Read the video transcript for the Ballarat and Central Highlands budget video

  • Regional partnerships
  • 9 new Regional Partnerships have been established to hear from the people who know their communities best and turn their priorities into action.
  • Regional communities have told us they want investments that support stronger, more connected regional centres and small towns.
  • Find out more about the Central Highlands partnership

Creating and protecting jobs in the regions

To help create more jobs and grow our regional cities and towns, this Budget will make it easier to do business in regional Victoria. We will reduce the payroll tax rate by 25% for all businesses operating substantially in regional Victoria.

$47.8 million to construct a new government hub in Ballarat, which will bring an additional 600 jobs to the region.

Regional roads

We are upgrading roads across regional Victoria to better connect communities, improve safety and make it easier to get produce from paddock to port, including:

  • Western Highway - Ararat Bypass
  • Western Highway - Beaufort Bypas
  • Western Freeway/Ballarat-Maryborough Road, Ballarat, intersection improvement  
  • Gisborne Road / Western Freeway, Bacchus Marsh, intersection upgrade.  

Regional public transport

This budget invests in regional public transport to improve the regional rail network to address growth in demand, improve the reliability of services and give regional towns and cities the infrastructure they deserve, this includes:

  • one return off‑peak service from Melbourne to Maryborough on weekdays    
  • one return off‑peak service from Melbourne to Ararat on weekdays.

Improving our regional schools

This budget invests $64.1 million to modernise, upgrade and regenerate 59 primary and secondary schools in regional and rural Victoria including:

  • Ballarat Secondary College - Mount Rowan Campus    
  • Ballarat Secondary College - Woodmans Hill Campus    
  • Moonambel Primary School.

Regional health

Every Victorian should be able to rely on the best of health care, close to home.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 invests an additional $2.9 billion in Victoria’s health system, so families in rural and regional areas can receive high-quality care when they need it.

Central Highlands directly will benefit from:

$8.3 million to establish a new 12-bedroom mental health facility in Ballarat to increase support for people with an acute mental healthillness living in Ballarat and the broader community.

Community safety

Crime has been rising over the last 6 years and something had to be done. The Government has a clear law and order plan, taking a stand to tackle crime and keep Victorians safe. Victoria Police will get the powers and resources they need – everything they have asked for to stop crime and reduce harm.

In addition to the record boost to police, the Government is addressing the safety of our communities at all levels, from crime prevention and neighbourhood policing, through to the criminal justice, prison and rehabilitation systems.

Eliminating family violence

$448.1 million to establish Support and Safety Hubs, with launch sites across Victoria including in the Central Highlands region.

Video transcript: Ballarat and central highlands 


We’re getting on with the job in the Ballarat region, and this year’s Budget delivers the things that really matter.

We’re building better roads across our state, improving safety, boosting maintenance and targeting investment where it’s needed most.

We’re transforming Regional Rail, because every Victorian deserves transport options they can count on. This is the Regional Rail revival our state needs to better connect communities, to create more jobs and to give you a faster, more reliable service.

We’re building more regional trains too, for Victorians, in Victoria. All part of the biggest ever investment in a better V/Line.

Victoria now leads the nation in jobs growth, and we’re making sure that every region shares in that success. We’re cutting taxes for regional business to create more jobs, we’re boosting housing construction in regional Victoria too, and we’ll keep investing in skills, apprenticeships and attracting new businesses in regional Victoria.

We’re helping end the divide, with better mobile and broadband coverage across regional Victoria.

We’re protecting our environment, supporting new energy and banning fracking for good. We’re securing our water supply and investing even more to support our faming communities, because a healthy environment is critical to a healthy Victoria.

I promised I would do everything I could to keep women and their children safe. That I’d change it all when it comes to family violence, and that’s what this Budget does; protecting the vulnerable, punishing the guilty. It’s the biggest investment ever to end family violence.

There will be thousands of more police on our streets, too, with the resources and equipment they need to keep people safe in every city and every town.

In an emergency, all we want is for our loved ones to get fast and first-class care. So we’re investing more in regional health services and delivering an ambulance service Victorians can count on, wherever you live.

We’re putting more teachers into better classrooms, upgrading and building new schools across regional Victoria. And for our youngest Victorians, we’re making sure our kinders are properly funded, and that every child gets the best start in life.

More jobs, better schools, world-class health care, a safer Victoria, better roads and regional rail that works.

These are the things that really matter, for every Victorian, wherever you live.

That’s what we were elected to do, and we are getting on with the job.

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