The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Eastern Victoria.

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.

This Budget invests in regional health – because regional Victorians deserve the same level of care as
people in Melbourne. At the centre of the plan is a $300m injection to upgrade regional hospitals and
healthcare facilities in every corner of our state, the largest Regional Health and Infrastructure Fund boost since it was created by the Andrews Labor Government.

We’re also providing $9 million to regional women’s health services and a further $11.5 million to deliver
group parenting sessions to support families with children struggling with their mental health. Because no matter where you live, every Victorian and their family deserves great healthcare.

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

We’re committed to securing the future of public aged care by upgrading public aged care homes with new, modern and purpose-built facilities. In this Budget we’re supporting Orbost Regional Hospital Campus with $45.4 million to combine the services of Lochiel House and Waratah Lodge and replace 38 beds.

Funding of $800,000 will plan for a new 60-bed PSRACS facility at the Mornington Centre – including 30 beds dedicated to a specialist dementia unit and 30 mental health beds.

These upgrades will ensure that elderly regional Victorians get the care they deserve close to family and

Students with special needs should receive the same opportunities as every other student in our state. We’re investing $6.7 million for Mornington Special Developmental School to replace relocatable buildings with permanent ones. We’re also supporting East Gippsland Specialist School with $6.7 million to upgrade the school, with new classrooms and a library and $3.6 million for South Gippsland Specialist School to deliver new permanent facilities – giving students with special needs across Eastern Victoria the learning spaces they deserve.

But that’s not all. You can’t get a first-rate education, in a second-rate classroom. It’s why we’re providing at least $3 million to upgrade Bittern Primary School – giving every child the opportunity to achieve their full potential, with buildings fit for purpose.

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.

We’re bringing the Commonwealth Games back to Victoria in 2026. These Games will be unlike any before in the history of the Commonwealth Games – they will be held in regional cities across the state – with a focus on athlete hubs including in Gippsland. This will offer the opportunity for regional cities and towns to host major events, tourism, arts, culture, and sport well beyond the Commonwealth Games – and help deliver the triple benefit of creating local jobs and housing and boosting regional economies too.

Local communities 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 community spaces for our local sporting clubs to get more locals involved. As part of this package, across Eastern Victoria, we’ll provide:

• $200,000 for the Tooradin Recreation Reserve Pavilion – renewing the reserve
• $400,000 for the Korunmburra Recreation Reserve – upgrading the reserve
• $150,000 for Tyabb Sports Field – upgrading lighting
• $200,000 for Metung Bowling Club – installing a new synthetic green; and
• $75,000 to upgrade seven hard wicket cricket pitches across East Gippsland Shire.

With this Budget, we’re making sure every dollar of investment is doing double duty. In a boost to tourism, we’re welcoming visitors back to Victoria in a big way and promoting Victoria to the world.

We will deliver the development of the Croajingolong Coastal Wilderness Walk, an iconic experience-based multi-day walk along East Gippsland, as well as building repairs and improved visitor access at two Gippsland South heritage icons – Point Hicks Lighthouse and Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse. By supporting more major icons and attracting tourists – and their dollars – we’ll make sure the visitor economy stays strong, while supporting and creating jobs for Victorians.

The Andrews Labor Government will keep delivering improvements to our public transport network and
deliver stabling facilities at Bairnsdale station for VLocity trains to allow for high-speed trains on the
Gippsland line.

We’re delivering upgrades to jetties across Eastern Victoria. The upgrades will ensure these jetties remain a popular choice amongst commercial operators, recreational boaters, anglers and sightseers who visit Eastern Victoria. We’re upgrading

• Lakes Entrance Fishing Co-op Jetties
• Raymond Island Public Jetty
• Mornington Fishermans Jetty
• McLoughlins Beach Jetty

Regional Victorians value their waterways and protecting our native water species, supporting local tourism and healthy local communities. That’s why this Budget invests an overall package of $56.6 million to begin implementing the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy. We will construct a fishway at Maffra Weir to improve the abundance, distribution and diversity of native fish species, and fund the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority to supply water to Lower Latrobe Wetlands.

Devastating bushfires, floods and natural disasters have highlighted how important it is that our state is
prepared, connected and resourced to deliver quick and efficient emergency responses. So we’re increasing capacity of our emergency service operators and workforce to look after us, in our hour of need and working with communities to better prepare and recover from natural disasters now and into the future.

We’ll also keep supporting our regional communities, with an additional $30 million for our Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund so we can continue to help country towns become event better places to live, work and invest, and support jobs in regional Victoria.

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

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett

“I know firsthand how important it is to have peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after when they’re sick. I’m proud we’re delivering better cancer care for all Victorians.”

“No matter where you live, kids with special needs deserve great classrooms to learn in and big spaces to play in – and it should all be close to home. With this Budget, we’re doing just that – upgrading several special schools across Eastern Victoria.”