03 May 2022 Media Release

Putting Patients First in Eastern Metro

The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Melbourne’s East.  

Across our nation – and around the world – the pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on health systems. From a sharp increase of critical COVID patients to disrupted care, resulting in longer hospital recovery time, the last two years have really knocked our health system around. 

When we came to government, we put an end to the war on our paramedics. We took ambulance response times from the worst in our history to the best. Now – just like we did before – we’ll ease the pandemic pressure on our hospitals and our healthcare workers.  

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 will invest over $12 billion to put patients first, with a Pandemic Repair Plan for more staff, better hospitals and first-class care. 

Our healthcare workers have been on the frontline of this pandemic, and we know how important it is that we support them into the future.  

We’re backing our healthcare workers with training and the extra pair of helping hands they need, so they can give you the very best care. 

That’s why the Budget is delivering funding to train and hire up to 7,000 new healthcare workers, including 5,000 nurses. 

We’ll provide 1,125 new Registered Undergraduate Nursing Positions and 75 new Registered Undergraduate Student of Midwifery roles over the next two years, and we’re also recruiting up to 2,000 ex-pat and international healthcare workers through a global workforce recruitment drive. 

Right around the nation, demand for emergency services is at an all-time high. Our Triple Zero call-takers and dispatchers are dealing with unprecedented call volumes.  

But when you call for an ambulance, every Victorian should have the confidence one will arrive. That’s why we’re delivering another 90 paramedics which means we’ve added 790 extra paramedics to the workforce since we came to government.  

And to help our frontline workers reach Victorians who need help faster, we’re investing $333 million to add nearly 400 new staff to increase Triple Zero call-taking and dispatch capacity for Triple Zero services, including ambulances, and training more operators to allocate calls across the state. 

We’re also going to make sure that every local community gets the health infrastructure and services they deserve. That’s why this Budget invests $2.9 billion to build new hospitals and deliver upgrades to health services in every corner of our state. 

By expanding our emergency departments, adding more surgical beds to get more elective surgeries done and increasing maternity care services – this Budget will ensure more Victorians get the very best of care, close to home.  

As we roll-out our Pandemic Repair Plan to make sure people in Eastern Metro get the care they deserve, we’re also getting on with delivering the schools, roads and public transport services they rely on. 

Students with special needs should receive the same opportunities as every other student in our state. In this Budget, we’re upgrading 36 special schools, including Croydon Special Developmental School – which will receive $11.75 million for an upgrade – giving students an upgraded gymnasium and hydrotherapy building. This will mean every single special school in Victoria will have received funding for a major upgrade since we came to government. 

To make sure every young Victorian gets the education they need for the career they want, the new VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate will replace VCAL, offering students more choices, a higher-quality curriculum and better workplace experiences – preparing students to jump into further study, training at TAFE or work as soon as they leave school. 

The VCAL reforms will save many Victorian families up to $1,000 by cutting out-of-pocket costs, with students no longer having to pay for essential learning materials for VET studies. 

In this year’s Budget, we’re also backing our apprentices. By investing $12 million to continue and expand funding for Apprenticeship Support Officers, we are providing apprentices with the right support to complete their apprenticeships and get the training they need to get a good job.  

We’re continuing to support on-demand workers and giving eligible casual and contract workers up to five days of sick and carer’s pay, so Victorians don’t have to choose between their health, and the health of their loved ones. 

Thousands of Victorians rely on their local bus to get them to work, school and around their community. Now, thanks to the investment in this Budget, we can activate the new Bulleen Park and Ride, connecting it to our bus network so Victorians spend less time waiting at the bus stop and more time at home with loved ones. 

Local communities also deserve great places to play sport and under an Andrews Labor Government, they will have them. We’re investing $88 million to build, upgrade and renovate community sporting infrastructure. This will deliver bigger, better change rooms, club rooms and community spaces for our community to enjoy. Locally this means $500,000 for changeroom upgrades and other improvements at Hughes Park in Croydon North and $150,000 for floodlighting for sports fields at Rieschiecks Reserve, Doncaster East. 

But that’s not all. We know that many Victorians are still paying too much for their energy bills – that’s why we’re stepping in to help families get the best deal. We’re providing a once-off $250 payment for all Victorian households that use the Victorian Energy Compare (VEC) website – the Victorian Government’s independent price comparator website – to search for the cheapest electricity plan that suits their needs. 

With this Budget, we’re getting on with delivering for all Victorians.  

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region Sonja Terpstra  

“We’re delivering for Victorians in Melbourne’s East when it comes to first-class healthcare – making sure patients have access the services they need, close to home.” 

“The wonderful students and teachers at Croydon Special Developmental School deserve the best learning and teaching spaces, and that’s what the Andrews Labor Government is delivering with in this Budget.”