Media Centre

Taking It Outdoors: Supporting A Safer Way To Open

The Victorian Government will help businesses and the community breathe new life into local neighborhoods as vaccination progressively delivers greater freedoms across the state from Friday. With summer drawing near and Victorians warming to the promise of a return to bars, cafes and restaurants, new support unveiled today will build on the success of last year’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package which helped to create an agile world of parklets and pop-up bars, with streamlined council permits. The $54.5 million Outdoor Economy Package will help support the costs for thousands of businesses of setting up for street trading, and back councils to provide the necessary infrastructure and support. A $14.5 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program will provide more than 7,000 Victorian businesses, community organisations, not-for-profits and trader associations with $2,000 grants when they spend at least that amount to support initiatives such as outdoor hospitality and entertainment. The vouchers will be valid for expenses including purchasing and hiring marquees, screens and umbrellas, obtaining insurance and promoting outdoor operations. Some 20 per cent of the vouchers will be allocated in regional Victoria. Hairdressers, beauty services, retail shops, dance studios and gyms will also be eligible to apply for vouchers, meaning they can join restaurants, cafes and bars in harnessing the opportunities of kerbside trading. The Voucher Program will open soon and will be delivered by Business Victoria in partnership with Service Victoria. A new $40 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund will help councils transform more outdoor areas so Victorians can enjoy local attractions safely as we reach the key 70 per cent double vaccination threshold, then 80 per cent, with restrictions lifting significantly at those marks. The Fund will allocate $20.5 million so councils can provide immediate assistance to businesses to operate outdoors, through physical improvements such as new street furniture, landscaping, marquees, planter boxes and public art, as well as entertainment to bring our outdoor precincts to life. Funding will be allocated based on the level of business activity, with metropolitan councils to receive between $300,000 and $800,000, regional councils $300,000–$500,000 and rural councils $100,000–$250,000. Councils will also receive a share of $19.5 million to establish semi-permanent and permanent outdoor precincts. The Fund will provide maximum benefit to businesses with councils encouraged to use part of their allocation to waive permit fees and related charges. Councils will be required to agree not to create or impose any new or net additional fees or charges to businesses to use new or upgraded outdoor spaces. The City of Melbourne will continue to be supported separately through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund and the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – the Government is working with the City of Melbourne to devise a program of direct support for businesses to establish and enhance outdoor operations. Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “This is about giving businesses support to reopen in safe and new ways, ensuring they can recover strongly and quickly. Our small businesses are rearing to go and this will mean more customers and more trade as we move ever closer to our key vaccination targets.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “Councils will work with their communities to breathe new life into streets and shopping strips across the state, making the most of outdoor opportunities this summer and beyond.”

Taking It Outdoors: Supporting A Safer Way To Open

The Victorian Government will help businesses and the community breathe new life into local neighborhoods as vaccination progressively delivers greater freedoms across the state from Friday. With summer drawing near and Victorians warming to the promise of a return to bars, cafes and restaurants, new support unveiled today will build on the success of last year’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package which helped to create an agile world of parklets and pop-up bars, with streamlined council permits. The $54.5 million Outdoor Economy Package will help support the costs for thousands of businesses of setting up for street trading, and back councils to provide the necessary infrastructure and support. A $14.5 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program will provide more than 7,000 Victorian businesses, community organisations, not-for-profits and trader associations with $2,000 grants when they spend at least that amount to support initiatives such as outdoor hospitality and entertainment. The vouchers will be valid for expenses including purchasing and hiring marquees, screens and umbrellas, obtaining insurance and promoting outdoor operations. Some 20 per cent of the vouchers will be allocated in regional Victoria. Hairdressers, beauty services, retail shops, dance studios and gyms will also be eligible to apply for vouchers, meaning they can join restaurants, cafes and bars in harnessing the opportunities of kerbside trading. The Voucher Program will open soon and will be delivered by Business Victoria in partnership with Service Victoria. A new $40 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund will help councils transform more outdoor areas so Victorians can enjoy local attractions safely as we reach the key 70 per cent double vaccination threshold, then 80 per cent, with restrictions lifting significantly at those marks. The Fund will allocate $20.5 million so councils can provide immediate assistance to businesses to operate outdoors, through physical improvements such as new street furniture, landscaping, marquees, planter boxes and public art, as well as entertainment to bring our outdoor precincts to life. Funding will be allocated based on the level of business activity, with metropolitan councils to receive between $300,000 and $800,000, regional councils $300,000–$500,000 and rural councils $100,000–$250,000. Councils will also receive a share of $19.5 million to establish semi-permanent and permanent outdoor precincts. The Fund will provide maximum benefit to businesses with councils encouraged to use part of their allocation to waive permit fees and related charges. Councils will be required to agree not to create or impose any new or net additional fees or charges to businesses to use new or upgraded outdoor spaces. The City of Melbourne will continue to be supported separately through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund and the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – the Government is working with the City of Melbourne to devise a program of direct support for businesses to establish and enhance outdoor operations. Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “This is about giving businesses support to reopen in safe and new ways, ensuring they can recover strongly and quickly. Our small businesses are rearing to go and this will mean more customers and more trade as we move ever closer to our key vaccination targets.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “Councils will work with their communities to breathe new life into streets and shopping strips across the state, making the most of outdoor opportunities this summer and beyond.”

