Putting Patients First in Wendouree

The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Wendouree.

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. From operating theatre refurbishments, new waiting rooms and hospital beds, to life saving medical equipment.

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.

We’re also building on our massive $542 million redevelopment of Ballarat Base Hospital by investing in a new robot surgery unit and replacing old radiotherapy equipment to deliver better cancer care for our local community.

Australia’s first ever Royal Commission into Mental Health told us that when it to comes to accessing mental health care, Victorians don’t know where to turn, or who to turn to. Which is why having a nearby mental health service in your local community can make all the difference.

That’s why we’re getting on with delivering mental health and alcohol and other drug hubs, including planning for a new one at the emergency department at Ballarat Base Hospital so that Victorians and their loved ones struggling with mental health get the care they need close to their families and communities.

We also know that too often, Victorians don’t get the mental health support they need, when they need it. That’s why we’re planning for an additional 33 acute mental health beds for the Ballarat Base Hospital. So that if you’re in need of support you’ll get it sooner and closer to home.

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

You can’t get a first-rate education, in a second-rate classroom. It’s why we’re going provide $6.1 million to upgrade Mount Rowan Secondary College to build a new Year 9 Learning Centre, because under an Andrews Labor Government, we’re giving every child the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

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.

To support and create good jobs, 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 centres across the state – with a focus on athlete hubs, including in Ballarat. 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.

We know how important pets are to our health and wellbeing – that’s why we’re providing $11.5 million to build a new purpose-built Ballarat Animal Shelter to improve the quality of life delivered to hundreds of stray, lost, abandoned or abused animals.

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.

We also know that better roads get us where we need to go sooner and safer – and building them creates new jobs for Victorians. It’s why this Budget delivers funding to plan the upgrade of Carngham Road between Dyson Drive to Wiltshire Lane, improving safety and connectivity for our growing local community.

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 Wendouree Juliana Addison

“Only an Andrews Labor Government is supporting the needs of every regional patient in Wendouree – to make sure they can get the health support they need close to home. New equipment at Ballarat Base Hospital will mean hours saved having to travel to Melbourne for regional patients.”

“As a former teacher and a mum, I know how important it is to invest in our kids’ futures. I’m proud that this Budget continues to build on our record investment in the students and teachers at Mount Rowan Secondary College.”


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