Victoria's regional communities aren't just growing, they're thriving like never before.
This year's budget builds on that momentum, making our state a better, fairer place.
The pandemic put unprecedented pressure on health systems all over the world.
When we came to government, we took our ambulance response times from the worst to the best.
We did this by working with our healthcare workers with a clear plan to get it done.
Now, just like before, we'll ease the pressure on our hospitals and healthcare workers.
With this budget, we're putting patients first, with a Pandemic Repair Plan for more staff, better hospitals, and first-class care.
We're upgrading regional hospitals with the biggest boost to the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund since it was created.
We're hiring a record number of nurses, doctors and midwives.
We're rebuilding regional aged care centers, caring for older Victorians in their own communities.
And by delivering more elective surgeries, we're helping people catch up on the treatment they missed out on during the pandemic.
Regional families deserve the same care as people in Melbourne.
If you're hurt, you need an ambulance and if you're sick, help should be at hand.
We're recruiting more regional paramedics, making record investments in in-home care and hiring more Triple Zero call-takers.
So when Victorians need help, it's there, no matter where they live.
For regional Victorians, getting mental health support often means travelling far from home.
That's why we're acting to implement every recommendation of Australia's first and only mental health royal commission.
We're adding more regional mental health beds and putting dedicated mental health hubs in regional hospitals.
We're rebuilding our mental health system for every single Victorian.
A good education gives every Victorian the best possible start.
Which is why we're building and upgrading more schools, giving students access to more subjects through regional learning hubs and continuing to roll out Three-Year-Old Kinder, so the youngest Victorians reach their full potential.
Because every child deserves a world-class education close to home.
This budget puts people and families first.
We know that Victorians are paying too much for their energy bills.
That's why we're stepping in to help families get the best deal.
We're giving a once off $250 payment to every family that uses the Victorian Energy Compare website.
It'll help you search for the cheapest electricity plan and puts money back in your pocket.
We're also introducing Australia's first sick pay guarantee.
It means casual workers don't have to choose between putting food on the table or their family's health.
Free TAFE is providing thousands of regional Victorians with the skills they need for the job they want.
Regional rail upgrades will move people around our state faster and support Victorian farmers to deliver their produce more easily.
In 2026, the Commonwealth Games will be hosted in regional Victoria, bringing thousands of tourists, spectators and athletes to experience all our regions have to offer.
The Games will create hundreds of new jobs and deliver a big boost to the regional economy, showing the best of regional Victoria to the world.
This budget invests in the projects that matter to regional communities and the local workers who help us deliver them.
It's a budget for good jobs, better schools and putting people first because we were elected to deliver for every single Victorian.
And that's exactly what we're doing.
Reviewed 02 May 2022