The Andrews Labor Government is keeping its promises and delivering on its positive plan for Gippsland.

The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invests $2.6 billion in the brand-new Delivering for Regional and Rural Victorians Program – ensuring every community and every corner of our state shares in Victoria’s success and supporting 4,500 regional jobs.

This year’s Budget ensures our kids are ready for school and set for life, with $882 million to begin the rollout of universal three-year-old kinder, starting in regional Victoria. Three-year-old kinder will be rolled out in six rural and regional local government areas next year, including South Gippsland Shire, with East Gippsland Shire coming on board in 2021.

The initiative is supported by $28.5 million in the Budget to add early childhood courses to the Free TAFE list and $316 million in new kinder facilities.

The Budget continues the Labor Government’s record investment in the Education State, with $149 million to build, plan and upgrade schools across regional Victoria.

Local schools to benefit include Churchill Primary, Traralgon (Kosciuszko Street) Primary, Bairnsdale Secondary College, Cowes Primary, Boisdale Consolidated, Cann River P-12, Heyfield Primary, Neerim District Secondary College, Orbost Secondary, Sale Primary, Timbarra P-9 College and Koo Wee Rup Primary.

The Budget also funds a new junior secondary campus for Bass Coast students and includes $322 million to roll out free dental care in all Victorian government schools.

People in Gippsland will get better care, with a $100 million boost to the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund. The Fund has already delivered 283 projects including a new vehicle for Cann Valley Bush Nursing Centre, an Urgent Care Defibrillator for Omeo Health and the reconfiguration of the maternity suite at South Gippsland Hospital.

The Budget includes funds to kickstart the planning for constructing and expanding ten community hospitals, including $11.4 million for Phillip Island’s own 24-hour urgent care centre.

$7 million will go towards planning the next stage of Latrobe Regional Hospital’s major redevelopment and $136 million will deliver 500,000 extra appointments with medical specialists in Gippsland and across regional Victoria.

Our paramedics will get the support they need to save lives, with $109 million for new paramedics and vehicles. The single-officer Foster and Yarram branches will be transformed into dual-officer crews to boost care for locals.

Gippsland’s new Hope Restart facility will also receive $10.2 million to provide 30 additional residential rehabilitation beds to support people recovering from addiction.

And the Labor Government’s record investment in combatting family violence continues, with $23.9 million to better respond to victim survivors needing emergency accommodation in Gippsland and across Victoria.

The $1.7 billion Regional Rail Revival is upgrading every regional passenger line in the state – including Gippsland. But there’s more to do – that’s why this year’s Budget delivers $615 million for regional public transport.

We promised to continue upgrading regional roads and this year’s Budget delivers on that promise – investing $804 million across the regional road network, with $425 million to fix the roads that locals use every day.

A further $30 million will go towards building 2,000 free public carparks across regional Victoria, including 800 across Traralgon and Morwell, taking pressure off local streets and making it easier to get in and out of the area.

This Budget also gives new parents in Gippsland the help they need with home-based sleep support for 7,000 vulnerable families, a dedicated 24-hour sleep and settling phone line, and baby bundles for first time parents.

We’re putting power back in the hands of Victorians, with this year’s Budget delivering $1.3 billion to install solar at 770,000 homes over the next decade, with the lead government agency Solar Victoria based in Morwell.

And in good news for local businesses and local jobs, the Labor Government is further reducing regional payroll tax. In last year’s Budget we cut payroll tax for regional business to 2.425 per cent. Now we’re providing further tax relief, reducing regional payroll tax to a quarter of the metro rate – down to 1.2125 per cent by 2022-23.

We’re also boosting local jobs with $1.5 million to develop a new café on Bullock Island at Lakes Entrance, $1 million for the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail and free town centre wi-fi in the Latrobe Valley as part of a $16.7 million investment.

The Budget also includes funds to help upgrade Traralgon Soccer Club and Traralgon Tennis Club as part of $58.5 million in grants to support the redevelopment of ovals and other facilities across the state – including Gippsland.

To get more people outside and on the water, the Budget invests a record $106 million for 30 new campsites, better 4WD tracks and walking trails, on top of $34.9 million for phase two of Target One Million. The Government will also remove boat ramp parking and launching fees, and upgrade ramps in Rhyll and Cowes.

The Budget also provides funds to plan an iconic Sea to Summit Hiking Trail and a new Coastal Park in East Gippsland.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“This Budget delivers on the commitments we made to people of Gippsland and all Victorians. Because when we make a promise, we keep it.”

“We’re delivering on our positive plan for the Gippsland – with better schools, hospitals and transport, and the investments we need to support families and create jobs.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

“In every community and every corner of our state, we’re delivering on our promises and delivering for regional Victorians.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale

“The community fought hard for a 24-hour Phillip Island urgent care centre and Labor has delivered. We’re also delivering a new junior high school campus for Bass Coast kids, so more families are close to a great local school.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This budget continues our record investment to deliver Gippsland’s future – we’re getting on with the planning needed to deliver the next stage of Latrobe Regional Hospital’s major upgrade and continuing to invest in local schools.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett

“It’s only the Labor Government that’s making the big investments in kinder across Gippsland, so that more 3-year olds can access the critical early education they need, to set them up for life.”