Helping Families in Wendouree

The Allan Labor Government’s first Budget is dedicated to helping families in Wendouree.

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.

This Budget delivers $300,000 for Basketball Victoria’s High-Performance Hubs to continue supporting the next generation of players – including in Ballarat.

Helping to make sure more locals can get the help they need, this Budget also delivers $5.4 million for a new mental health, alcohol and other drugs emergency department hub at the Ballarat Base. This will be integrated with the new emergency department being established as part of the existing hospital redevelopment.

We know how important our frontline healthcare services are for patients and their families. 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.

This Budget invests $31 million to treat Victorians with eating disorders, establishing a new in-home intensive early engagement and treatment program, 10 dedicated early intervention professionals in the communities that need them most, and an Eating Disorders Day Program in regional Victoria. Funding will also support bed-based treatment.

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.

As the cost-of-living rises, we’re also delivering an extra $3.5 million to support organisations and neighborhood houses to provide food relief, as well as continuing the work of our six regional food relief hubs – including in Ballarat.

Community legal services do an incredible job, making sure Victorians can access legal support when engaging with our justice system. We’re supporting this important work with $28.8 million for community legal centres and specialist legal services – including the Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Centre. This funding will support the Centre’s partnership with local Maternal and Child Health services across Ballarat, Moorabool, Grampians, and Wimmera – with a focus on family violence early intervention.

Each investment is an investment in the people of Wendouree.

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

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“The start of the school year can be really stressful for families. The Allan Labor Government is easing the pressure on household budgets, when it’s needed most.”

“This Budget provides investment where it’s needed most, from helping families doing it tough with our $400 school saver bonus.”

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