The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Sydenham.

Across our nation – and around the world – the pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on health systems. From a sharp increase of critical COVID patients to disrupted care, resulting in longer hospital recovery time, the last two years have really knocked our health system around.

When we came to government, we put an end to the war on our paramedics. We took ambulance response times from the worst in our history to the best. Now – just like we did before – we’ll ease the pandemic pressure on our hospitals and our healthcare workers.

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 will invest over $12 billion to put patients first, with a Pandemic Repair Plan for more staff, better hospitals and first-class care.

Our healthcare workers have been on the frontline of this pandemic, and we know how important it is that we support them into the future.

We’re backing our healthcare workers with training and the extra pair of helping hands they need, so they can give you the very best care.

That’s why the Budget is delivering funding to train and hire up to 7,000 new healthcare workers, including 5,000 nurses.

We’ll provide 1,125 new Registered Undergraduate Nursing Positions and 75 new Registered Undergraduate Student of Midwifery roles over the next two years, and we’re also recruiting up to 2,000 ex-pat and international healthcare workers through a global workforce recruitment drive.

Right around the nation, demand for emergency services is at an all-time high. Our Triple Zero call-takers and dispatchers are dealing with unprecedented call volumes.

But when you call for an ambulance, every Victorian should have the confidence one will arrive. That’s why we’re delivering another 90 paramedics – which means we’ve added 790 extra paramedics to the workforce since we came to government.

And to help our frontline workers reach Victorians who need help faster, we’re investing $333 million to add nearly 400 new staff to increase Triple Zero call-taking and dispatch capacity for Triple Zero services, including ambulances, and training more operators to allocate calls across the state.

We’re also going to make sure that every local community gets the health infrastructure and services they deserve. That’s why this Budget invests $2.9 billion to build new hospitals and deliver upgrades to health services in every corner of our state. By expanding our emergency departments, adding more surgical beds to get more elective surgeries done and increasing maternity care services – this Budget will ensure more Victorians get the
very best of care, close to home.

In 2018 we promised we would build a brand-new hospital for families living in Melton. In this year’s Budget, we will deliver on that promise with an investment of more than $900 million, giving Victorians living in our west a 24-hour public hospital that will get patients home from hospital sooner.

As we roll-out our Pandemic Repair Plan to make sure people in Sydenham get the care they deserve, we’re also getting on with delivering the schools, roads and public transport services they rely on.

Local families deserve great local schools, which is why we’re building a brand-new school in the growing community of Fraser Rise – Plumpton Primary School (interim name) – giving kids great classrooms for a great education, and at the same time creating local jobs to build them.

To make sure every young Victorian gets the education they need for the career they want, the new VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate will replace VCAL, offering students more choices, a higher-quality curriculum and better workplace experiences – preparing students to jump into further study, training at TAFE or work as soon as they leave school.

The VCAL reforms will save many Victorian families up to $1,000 by cutting out-of-pocket costs, with students no longer having to pay for essential learning materials for VET studies.

Better roads get us where we need to go sooner and safer – and building them creates new jobs for Victorians. It’s why this Budget delivers $14.9 million to upgrade part of the Melton Highway in Plumpton improving safety and connectivity for locals on our roads.

We’ll also keep supporting our growing suburbs, with an additional $50 million for our Growing Suburbs Fund so we can continue building health and wellbeing hubs, new parks, and community centres in our growing suburban and peri-urban communities

But that’s not all. We’re getting on with supporting our creative industries and artists in the west with a $2.4 million investment. As part of the Go West fund, creatives and community groups will be supported to hold festivals, family activities and performances and access more affordable creative spaces – taking creativity to the next level in the west.

We also want to give our multicultural communities the chance to celebrate everything they hold dear; with those they hold close. So we’re investing over $6.4 million to ensure that Victorians of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds can hold festivals and celebrations in great community spaces.

We know that many Victorians are still paying too much for their energy bills – that’s why we’re stepping in to help families get the best deal. We’re providing a once-off $250 payment for all Victorian households that use the Victorian Energy Compare (VEC) website – the Victorian Government’s independent price comparator website – to search for the cheapest electricity plan that suits their needs.

With this Budget, we’re getting on with delivering for all Victorians.   

Quotes attributable to Member for Sydenham Natalie Hutchins

“I’m proud that our government continues to deliver quality local healthcare for communities in the West. We’re proud to deliver funding for the new Melton Hospital – helping to treat more patients, closer to home.”

“This Budget builds on our already significant investment in education across our state. But now with this Budget, we’re giving local families a school that is closer to family and closer to home – and one that will deliver a world-class education for every child in Fraser Rise.”

“Better roads and more jobs in the west with the much-needed duplication of the Melton Highway in Plumpton. This government is investing in our main roads to get local residents to and from home, safer and faster.”