Victorians’ Hard Work Means Hitting Target Ahead Of Time

After an incredible effort from Victorians and record vaccination rates, Victoria is set to hit its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target in the Roadmap nearly a week early and significant restrictions are set to be eased. Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan has set Victoria on a hopeful path to opening while preserving our health system and ensuring Victorians can still get the healthcare they need when they need it most. The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds, including hospitalisation rates and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response. With our first dose vaccination rate at almost 90 per cent, Victoria will this week hit a significant milestone on the Roadmap, with 70 per cent of Victorians 16 years and over having received both their vaccine doses. Because of this, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has determined that at 11.59pm on Thursday 21 October, Victoria will move forward in opening up and more restrictions will be eased. With more than 3.5 million Victorians now fully vaccinated and having taken the necessary steps to protect themselves, their family, their friends and the entire community, Victoria is heading towards being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world. Victoria has delivered more vaccines through our state-run hubs than any other state or territory in Australia. These vaccination rates, in addition to revised Burnet modelling and lower than predicted length of stays in hospital mean further steps will be able to be taken at the 70 per cent double dose that were not previously outlined in the Roadmap, including visitors to the home and larger patron caps in certain businesses. Up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne. To ensure this is done safely, it’s highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home. In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15km travel radius will be lifted, however movement between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will only be allowed for permitted reasons. This is to ensure Melburnians don’t spread the virus further into regional Victoria while we push to our 80 per cent double vaccinated target. People in metropolitan Melbourne must continue to work from home if they can. Anyone on the authorised workers list is required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work on site. Childcare will be open to children who are already attending, as well as children whose parents or guardians are fully vaccinated. The return to school plan will also be brought forward in line with the rest of these settings, with the start of the staggered return of Grade 3 to Year 11 in metro Melbourne commencing on Friday 22 October. Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be able to take place with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors subject to density limits and only if all attendees are fully vaccinated. Or, if vaccination status is unknown, 10 people are permitted indoors for funerals, weddings and religious gatherings. Most outdoor settings – outdoor cafes, cinemas, and physical recreation facilities like pools – will open with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those fully vaccinated. Indoor settings like restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors with density limits, and only if all attendees – including workers – are fully vaccinated. This is a higher cap than planned in the initial Roadmap and the change has been made after discussions between the sector and the public health team. Large scale construction sites will increase to 100 percent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated. Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians. In regional Victoria, indoor settings – like restaurants, cafes and gyms – will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated. Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated. If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people. The next milestone in the Roadmap will be when Victoria hits the 80 per cent double dose vaccination target, which is predicted to be the first week of November. It’s important to remember the more Victorians who get vaccinated, the sooner we will hit the next target and the more restrictions we can lift. If you haven’t booked your appointment, please book it today. Over the next week there are 52,465 first and second dose Pfizer appointments available, 6,244 first and second dose AstraZeneca appointments available and 15,477 first and second dose Moderna available. Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their trusted GP or pharmacist. For more info on the Roadmap or to book a vaccination visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-settings. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Victorians have sacrificed so much to protect their families, friends and the whole community from coronavirus – and have saved countless lives because of it.” “The milestone we’re about to hit marks a new and hopeful path for the whole state – allowing businesses to reopen and Victorians to get back to things they love.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “The rate at which Victorians have been getting vaccinated is nothing short of incredible, but if we want to ensure our health system isn’t overwhelmed and our hospitalisation rates aren’t too high as we open up, we need to keep that momentum going. Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment.”

