Helping families in Melbourne’s north-east

The Allan Labor Government’s first Budget is dedicated to helping families in the North-Eastern Metropolitan Region.

Whether it’s helping with the cost of living, making sure our kids can be their best, record funding for our healthcare system or continuing to invest in more of the services families rely on – the Victorian Budget 2024/25 invests in our community.

With the current cost of living, covering supplies and extracurricular activities can be hard on families doing it tough. Uniforms, camps and excursions – it all adds up.

That’s why we are providing a one-off School Saving Bonus to help cover the costs. This $400 bonus will help make sure our kids have everything they need for the school day, supporting families with children at government schools and families at our non-government schools who need it most.

Dedicated to helping cover the cost of learning essentials and the extracurriculars that make school fun – we’ll work with schools to make it available for the start of the 2025 school year.

We’re also tripling our free Glasses for Kids program – making sure even more young Victorians can be their best in the classroom, and beyond. Having already helped 34,000 kids across our state – this investment will help 74,000 more, providing free vision screening and prescription glasses for students who need it.

And because we know that learning isn’t limited to the classroom, we’re investing $6 million to extend our Get Active Kids vouchers – providing up to $200 to help eligible families with the cost of sporting club registration, uniforms and equipment.

We’re continuing to invest in the strength of our hospitals – because we know what they mean to Victorian families. In this year’s Budget we’ll deliver an upgraded Austin Hospital, ensuring local families can get the care they need, when they need it, close to home.   

This investment will refurbish the existing emergency department, expanding its capacity and making it more comfortable for patients and staff. A new paediatric emergency department zone will also be created for our youngest patients. 

Since we came to government, Victoria’s public hospitals now employ over 5,000 more doctors, and over 13,000 more nurses. During the pandemic, when our health system was stretched like never before, we acted decisively – providing record funding to bolster our health system.

Since the pandemic, the cost of running our health system has continued to increase – but every cent is worth it to keep Victorians healthy. That’s why we’re making the biggest multi-year investment in our health system in Victoria’s history. It’ll mean our hospitals have the long-term certainty they need over the coming years.

The Metro Tunnel will transform the way we move around our city and state. Opening next year, it will be the biggest public transport project since the City Loop, more than 40 years ago. This year’s Budget invests more than $233 million, getting passengers ready for Day One. This includes continuing to recruit and train drivers, timetabling and signaling work, and completing final testing.

We know buses play an important role in our public transport network, helping to connect Victorians to work, school and each other. This Budget builds on our investments with $29.7 million to improve our public transport services, including rerouting bus services at the new bus interchange Croydon Station being built as part of the Coolstore Road Level Crossing Removal.

We’re making sure they get the opportunity to pursue their passions and graduate with workforce-ready skills. We’re investing $23 million to improve access and support for school students to undertake Vocational Education and Training (VET) – including a new ‘taster’ pilot program to give students in Years 9 and 10 the opportunity to do short vocational courses and experience studying at TAFE.

Last year, our Free Kinder program saved around 140,000 families up to $2,500 in fees, helping with the cost of living and ensuring cost was not a barrier to participation. This year’s Budget continues this investment with an additional $129 million to continue delivering Free Kinder and the statewide rollout of Three‑Year‑Old Kinder.

An extra $19 million will deliver new Building Blocks grants – enabling kinders to renovate and upgrade early learning facilities. From expanding classrooms to funding native gardens, upgrading technology or transforming outdoor play spaces, these projects are an investment in our youngest learners.

Community legal services do an incredible job, making sure Victorians can access the legal support they need. We’re supporting this important work with $28.8 million for community legal centres and specialist legal services – including funding for the Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) and the Mabels Program, which provides early intervention support for women experiencing family violence.

We know how important community events are and the role they play in bringing people together. Which is why we’re bringing the International Highland Heavy Games to Croydon as part of the Celtic Festival in 2025 – bringing even more visitors to our part of the state.

Each investment is an investment in the people of Melbourne’s North-East.

Because this is a Budget – and a Government – dedicated to helping families.

Quotes attributable to Member for North-Eastern Metropolitan Region Shaun Leane

“This Budget is helping families cover school costs with the $400 School Saving Bonus. This is about taking pressure of families and giving kids the opportunities they deserve.”

“The Allan Labor Government is investing in the skills – and sparkies – we need for the future. That means better access to vocational education and continuing Free TAFE.”

Quotes attributable to Member for North-Eastern Metropolitan Region Sonja Terpstra

“Cost of living is the number one issue for a lot of local families – which is why we’re providing real relief.”

“This Budget also invests in the services our community needs – from support for families to help for new parents and their bubs.”

Helping families in Melbourne’s north-east
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