The Brumby Government’s 2008-09 Budget has been labelled a “baby boom budget” - designed to help Victoria cope with its rapidly expanding population.
The Budget includes significant investment in infrastructure - building schools in growth areas, expanding the state’s maternity services, improving roads to reduce congestion and investing in public transport, including new morning peak train services.
The Brumby Government has also introduced significant measures to stimulate growth, including cuts in land and payroll tax and reducing WorkCover premiums and stamp duty.
Key Budget initiatives include:
- Net infrastructure investment of $3.9 billion, averaging $4.3 billion over four years to 2011-2012 including:
- $491 million in hospitals, health care facilities and medical equipment;
- $592 million for the second tranche of the Government’s $1.9 billion Victorian schools plan for new, refurbished and modernised schools.
Driving growth in jobs and business
- $490 million over 4 years in land tax reform – reducing the top rate to 2.25 per cent;
- Reducing the payroll tax rate to 4.95 per cent – the lowest level since the 1970’s;
- Reducing Workcover premiums by 5 per cent, saving employers $88 million in 2008-09;
- Adjusting stamp duty on land transfer thresholds by 10 per cent.
Support for Families
- An additional $3000 First Home Bonus to first homebuyers purchasing new homes in regional Victoria;
- $55 million over four years to enhance maternal and child health services;
- $31 million to expand maternity services, enabling services to cater for an additional 2,800 extra births every year.
- $79 million over five years in early childhood education and care;
- $79 million to improve education outcomes in schools across Victoria, including the targeting of underperforming schools;
- $592 million for the upgrading and replacement of schools across Victoria.
- $703 million to boost the capacity for hospitals to provide elective services and to expand essential services such as renal dialysis, radiotherapy and chemotherapy;
- $56 million for preventable chronic diseases;
- $208 million to rebuild and upgrade public hospitals including Box Hill, Warrnambool, Bendigo and Ballarat;
- $186 million to improve ambulance services across Victoria;
- $175 million for the fight against cancer, placing emphasis on early intervention and more screening and support for the Oliva Newton-John Cancer Centre to deliver specialist cancer treatments.
- $345 million to tackle the high demand for metropolitan rail services, upgrading rail infrastructure and introducing early bird fares;
- $698 million to reduce congestion and improve traffic flows by investing in additional road capacity
Provincial and Regional Victoria
- $205 million over four years to ensure the viability of Victorian farming;
- $515 million to improve rural and regional transport connections;
- $137 million in additional funding for hospitals and health care facilities in Provincial Victoria
Community Safety and Justice
- $53 million to improve capabilities and facilities for Victoria police;
- $612 million to ease overcrowding in the Victoria’s prison systems including a new 350 bed prison at Ararat, and initiatives to reduce the risk of reoffending;
- Extra money for Victoria Police to fund 100 more officers on the beat and pay for the Commissioner’s plan to have more police on the streets on Friday and Saturday night;
- $190 million to improve the service delivery and efficiency in the courts, including additional Supreme Court judges and upgraded digital video and audio evidentiary equipment.
Building A Fairer Victoria
$1 billion social justice package including:
- $111 million to improve mental health services including a new statewide 24/7 mental health information and referral service;
- $232 million to improve outcomes for people with disabilities by expanding packages that enable more people to be supported in their homes and improving programs that assist transition to work;
- $48 million to improve access to affordable housing by increasing supply;
- $18 million for increased support for refugees.
Climate change and securing water supplies
- $265 million over four years to secure water for Victoria, including $117 million for the first stage of the Wonthaggi desalination project;
- $110 million over six years for large scale demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies through the Energy Technology Innovation Strategy;
Sport and Recreation
- $78 million for sport and sporting facilities across Victoria;
- $39 million for arts and literature across Australia