Victorians’ Hard Work Means Hitting Target Ahead Of Time

After an incredible effort from Victorians and record vaccination rates, Victoria is set to hit its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target in the Roadmap nearly a week early and significant restrictions are set to be eased. Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan has set Victoria on a hopeful path to opening while preserving our health system and ensuring Victorians can still get the healthcare they need when they need it most. The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds, including hospitalisation rates and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response. With our first dose vaccination rate at almost 90 per cent, Victoria will this week hit a significant milestone on the Roadmap, with 70 per cent of Victorians 16 years and over having received both their vaccine doses. Because of this, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has determined that at 11.59pm on Thursday 21 October, Victoria will move forward in opening up and more restrictions will be eased. With more than 3.5 million Victorians now fully vaccinated and having taken the necessary steps to protect themselves, their family, their friends and the entire community, Victoria is heading towards being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world. Victoria has delivered more vaccines through our state-run hubs than any other state or territory in Australia. These vaccination rates, in addition to revised Burnet modelling and lower than predicted length of stays in hospital mean further steps will be able to be taken at the 70 per cent double dose that were not previously outlined in the Roadmap, including visitors to the home and larger patron caps in certain businesses. Up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne. To ensure this is done safely, it’s highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home. In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15km travel radius will be lifted, however movement between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will only be allowed for permitted reasons. This is to ensure Melburnians don’t spread the virus further into regional Victoria while we push to our 80 per cent double vaccinated target. People in metropolitan Melbourne must continue to work from home if they can. Anyone on the authorised workers list is required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work on site. Childcare will be open to children who are already attending, as well as children whose parents or guardians are fully vaccinated. The return to school plan will also be brought forward in line with the rest of these settings, with the start of the staggered return of Grade 3 to Year 11 in metro Melbourne commencing on Friday 22 October. Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be able to take place with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors subject to density limits and only if all attendees are fully vaccinated. Or, if vaccination status is unknown, 10 people are permitted indoors for funerals, weddings and religious gatherings. Most outdoor settings – outdoor cafes, cinemas, and physical recreation facilities like pools – will open with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those fully vaccinated. Indoor settings like restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors with density limits, and only if all attendees – including workers – are fully vaccinated. This is a higher cap than planned in the initial Roadmap and the change has been made after discussions between the sector and the public health team. Large scale construction sites will increase to 100 percent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated. Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians. In regional Victoria, indoor settings – like restaurants, cafes and gyms – will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated. Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated. If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people. The next milestone in the Roadmap will be when Victoria hits the 80 per cent double dose vaccination target, which is predicted to be the first week of November. It’s important to remember the more Victorians who get vaccinated, the sooner we will hit the next target and the more restrictions we can lift. If you haven’t booked your appointment, please book it today. Over the next week there are 52,465 first and second dose Pfizer appointments available, 6,244 first and second dose AstraZeneca appointments available and 15,477 first and second dose Moderna available. Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their trusted GP or pharmacist. For more info on the Roadmap or to book a vaccination visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-settings. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Victorians have sacrificed so much to protect their families, friends and the whole community from coronavirus – and have saved countless lives because of it.” “The milestone we’re about to hit marks a new and hopeful path for the whole state – allowing businesses to reopen and Victorians to get back to things they love.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “The rate at which Victorians have been getting vaccinated is nothing short of incredible, but if we want to ensure our health system isn’t overwhelmed and our hospitalisation rates aren’t too high as we open up, we need to keep that momentum going. Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment.”

Supporting Senior Multicultural Victorians

The Victorian Government is continuing to support seniors from multicultural backgrounds to stay connected to culture and community through grants to help community groups keep activities running. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence today announced that more than 900 multicultural seniors’ organisations will share in $7.4 million over the next four years. Up to $2,000 per year will be provided to support the delivery of in-person and digital activities by community groups. It will cover running costs for social and cultural activities and the purchase of equipment, as well as the development of remote and in-person support programs to build stronger community connections. Organisations will also receive public liability insurance and group personal accident insurance to provide coverage for members and volunteers delivering programs and activities – removing a potentially significant cost for these local community groups. Organisations funded cover a wide range of communities across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, including the Oakleigh Chinese Senior Club, Keon Park Greek Senior Citizens Club, Point Cook Indian Seniors Group, Frankston Filipino Seniors Support Group and the Wangaratta Italian Pensioners Club. The funding recognises the challenges the pandemic has presented for multicultural seniors’ communities, and the importance of social and cultural connections for maintaining resilience in difficult times. The Government also encourages newly established multicultural seniors’ groups or those that did not receive a direct funding offer to apply online through the Multicultural Seniors Support program. Applications close 28 February 2025. For more information or to apply, visit: vic.gov.au/multicultural-seniors-support. The funding is in addition to over $2.1 million allocated through the CALD Communities Taskforce to ensure multicultural seniors groups are equipped to continue supporting their members through the pandemic. Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence “It’s vital seniors can reconnect with their communities as we ease restrictions – whether through morning teas, gardening clubs or cultural events.” “We are giving back to the Victorians who built our state, so they can catch up with the people and activities they’ve missed.” Quote attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers James Merlino “Remaining connected to culture as we get older is critical for keeping up mental and physical health – and we’re proud to support Victoria’s multicultural seniors with a strong sense of community.”

