08.05.2024Victorian State Government Budget Response

We encourage you to read our full response to the Victorian Government State Budget 2024-25 here.

Having just unveiled its latest budget for 2024-2025, the government has a clear focus on helping Victorian families doing it tough in challenging economic conditions.

Its marquee $400 School Saving Bonus initiative will help cover the costs of children’s schooling, while further initiatives that help keep school children engaged and active, will help parents save time and avoid incurring additional out-of-pocket costs.

Victoria’s healthcare system has also been given a boost with a $11 billion multi-year injection, plus an extra $1.8 billion to be spent on our hospitals and health facilities.

These are valuable initiatives that will no doubt help Victorian families in the short-term, as well as prepare our health system to cope with a growing and aging population.

Notwithstanding, questions need to be asked as to whether enough is being done to help Melbourne prepare for an anticipated population of 9 million by mid-century. Our pre-budget submission highlights the range of challenges Melbourne faces as it welcomes more residents.

As the government tightens the purse strings on transport infrastructure spending to help stabilize rising public debt, as well as respond to the challenging economic conditions, we need to consider ways to further optimise the city’s existing transport infrastructure.

The Committee was disappointed to see that the Melbourne Airport Rail project has been delayed for four years. We have been advocating for a train link from the CBD to the airport for many years and we will continue to strongly advocate for a train link that complements the existing SkyBus offering.

The Big Housing Build continues apace, but with suboptimal market conditions for private developers, delivering the targets outlined in the government’s Housing Statement may prove difficult to achieve. More work is needed to turbocharge medium-density housing throughout the city.

These challenges could be effectively addressed with the help of a comprehensive, strategic plan that has appropriate enforcement mechanisms. With the Committee’s Benchmarking Melbourne 2024 report showing that Melbourne is sprawling faster than its peer cities and its footprint is the fourth largest amongst that group, preventing further urban expansion will deliver substantial economic, financial, connectivity, environmental and social benefits. The Plan Victoria process presents a great opportunity to this end.

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