The Victorian Budget 2018/19 invests in the Wimmera Southern Mallee region.
The Government established 9 Regional Partnerships that bring together public, private and community sectors to work on the priorities that matter most to local people.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 includes almost $760 million to deliver on key Regional Partnerships priorities, which incorporates a number of regional and statewide initiatives:
- $1.3 million to provide an extra 5 family violence crisis properties in Warracknabeal, Nhill, Stawell, Kaniva and St Arnaud
Find out what is happening in the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership.
Creating regional jobs
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 is providing targeted industry assistance to create jobs across Victoria.
Cutting regional payroll tax
- This year’s Budget provides further reduction for regional businesses and an increased threshold of $650,000.
- The Budget slashes the payroll tax rate for regional businesses from 3.65% to 2.425%. This gives regional Victorian businesses the lowest payroll tax rate in Australia.
Boosting regional tourism
We’re also investing in regional tourism to grow regional economies and create regional jobs.
The Victorian Government is supporting 100 events across regional Victoria, while increasing our push to attract new visitors to the state, and encouraging Melburnians to spend more time in regional Victoria.
In a boost to regional businesses and regional jobs, domestic tourists visited Victoria in record numbers last year. Interstate visitors also spent more in regional Victoria, with visitor numbers, spend and nights stayed all recording double‑digit growth.
In addition, regional Victoria will also benefit from $51.1 million for our international and interstate tourism campaigns, support for Business Events Victoria and regional tourism boards to attract more tourists and create more jobs.
To build on our success, the Victorian Budget 2018/19 invests in tourism and regional promotion, including:
- $300,000 for a business case to link silo arts installations in the Mallee and Wimmera regions
Better technology to connect communities
People living in rural and regional Victoria continue to face a digital divide.
It’s why the Victorian Budget 2018/19 includes $26.8 million to better connect businesses, farmers and families, with:
- $13.5 million to support our state’s small businesses, including digital economy roadshows in regional Victoria
- $11 million to build extra telecommunications infrastructure and improve mobile coverage in blackspot areas across regional Victoria
This investment builds on the $45 million investment in the Connecting Regional Communities Program from the Victorian Budget 2017/18.
Skills through TAFE
Cost should never stop someone from learning new skills.
So, to break down that barrier, this Budget includes $172 million to make TAFE free for 30 priority courses.
Courses will focus on the skills we need –building infrastructure projects, responding to family violence, and caring for older Victorians or people living with disability.
The Budget also includes:
- $28.6 million for Tech Schools to give the next generation of Victorians the next generation of skills. This includes ongoing support for the Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Gippsland Tech Schools
Better careers education at school
- This Budget also transforms careers education in schools, investing $109 million to make sure students get the right career advice so they can make the right choices early on.
Fixing regional roads
The problem in regional Victoria isn’t that we don’t have enough roads. It’s that the roads we do have aren’t in good enough condition.
Decades of underinvestment and inattention mean that our country roads need an overhaul.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provides more than $941 million.
Improving public transport
Public transport is vital for connecting communities and getting regional passengers from A to B.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 includes $704 million to upgrade regional public transport to connect rural and regional communities to each other and Melbourne.
- $26.2 million for V/Line services to ensure the sustainability of regional rail, and improve reliability and punctuality
- $22.2 million for extra regional bus services and infrastructure works across the regional bus network
More schools close to home
Wherever they live, every child deserves every chance to get a great education.
Since 2014, this Government has invested $775 million to improve Victoria’s regional schools.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 builds on this work, investing $181 million to build and upgrade 60 regional schools.
Regional school upgrades
A further $135 million will plan and upgrade 55 primary and secondary schools in regional and rural Victoria, giving students the modern facilities they need to learn.
In the Wimmera Southern Mallee this includes:
- Dimboola Memorial Secondary College upgrade
- Stawell Secondary College upgrade
World class healthcare
No matter where they live, every Victorian deserves quality healthcare, close to home.
That’s why this Budget invests in the health of our regional communities.
Regional healthcare investments include:
- $50 million for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to ensure regional Victorians can benefit from the latest and best in healthcare and can access the high‑quality care and facilities they need and deserve, no matter where they live
- $2.1 million to strengthen the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme, which subsidises the travel and accommodation costs incurred by rural and regional Victorians who have no choice but to travel long distances to receive specialist medical healthcare
- $6.7 million for the new residential rehabilitation facility in the Grampians
Victoria’s regions will also benefit from the Budget’s statewide health initiatives, including:
- $1.7 billion for an additional 86,000 hospital admissions and 49,000 emergency treatments
- $362 million to improve access to elective surgery
- $58.5 million to increase the number of paramedics and vehicles to meet forecast ambulance demand
Addressing mental illness
- Right now, across Australia, mental illness and addiction are hurting communities and leaving families heartbroken.