Supporting Senior Multicultural Victorians

The Victorian Government is continuing to support seniors from multicultural backgrounds to stay connected to culture and community through grants to help community groups keep activities running. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence today announced that more than 900 multicultural seniors’ organisations will share in $7.4 million over the next four years. Up to $2,000 per year will be provided to support the delivery of in-person and digital activities by community groups. It will cover running costs for social and cultural activities and the purchase of equipment, as well as the development of remote and in-person support programs to build stronger community connections. Organisations will also receive public liability insurance and group personal accident insurance to provide coverage for members and volunteers delivering programs and activities – removing a potentially significant cost for these local community groups. Organisations funded cover a wide range of communities across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, including the Oakleigh Chinese Senior Club, Keon Park Greek Senior Citizens Club, Point Cook Indian Seniors Group, Frankston Filipino Seniors Support Group and the Wangaratta Italian Pensioners Club. The funding recognises the challenges the pandemic has presented for multicultural seniors’ communities, and the importance of social and cultural connections for maintaining resilience in difficult times. The Government also encourages newly established multicultural seniors’ groups or those that did not receive a direct funding offer to apply online through the Multicultural Seniors Support program. Applications close 28 February 2025. For more information or to apply, visit: vic.gov.au/multicultural-seniors-support. The funding is in addition to over $2.1 million allocated through the CALD Communities Taskforce to ensure multicultural seniors groups are equipped to continue supporting their members through the pandemic. Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence “It’s vital seniors can reconnect with their communities as we ease restrictions – whether through morning teas, gardening clubs or cultural events.” “We are giving back to the Victorians who built our state, so they can catch up with the people and activities they’ve missed.” Quote attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers James Merlino “Remaining connected to culture as we get older is critical for keeping up mental and physical health – and we’re proud to support Victoria’s multicultural seniors with a strong sense of community.”

Permit Overhaul To Make Safe Border Changes

In the most significant overhaul to Victoria’s travel permit system since its introduction in January 2021, fully vaccinated people in New South Wales red zones will soon be able to enter Victoria without facing 14 days’ quarantine – including people who aren’t Victorian residents. The changes, made on the advice on the Chief Health Officer, come as Victoria rapidly approaches its vaccination targets, with 88 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over having received one dose of the vaccine and 63 per cent having received two doses. Under the changes, which come into place at 11.59pm on 19 October, fully vaccinated people entering Victoria from red zones will need a negative result from a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entry. Once they enter, they must isolate, get tested again within 72 hours, and stay isolated until they get a negative result. People entering Victoria from red zones who aren’t fully vaccinated – including those with medical exemptions – will need a negative result from a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entry. Once they enter, they must quarantine for 14 days, get tested again within 72 hours of their entry, and again on Day 13 of their quarantine. Fully vaccinated people arriving from orange zones will no longer be required to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result. No requirements will apply to them other than the need to hold a valid permit. Orange zone conditions won’t change for people who aren’t fully vaccinated, including those with medical exemptions. Previously, red zone permits were only available to Victorian residents, who had to quarantine for 14 days regardless of vaccination status. All orange zone permit holders had to get tested within 72 hours of entering Victoria and stay isolated until they received a negative result. The outlined changes will also largely carry over to specified worker permits, with relaxed conditions for workers entering from red and orange zones if they are fully vaccinated. People under the age of 12 who aren’t eligible for the vaccine will travel under a parent’s permit. If a parent or guardian they are travelling with is not fully vaccinated, they will be required to follow the requirements that apply to that parent or guardian. Until the changes come into effect on 19 October, interstate entries will be subject to current Victorian border permit directions. If they intend to enter Victoria once the changes are in place, they can prepare by getting a test no more than 72 hours prior to their entry in their home state if this is required as part of their permit. Everyone entering Victoria requires a valid travel permit, or an exception or exemption. If you are following reduced restrictions as part of your permit because you are fully vaccinated, you will also be required to carry evidence of your vaccination status while in Victoria. You can apply for a travel permit at service.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “Our border settings are changing as we move towards a managed easing of restrictions – and people who are fully vaccinated have a right to reduced requirements because they present reduced risk.” “Victoria and New South Wales have been through so much over the last few months, and we’re pleased that more families will now be able to reunite and more people will be able to travel in a safe way.”

Permit Overhaul To Make Safe Border Changes

In the most significant overhaul to Victoria’s travel permit system since its introduction in January 2021, fully vaccinated people in New South Wales red zones will soon be able to enter Victoria without facing 14 days’ quarantine – including people who aren’t Victorian residents. The changes, made on the advice on the Chief Health Officer, come as Victoria rapidly approaches its vaccination targets, with 88 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over having received one dose of the vaccine and 63 per cent having received two doses. Under the changes, which come into place at 11.59pm on 19 October, fully vaccinated people entering Victoria from red zones will need a negative result from a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entry. Once they enter, they must isolate, get tested again within 72 hours, and stay isolated until they get a negative result. People entering Victoria from red zones who aren’t fully vaccinated – including those with medical exemptions – will need a negative result from a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entry. Once they enter, they must quarantine for 14 days, get tested again within 72 hours of their entry, and again on Day 13 of their quarantine. Fully vaccinated people arriving from orange zones will no longer be required to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result. No requirements will apply to them other than the need to hold a valid permit. Orange zone conditions won’t change for people who aren’t fully vaccinated, including those with medical exemptions. Previously, red zone permits were only available to Victorian residents, who had to quarantine for 14 days regardless of vaccination status. All orange zone permit holders had to get tested within 72 hours of entering Victoria and stay isolated until they received a negative result. The outlined changes will also largely carry over to specified worker permits, with relaxed conditions for workers entering from red and orange zones if they are fully vaccinated. People under the age of 12 who aren’t eligible for the vaccine will travel under a parent’s permit. If a parent or guardian they are travelling with is not fully vaccinated, they will be required to follow the requirements that apply to that parent or guardian. Until the changes come into effect on 19 October, interstate entries will be subject to current Victorian border permit directions. If they intend to enter Victoria once the changes are in place, they can prepare by getting a test no more than 72 hours prior to their entry in their home state if this is required as part of their permit. Everyone entering Victoria requires a valid travel permit, or an exception or exemption. If you are following reduced restrictions as part of your permit because you are fully vaccinated, you will also be required to carry evidence of your vaccination status while in Victoria. You can apply for a travel permit at service.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “Our border settings are changing as we move towards a managed easing of restrictions – and people who are fully vaccinated have a right to reduced requirements because they present reduced risk.” “Victoria and New South Wales have been through so much over the last few months, and we’re pleased that more families will now be able to reunite and more people will be able to travel in a safe way.”

