Babies and young families, home buyers and regional Victorians are the big winners in the 2008-09 State Budget, Gayle Tierney, Member for Western Victoria said today.
Local highlights of the budget include:
• Confirmation of an emergency medical helicopter for South West Victoria located at Warrnambool which is part of the $185.7 million boost to Victorian Ambulance Services
• $70.1 million for Stage 1b of the Warrnambool Hospital redevelopment
• $2 million for Koroit Primary School Modernisation – Stage 1: general purpose classrooms library/ staff / administration
• An extra $3000 bonus for people purchasing a new home in regional Victoria.
• new assistance to first home buyers representing a 17 per cent saving – $2460 – on a median first home, including stamp duty cuts and new eligibility for stamp duty and first home buyers assistance;
• Portland – Increased port security – part of a $19.3 million initiative for the five Victorian ports
• Warnambool – Aerial Pumpers for the CFA Critical Infrastructure Response Strategy – part of a $4.6 million initiative
• $2.3 million over four years and $0.7 million total estimated investment (TEI) to create the new 27,000 hectare Cobbobonee National Park and Forest Park in Victoria’s south-west.
• VICSES Critical Asset Replacement rescue boat for Warrnambool – Part of a $2.6 million initiative
• Expanded Dispute Resolution services in regional Victoria – part of a $6.2 million program
• Rail maintenance program including RFR lines and all regional rail lines part of a $254 million initiative.
Regional state-wide initiatives in the 2008-09 State Budget are:
• $1.43 billion in new tax cuts and reduced business costs, including cuts to stamp duty, land tax, payroll tax and WorkCover premiums – and $94 million to improve workforce skills;
• a record $1.8 billion investment in transport, delivering extra morning peak train services, station upgrades, significant road projects and new transport services in the regions;
• $815.6 million boost to education including funds to rebuild, renovate or extend 128 schools and an education reform program to lift standards for students;
• $702.9 million for hospitals to treat an extra 16,000 elective surgery patients, an extra 33,500 outpatient appointments and an extra 60,000 patients in emergency departments;
• $233.3 million for preventative health measures and cancer prevention and treatment;
• The $37.2 million Alcohol Action Plan to create safer streets and address excessive alcohol consumption;
• A $185.7 million boost to ambulance services, delivering two new rescue helicopters, station upgrades and extra services;
• $294.6 million for climate change initiatives to drive renewable energy and clean coal projects;
• $99.1 million to improve liveability in the suburbs and regions, including $51.9 million for the Transit Cities plan to improve the liveability of Broadmeadows, Dandenong and Geelong;
• A Fairer Victoria initiatives totalling more than $1 billion to address disadvantage; and
• $204.6 million to help Victorian farmers and agricultural sector.
“Our Government’s eight years of investment in liveability – in key services and infrastructure – have made Victoria a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Ms Tierney said.
“This Budget is an action plan to maximise the opportunities and address the challenges of a growing population by providing the best possible services and infrastructure for local families.”