- To make sure Victorians facing mental illness and addiction get the treatment they need, this Budget includes a record $705 million investment.
Reducing the impacts of addiction
The scourge of addiction can be devastating for families and communities across Victoria. The Government is investing in residential rehabilitation and crisis hubs.
Over the previous 3 Budgets, we’ve made record investments in recruiting police, addressing family violence and strengthening our emergency services.
We’ve made this investment because there’s nothing more important than the safety of Victorians.
This year’s Budget goes even further – continuing to invest in the police, protection and prevention Victorians deserve.
The biggest ever investment in Victoria Police
The Victorian Government is delivering the biggest ever investment in law and order in our state’s history, recruiting and deploying an extra 3,135 new police.
In this year’s Budget, we’re making sure our police have everything they need – the training, the tools and the technology – to tackle crime.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provides further resources for Victoria Police including:
- $25 million to provide Victoria Police with additional long-arm firearms to keep Victorians safe. Four regional police stations will receive these firearms
- $24.2 million to strengthen Victoria Police’s response to serious and organised technology-enabled crime, including increasing their capacity to tackle online child exploitation
- $9.4 million for new mobile police stations to help prevent and respond to crime when and where it happens
This Budget also includes $25 million for local crime prevention initiatives, including youth crime prevention projects, the Public Safety Infrastructure and Community Safety funds,and crime prevention agencies such as Crime Stoppers and Neighbourhood Watch.
A strong justice system
At the same time as we’re investing in Victoria’s police, we’re also making sure our state has a strong justice system. Victoria’s courts and correctional services play a critical role in responding to the needs of victims and ensuring offenders are held to account.
Strong emergency services for our state
Across Victoria’s emergency services, staff and volunteers put themselves on the line to keep our state safe.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 makes sure the women and men who serve our state have the support they need. This includes:
- $31.6 million for the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority to continue delivering the Triple Zero call taking and dispatch service in Victoria
- $28.4 million to provide upgrades and new facilities for the Country Fire Authority, Victoria State Emergency Service and Life Saving Victoria
- $10 million to fund training and development grants for volunteer emergency services organisations
- $8.3 million for additional lifeguard services, school swimming and water safety programs, and public swimming pool safety strategies to improve the safety of Victorians in the water, and provide emergency responseat our beaches
- $2.2 million for development of a mental health and wellbeing app for all emergency service workers and volunteers
- $1.9 million for the ongoing maintenance of community bushfire shelters in the Yarra Ranges, Moorabool and Colac Otway
- A continued freeze on the Fire Services Property Levy
Our local sporting clubs bring regional communities together.
It’s why the Victorian Budget 2018/19 invests an extra $489 million for sport and recreation across Victoria, including $242 million for community sport. In the Wimmera Southern Mallee this includes:
- $1 million for change rooms at the Harrow Recreation Reserve in
- $600,000 for Stawell’s North Park Sporting Complex
Our regional communities will also benefit from a number of statewide initiatives, including:
- $82 million towards encouraging participation of women and girls in sport. This includes ensuring venues meet the needs of female players and officials
- $17.7 million to support national and international sporting events across Victoria
- The new fund, Pick My Project, is backed by $30 million from the Victorian Budget 2018/19, and will see local communities nominate and vote on their own funding priorities.
Protecting our enviroment
In regional Victoria, protecting the environment means protecting livelihoods.
It’s why we banned fracking, and why we’ve invested in drought mitigation and protecting our waterways.
As we deal with the impact of climate change and population growth, this Budget makes critical investments to manage Victoria’s water supply and protect our natural environment.
From Mildura to Mallacoota, our state’s environment underpins our health and prosperity. In this Budget, the Victorian Government will continue to deliver for our environment, investing a further $266 million in a range of initiatives. This includes:
- $70.6 million for the health of our parks and to grow the economic benefits for regional Victorians
- $9.1 million to ensure waste is appropriately dealt with by continuing the Environment Protection Authority’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce
- $5.1 million to help our regional communities develop their own strategies to address climate change and energy transition