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19 May 2020
The Victorian Government will get shovels in the ground and thousands of people back to work, building the projects that are important to Victoria – and generating the jobs that are important to Victorians.
As we work through the biggest economic challenge in generations, and as industry and business find new and innovative ways to adapt, the Victorian Government is rolling up our sleeves and playing its part to drive new economic activity – and with it, creating thousands of new jobs across the state.
Last month, the $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package was announced to assist businesses through the worst of the coronavirus crisis – with tax refunds, grants for businesses and chances for workers to get back into jobs.
Today, the Government launched the first portion of our Building Works package, which will provide $2.7 billion towards shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work.
The package will generate 3,700 direct employment opportunities for construction workers, painters, plasterers, gardeners, engineers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, maintenance workers, administration staff and many others. Thousands more jobs will be created across our supply chains, including manufacturing, logistics, transportation, warehousing and retail – while also pumping extra dollars back into our economy.
At the centre of the Building Works package is $1.18 billion in education infrastructure projects that will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction employment opportunities. We are constructing ten new schools, delivering a further four stages of new school projects, upgrading or modernising 57 schools, purchasing and refurbishing relocatable school buildings, making modifications for students with disability, as well as carrying out fast and job-creating maintenance on schools and TAFEs across the state.
Beyond school infrastructure, Building Works includes hundreds of projects that have been selected because they can get underway as soon as possible, meaning shovels in the ground – and boots in the mud – within a matter of weeks and months.
The key requirement for these projects is workers who are ready to get on the job and the ability to get going straight away, with companies required to find new employees through Working for Victoria in the first instance.
While creating solid jobs, these sometimes small projects will also mean the world to those who will benefit from them. Now, more than ever, ‘home’ means security, stability – and staying safe. It’s why this package also includes a big boost for public and community housing, with half-a-billion dollars to upgrade 23,000 dwellings and build 168 new homes across the state, all while creating new jobs for Victorians.
Travel and other restrictions have hit Victoria’s visitor economy hard. To assist our tourism sector bounce back bigger and better than ever, the package includes $382 million in upgrades, maintenance and new experiences at tourism destinations across the state. From delivering 50 kilometres of mountain bike trails in the Ararat Hills to upgrades at the Gippsland Lakes, this investment will be particularly vital in creating and sustaining jobs in regional Victoria.
Funding is also included for local sports facility upgrades, work to advance our waterways and coastal areas, and revitalisation and maintenance projects from tree-planting to graffiti removal in communities across Victoria.
The transport network also gets a big boost, with $328 million for resurfacing and patching roadways, around 300 kilometres of regional track improvements, repairs at more than 15 train stations, more maintenance on our trains and trams, and local pier upgrades along the coast, adding to Victoria’s $107 billion job-creating Big Build.
The Government will also devote more than $100 million for the critical upgrades of CFA and SES stations, disability accommodation, mental health and aged care facilities across Victoria – ensuring that just as we’re building our state, we’re making it safer and fairer too.
But we know this is just the beginning – as Victoria continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic over the coming months, there will be hundreds more big and small jobs to do that require the planning now so they can get under way as fast as possible.
That’s why the Government will also establish a $180 million planning and acceleration fund, to keep the momentum going as we continue to build our recovery.