 

Watergardens Upgrade A Win For Commuters

Commuters in Melbourne’s north-west will soon find it easier to find a park with the announcement of 95 new car parking spaces and safety upgrades, to be built on Sydenham Road near Watergardens railway station later this year. The new parking spaces and safety upgrades will make it easier for commuters to catch the train from Watergardens. Watergardens Station is a busy location on Melbourne’s transport network, with more than 1.5 million commuters using the station annually in recent years. The works are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Car Parks for Commuters program and will be delivered by Brimbank City Council. Works will include the construction of asphalt roadside car parking bays and a shared user path along Sydenham Road. New kerbs, drains, and pedestrian areas will also be constructed between Roseleigh Boulevard and Ondella Way, as well as a new safety fence to be installed along the railway line. Landscaping work including tree planting will be completed along Sydenham Road as a part of the works. The Labor Government is delivering 11,000 new and upgraded car parks at train stations across metropolitan and regional Victoria – on top of the almost 10,000 new and upgraded car parks delivered between 2014 and 2018. The 11,000 new and upgraded car parks will free up local streets, improve access to public transport, boost safety, and generate jobs across the state. For more information visit carparks.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll “More car parking options makes commuting easier which is why we are boosting parking capacity for passengers across the state.” “Whether you walk, ride, or drive to the station, this vital infrastructure upgrade will improve safety and make catching the train at Watergardens Railway Station more convenient and easily accessible.” Quote attributable to Member for Sydenham Natalie Hutchins “This is stage one of the works we are doing to improve car parking at Watergardens and will benefit the entire community – with more commuter car parking, improved safety, and creating better accessibility for Sydenham residents to get to Watergardens station.”

Watergardens Upgrade A Win For Commuters

Commuters in Melbourne’s north-west will soon find it easier to find a park with the announcement of 95 new car parking spaces and safety upgrades, to be built on Sydenham Road near Watergardens railway station later this year. The new parking spaces and safety upgrades will make it easier for commuters to catch the train from Watergardens. Watergardens Station is a busy location on Melbourne’s transport network, with more than 1.5 million commuters using the station annually in recent years. The works are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Car Parks for Commuters program and will be delivered by Brimbank City Council. Works will include the construction of asphalt roadside car parking bays and a shared user path along Sydenham Road. New kerbs, drains, and pedestrian areas will also be constructed between Roseleigh Boulevard and Ondella Way, as well as a new safety fence to be installed along the railway line. Landscaping work including tree planting will be completed along Sydenham Road as a part of the works. The Labor Government is delivering 11,000 new and upgraded car parks at train stations across metropolitan and regional Victoria – on top of the almost 10,000 new and upgraded car parks delivered between 2014 and 2018. The 11,000 new and upgraded car parks will free up local streets, improve access to public transport, boost safety, and generate jobs across the state. For more information visit carparks.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll “More car parking options makes commuting easier which is why we are boosting parking capacity for passengers across the state.” “Whether you walk, ride, or drive to the station, this vital infrastructure upgrade will improve safety and make catching the train at Watergardens Railway Station more convenient and easily accessible.” Quote attributable to Member for Sydenham Natalie Hutchins “This is stage one of the works we are doing to improve car parking at Watergardens and will benefit the entire community – with more commuter car parking, improved safety, and creating better accessibility for Sydenham residents to get to Watergardens station.”

