection control training for disability service providers. Another $2.7 million will continue the work of COVID-19 Disability Liaison Officers in our health services, assisting with access and support to testing and treatment for people with disability. On top of this, $850,000 will continue the COVID-19 Disability Advocacy Outreach Initiative to provide greater outreach support to diverse and hard to reach groups for a further six months. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is the biggest change in disability support in our schools Victoria has ever seen, and it will make a difference in classrooms and to kids across the state.” “Because every student – including those with the most complex of needs – deserves a great education.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability Luke Donnellan “We’re making sure Victorians with a disability and the dedicated people who care for them have the support they need.” “Building a fairer Victoria means looking after our most vulnerable and making sure they have the independence, care and support they deserve.”

Building A Better Health System

The health of those we love is the most important thing - and the Andrews Labor Government is making sure more Victorians can get the care they need, with an unparalleled investment in healthcare close to home. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will deliver $9 billion over the next four years to ensure our world-class hospitals and local health services come out of the pandemic stronger than ever. This includes more than $2 billion to build, expand and modernise hospitals and health services across our state – ensuring no matter where you live, every family can have confidence in care close to home. A $384.2 million investment will deliver the redevelopment of Warrnambool Hospital, with a new emergency department, extra operating theatres, new patient facilities and more acute beds, while $4.5 million will start the planning for the Angliss Hospital expansion. Delivering on another election promise, $562 million will go towards the expansion of Frankston Hospital. The local community will see their hospital grow with additional capacity for 120 hospital beds, two new operating theatres, 13 new emergency department beds and new women’s and children’s health services. The redevelopment will see the relocation of mental health services, improved oncology facilities and in good news for local mums and bubs, more maternity beds, a women’s clinic, a paediatric clinic and paediatric beds. The Budget will also deliver $75 million for planning and early works for the brand-new Melton Hospital, making sure families in the west have the care and comfort they deserve. The proposed hospital will be run by Western Health, one of Victoria’s largest public health service providers. A further $10 million will start planning to redevelop the Royal Melbourne Hospital, including establishing a new site, and potentially another for the Royal Women’s Hospital. This will activate the Labor Government’s vision for a world-class health, research and education infrastructure at the Arden Renewal Precinct in North Melbourne The Labor Government will also invest $66.1 million to continue planning and purchase land for new Community Hospitals across Cranbourne, Pakenham, Torquay, City of Whittlesea, Eltham, Fishermans Bend and Point Cook – ensuring the best care for these local communities. Another $217 million will deliver on the Labor Government’s promise to redevelop the Latrobe Regional Hospital, with three new operating theatres, 30 additional inpatient beds, an expanded maternity unit and six extra intensive care unit beds. A further $3.6 million will continue planning for a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital at University Hospital in Geelong and an additional $7.6 million will fund the redevelopment of the Wangaratta Hospital, with expanded maternity facilities – giving regional families with new babies the support they deserve. Victoria’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund will also get a boost with $120 million to support our rural and regional health services and $200 million will deliver the brand new Metropolitan Health Infrastructure Fund so health services continue to have the specific tools they need to respond to the needs of their local community. These investments will make sure our hospitals and local health services can keep doing the most important job there is: looking after our loved ones. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “2020 has reminded us of what matters most – the health and wellbeing of the people we love.” "This is an unprecedented investment. But the metric that matters most is the care and confidence it will give Victorian families.” “Our hospitals and local health services were at the frontline of the coronavirus fight, and now we’re ensuring they’re at the forefront of our Budget.”

Building A Better Health System

The health of those we love is the most important thing - and the Andrews Labor Government is making sure more Victorians can get the care they need, with an unparalleled investment in healthcare close to home. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will deliver $9 billion over the next four years to ensure our world-class hospitals and local health services come out of the pandemic stronger than ever. This includes more than $2 billion to build, expand and modernise hospitals and health services across our state – ensuring no matter where you live, every family can have confidence in care close to home. A $384.2 million investment will deliver the redevelopment of Warrnambool Hospital, with a new emergency department, extra operating theatres, new patient facilities and more acute beds, while $4.5 million will start the planning for the Angliss Hospital expansion. Delivering on another election promise, $562 million will go towards the expansion of Frankston Hospital. The local community will see their hospital grow with additional capacity for 120 hospital beds, two new operating theatres, 13 new emergency department beds and new women’s and children’s health services. The redevelopment will see the relocation of mental health services, improved oncology facilities and in good news for local mums and bubs, more maternity beds, a women’s clinic, a paediatric clinic and paediatric beds. The Budget will also deliver $75 million for planning and early works for the brand-new Melton Hospital, making sure families in the west have the care and comfort they deserve. The proposed hospital will be run by Western Health, one of Victoria’s largest public health service providers. A further $10 million will start planning to redevelop the Royal Melbourne Hospital, including establishing a new site, and potentially another for the Royal Women’s Hospital. This will activate the Labor Government’s vision for a world-class health, research and education infrastructure at the Arden Renewal Precinct in North Melbourne The Labor Government will also invest $66.1 million to continue planning and purchase land for new Community Hospitals across Cranbourne, Pakenham, Torquay, City of Whittlesea, Eltham, Fishermans Bend and Point Cook – ensuring the best care for these local communities. Another $217 million will deliver on the Labor Government’s promise to redevelop the Latrobe Regional Hospital, with three new operating theatres, 30 additional inpatient beds, an expanded maternity unit and six extra intensive care unit beds. A further $3.6 million will continue planning for a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital at University Hospital in Geelong and an additional $7.6 million will fund the redevelopment of the Wangaratta Hospital, with expanded maternity facilities – giving regional families with new babies the support they deserve. Victoria’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund will also get a boost with $120 million to support our rural and regional health services and $200 million will deliver the brand new Metropolitan Health Infrastructure Fund so health services continue to have the specific tools they need to respond to the needs of their local community. These investments will make sure our hospitals and local health services can keep doing the most important job there is: looking after our loved ones. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “2020 has reminded us of what matters most – the health and wellbeing of the people we love.” "This is an unprecedented investment. But the metric that matters most is the care and confidence it will give Victorian families.” “Our hospitals and local health services were at the frontline of the coronavirus fight, and now we’re ensuring they’re at the forefront of our Budget.”