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

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.

We’re continuing our hard work to build and upgrade roads across our city and suburbs. Funding in this Budget will upgrade to the intersection of Stud Road and McFees Road in Dandenong North. Improving signalisation at the intersection and creating safer connections via a pedestrian crossing to connect to nearby bus stops, Dandenong Sports Stadium & the existing Dandenong Creek Trail Shared User Path. Connecting and improving safety across Stud Road.

Buses play an important role in our public transport network, helping to connect Victorians to work, school and each other. This Budget builds on our investments in public transport with $29.7 million for better services, including delivering new weekend services on the route 800 bus from Dandenong and Chadstone, helping people get where they need to go faster and more often.

Every Victorian deserves the dignity and security of a place to call home. This Budget invests $1.76 million for Viv’s Place, to provide wraparound support for women and children escaping family violence.

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.

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.

The Metro Tunnel will transform the way we move around our city and state. Opening next year, it will be the biggest, most transformational public transport project since the City Loop, more than 40 years ago. This year’s Budget invests more than $233 million, getting passengers ready for Day One. This includes continuing to recruit and train drivers, timetabling and signaling work, completing final testing.

Community legal services do an incredible job, making sure Victorians can access the legal support they need. We’re supporting this important work with $28.8 million for community legal centres and specialist legal services – including the South East Monash Legal Service. Funding will support the service’s Sporting Change Program. This program partners with schools in Melbourne’s southeast, to teach young people about the justice system and support access to justice with a school lawyer integrated into the school wellbeing team.

We are also funding legal support for refugees, asylum seekers and temporary visa holders, and supporting programs that encourage community connection in their new home.

And we’re backing the community organisations that provide support and connection to young Victorians – with $12 million towards the Victorian African Communities Action Plan, including $5.13 million to continue the delivery of homework clubs.

Funding will also support the annual African-Australian Student Conference, which aims to bring together 350 African heritage students from schools across the state, fostering an environment of empowerment, inspiration, and career exploration.

Our Big Housing Build is giving more Victorians the security and stability of a home. More than 9,200 social and affordable houses are already under construction or complete – but we know there is more work to do. This Budget includes almost $197 million for frontline homelessness services to reach and support Victorians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. A further $19 million will improve response times for repairs and maintenance in social housing.

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.

Each investment is an investment in the people of Dandenong.

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

Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams

“Importantly, this Budget also delivers much-needed cost of living help for Dandenong families – easing the pressure on household budgets with our $400 school saving bonus.”

“I’m really proud of the investments we’re delivering for families in our community – from better bus services to wraparound support for our newest residents.”