Vaccinated Economy – At The Cup, The Bowl And The Movies

Crowds will return to the Melbourne Cup and concerts at the Sidney Myer Music bowl and smaller venues across the state, as preparations for Victoria’s safe reopening ramp up. Up to 10,000 racing fans will be at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November in a little over three weeks – days after music lovers across Melbourne attend a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday, 30 October. Subject to consideration of the venue’s COVIDSafe Plan and approval from the Chief Health Officer, several thousand people will be able to watch Victorian artists perform and celebrate the return of live music at one of Melbourne’s most iconic outdoor venues. Smaller gigs are planned around the state at the same time, subject to approval from the Chief Health Officer. The Vaccinated Economy trials will allow more people to safely attend venues and events when all patrons are fully vaccinated. The venues will test event settings attached to the 80 per cent double-vaccination mark on Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan – a threshold due to be achieved on or before 5 November. The final two days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival – Oaks Day and Stakes Day – will also welcome up to 10,000 patrons if the 80 per cent double-jab threshold has been passed. Racing fans will be spread across a number of zones at Flemington in allocated seats, and will be required to wear masks and be fully vaccinated or holding a valid exemption. These events will follow the first stage of trials under the 70 per cent double dose settings which kick off from Monday at regional venues including cinemas, hotels, and cafes, as well as a gym, a church and a beauty clinic. Some 15 venues and events in six local government areas will operate with higher capacity and density limits, including a midweek race meeting at Warrnambool on Thursday, 14 October. The participants in the Vaccinated Economy trial are: Bass Coast – North Pier Hotel in Cowes, Churchill Island Cafe Buloke – Terminus Hotel in Wycheproof East Gippsland – East Gippsland Art Gallery in Bairnsdale, Lakes Squash and Movie Theatre in Lakes Entrance, Wilson Property in Traralgon Greater Bendigo – Anglican Church of Australia in Flora Hill, Bendigo Art Gallery, Village Cinemas in Bendigo, Body Fit Training in Bendigo Pyrenees – Avoca Hotel Warrnambool – Darlings of Beauty, Roberts One Real Estate, Warrnambool Racing Club (race meeting), Warrnambool Art Gallery. The trials will allow real-world testing of the vaccine certification technology, confirm the best processes for establishing vaccination status, as well as fine-tuning training for staff and support for business owners and public communication of vaccine requirements. Victorians attending a Vaccinated Economy trial business or event will be asked to show they are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 digital certificate displayed through the Service Victoria app, Medicare app, or equivalent smartphone wallet, or present a printed version of their certificate or immunisation history statement, or provide evidence of a valid exemption. Victorians can add their COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service Victoria app through MyGov or the Express Medicare Plus App. Regionally based trial case managers from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will provide direct assistance to each business as they prepare to welcome patrons and customers, and throughout the trials. Regional trials over the next two weeks will guide the second phase of trials for 80 per cent double-dose settings. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Victorians have done the hard work to keep each other safe, now these are the next steps in safely returning to doing the things we miss and seeing the people we love.” Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula “Vaccination is the way we will reclaim everyday joys like going out for a meal with the family, or to the cinema with friends. These trials will help us get there smoothly and ensure businesses and individuals are supported.” Quote attributable to Minister for Government Services and Creative Industries Danny Pearson “We’re making sure we have the best technology in place to support Victorians as we move closer to opening up our state and getting our world-famous creative and cultural events up and running again."

Vaccinated Economy – At The Cup, The Bowl And The Movies

Crowds will return to the Melbourne Cup and concerts at the Sidney Myer Music bowl and smaller venues across the state, as preparations for Victoria’s safe reopening ramp up. Up to 10,000 racing fans will be at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November in a little over three weeks – days after music lovers across Melbourne attend a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday, 30 October. Subject to consideration of the venue’s COVIDSafe Plan and approval from the Chief Health Officer, several thousand people will be able to watch Victorian artists perform and celebrate the return of live music at one of Melbourne’s most iconic outdoor venues. Smaller gigs are planned around the state at the same time, subject to approval from the Chief Health Officer. The Vaccinated Economy trials will allow more people to safely attend venues and events when all patrons are fully vaccinated. The venues will test event settings attached to the 80 per cent double-vaccination mark on Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan – a threshold due to be achieved on or before 5 November. The final two days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival – Oaks Day and Stakes Day – will also welcome up to 10,000 patrons if the 80 per cent double-jab threshold has been passed. Racing fans will be spread across a number of zones at Flemington in allocated seats, and will be required to wear masks and be fully vaccinated or holding a valid exemption. These events will follow the first stage of trials under the 70 per cent double dose settings which kick off from Monday at regional venues including cinemas, hotels, and cafes, as well as a gym, a church and a beauty clinic. Some 15 venues and events in six local government areas will operate with higher capacity and density limits, including a midweek race meeting at Warrnambool on Thursday, 14 October. The participants in the Vaccinated Economy trial are: Bass Coast – North Pier Hotel in Cowes, Churchill Island Cafe Buloke – Terminus Hotel in Wycheproof East Gippsland – East Gippsland Art Gallery in Bairnsdale, Lakes Squash and Movie Theatre in Lakes Entrance, Wilson Property in Traralgon Greater Bendigo – Anglican Church of Australia in Flora Hill, Bendigo Art Gallery, Village Cinemas in Bendigo, Body Fit Training in Bendigo Pyrenees – Avoca Hotel Warrnambool – Darlings of Beauty, Roberts One Real Estate, Warrnambool Racing Club (race meeting), Warrnambool Art Gallery. The trials will allow real-world testing of the vaccine certification technology, confirm the best processes for establishing vaccination status, as well as fine-tuning training for staff and support for business owners and public communication of vaccine requirements. Victorians attending a Vaccinated Economy trial business or event will be asked to show they are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 digital certificate displayed through the Service Victoria app, Medicare app, or equivalent smartphone wallet, or present a printed version of their certificate or immunisation history statement, or provide evidence of a valid exemption. Victorians can add their COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service Victoria app through MyGov or the Express Medicare Plus App. Regionally based trial case managers from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will provide direct assistance to each business as they prepare to welcome patrons and customers, and throughout the trials. Regional trials over the next two weeks will guide the second phase of trials for 80 per cent double-dose settings. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Victorians have done the hard work to keep each other safe, now these are the next steps in safely returning to doing the things we miss and seeing the people we love.” Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula “Vaccination is the way we will reclaim everyday joys like going out for a meal with the family, or to the cinema with friends. These trials will help us get there smoothly and ensure businesses and individuals are supported.” Quote attributable to Minister for Government Services and Creative Industries Danny Pearson “We’re making sure we have the best technology in place to support Victorians as we move closer to opening up our state and getting our world-famous creative and cultural events up and running again."

Helping Thousands Of Victorians Buy Their Own Home

The Victorian Government is helping more Victorians buy their own home with the launch of the Victorian Homebuyer Fund (VHF). Stable, affordable housing has always been important, but the pandemic has heightened financial pressures for Victorians and highlighted the value of a having a secure, safe place to call your own. The VHF shared equity arrangement will make it easier for more people to buy a home by reducing the amount of money eligible participants need to enter the market and relieving Victorian homebuyers from the extra financial burden of Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance. The $500 million VHF is expected to support more than 3,000 Victorians become homeowners, and is an expansion of the Government’s successful $50 million HomesVic Shared Equity Initiative, a pilot program that supported more than 335 households to buy their first home. Eligibility criteria under the VHF will be broader than the HomesVic pilot, making shared equity accessible to more Victorians. Under the new scheme, they no longer need to be first home buyers, can buy in a broader range of locations and can have higher household incomes than compared to the earlier pilot. The VHF is available to Australian citizens or permanent residents over the age of 18 years, who currently don‘t have an interest in a property and who meet the income thresholds. Eligible participants only require a 5 per cent deposit and the Government provides up to 25 per cent of the purchase price, in exchange for an equivalent share in the property. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homebuyers can buy with a deposit as low as 3.5 per cent and receive a Government contribution of up to 35 per cent, in exchange for an equivalent share in the property. Homeowners can buy out the Government’s share at market value over time if they choose, with funds then reinvested to help other aspiring homebuyers get into the property market. Eligible participants can purchase in any location in Metropolitan Melbourne and are provided with a broad range of regional options when searching for their home. The value of the property cannot exceed $950,000 in Metropolitan Melbourne and Geelong, while the price cap in Regional Victoria excluding Geelong is $600,000. Victorian Homebuyer Fund participants are still eligible for other Victorian Government housing schemes, including the First Home Owner Grant and first home buyer stamp duty concessions or exemptions. For further information, visit vic.gov.au/homebuyer. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “It can take years to save for a deposit – through our Victorian Homebuyer Fund, more than 3,000 Victorians are expected to enter their own home sooner.” “The pandemic has underscored the value of a secure, safe home to call your own – that’s what this program will provide for thousands of Victorians.” “This will make it easier to secure your own home and we’re proud to play our part in helping Victorians realise this dream – because there’s no place like home and we want every Victorian to know that feeling.”

Helping Thousands Of Victorians Buy Their Own Home

The Victorian Government is helping more Victorians buy their own home with the launch of the Victorian Homebuyer Fund (VHF). Stable, affordable housing has always been important, but the pandemic has heightened financial pressures for Victorians and highlighted the value of a having a secure, safe place to call your own. The VHF shared equity arrangement will make it easier for more people to buy a home by reducing the amount of money eligible participants need to enter the market and relieving Victorian homebuyers from the extra financial burden of Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance. The $500 million VHF is expected to support more than 3,000 Victorians become homeowners, and is an expansion of the Government’s successful $50 million HomesVic Shared Equity Initiative, a pilot program that supported more than 335 households to buy their first home. Eligibility criteria under the VHF will be broader than the HomesVic pilot, making shared equity accessible to more Victorians. Under the new scheme, they no longer need to be first home buyers, can buy in a broader range of locations and can have higher household incomes than compared to the earlier pilot. The VHF is available to Australian citizens or permanent residents over the age of 18 years, who currently don‘t have an interest in a property and who meet the income thresholds. Eligible participants only require a 5 per cent deposit and the Government provides up to 25 per cent of the purchase price, in exchange for an equivalent share in the property. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homebuyers can buy with a deposit as low as 3.5 per cent and receive a Government contribution of up to 35 per cent, in exchange for an equivalent share in the property. Homeowners can buy out the Government’s share at market value over time if they choose, with funds then reinvested to help other aspiring homebuyers get into the property market. Eligible participants can purchase in any location in Metropolitan Melbourne and are provided with a broad range of regional options when searching for their home. The value of the property cannot exceed $950,000 in Metropolitan Melbourne and Geelong, while the price cap in Regional Victoria excluding Geelong is $600,000. Victorian Homebuyer Fund participants are still eligible for other Victorian Government housing schemes, including the First Home Owner Grant and first home buyer stamp duty concessions or exemptions. For further information, visit vic.gov.au/homebuyer. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “It can take years to save for a deposit – through our Victorian Homebuyer Fund, more than 3,000 Victorians are expected to enter their own home sooner.” “The pandemic has underscored the value of a secure, safe home to call your own – that’s what this program will provide for thousands of Victorians.” “This will make it easier to secure your own home and we’re proud to play our part in helping Victorians realise this dream – because there’s no place like home and we want every Victorian to know that feeling.”

Supporting Our Senior Vocational Education Students

The Victorian Government is making sure every secondary school student whose Vocational Education and Training (VET) studies have been disrupted by the pandemic will receive extra support to complete their certificates. Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today announced that VET students will benefit from catch-up funding – helping schools and non-school providers cover costs like extra fees or materials so Year 11 and 12 students can complete their applied VET studies in Term 4. Disruptions to on-site learning have had a significant impact on many school students, but especially those in their final years of school undertaking hands-on, vocational VET subjects as part of their VCE or VCAL. This catch-up support will cover any changed VET unit enrolments, teacher release or transport costs associated with additional training that cannot be met within providers’ current VET budgets. If any students are unable to complete VET units due to disruptions, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will consider granting credits for non-scored VET units, which can count towards a student’s VCE or VCAL qualification. On top of extra support, every Victorian student whose final year of school has been affected by the pandemic is guaranteed that the only thing that will count towards their final score is their hard work and effort, with the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage process to continue this year as it did in 2020. The process considers a range of data alongside exam results to calculate final VCE results – like the GAT, compared performance across all assessments, and other learning data – alongside the impact of the pandemic on each student including school closures, direct physical and mental health impacts and issues with remote learning. Students can submit an individual student statement detailing the impacts of coronavirus on their final year of schooling, which will be taken into consideration alongside their learning outcomes. All Year 12 VCAL students will also have access to individual consideration, with schools required to apply special consideration for all students subject to significant disruptions. Further information on VET support can be found at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vocational-education-and-training-support-during-coronavirus-covid-19. More information on the VCE Consideration of Educational Disadvantage, VCAL Special Consideration and VET Unspecified Credit can be found at www.vcaa.vic.edu.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know how incredibly challenging the past two years have been for all students, especially those doing hands-on VET subjects – that’s why we’re providing extra support to make sure they can complete their training in Term Four.” “Whether it’s extra materials or additional teacher costs, we’re investing in both schools and non-school VET providers to ensure all students can finish their studies off strongly.”

Supporting Our Senior Vocational Education Students

The Victorian Government is making sure every secondary school student whose Vocational Education and Training (VET) studies have been disrupted by the pandemic will receive extra support to complete their certificates. Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today announced that VET students will benefit from catch-up funding – helping schools and non-school providers cover costs like extra fees or materials so Year 11 and 12 students can complete their applied VET studies in Term 4. Disruptions to on-site learning have had a significant impact on many school students, but especially those in their final years of school undertaking hands-on, vocational VET subjects as part of their VCE or VCAL. This catch-up support will cover any changed VET unit enrolments, teacher release or transport costs associated with additional training that cannot be met within providers’ current VET budgets. If any students are unable to complete VET units due to disruptions, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will consider granting credits for non-scored VET units, which can count towards a student’s VCE or VCAL qualification. On top of extra support, every Victorian student whose final year of school has been affected by the pandemic is guaranteed that the only thing that will count towards their final score is their hard work and effort, with the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage process to continue this year as it did in 2020. The process considers a range of data alongside exam results to calculate final VCE results – like the GAT, compared performance across all assessments, and other learning data – alongside the impact of the pandemic on each student including school closures, direct physical and mental health impacts and issues with remote learning. Students can submit an individual student statement detailing the impacts of coronavirus on their final year of schooling, which will be taken into consideration alongside their learning outcomes. All Year 12 VCAL students will also have access to individual consideration, with schools required to apply special consideration for all students subject to significant disruptions. Further information on VET support can be found at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vocational-education-and-training-support-during-coronavirus-covid-19. More information on the VCE Consideration of Educational Disadvantage, VCAL Special Consideration and VET Unspecified Credit can be found at www.vcaa.vic.edu.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know how incredibly challenging the past two years have been for all students, especially those doing hands-on VET subjects – that’s why we’re providing extra support to make sure they can complete their training in Term Four.” “Whether it’s extra materials or additional teacher costs, we’re investing in both schools and non-school VET providers to ensure all students can finish their studies off strongly.”