The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Dandenong.

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.

We’re also going to make sure that every local community gets the health infrastructure and services they deserve. That’s why this Budget invests $2.9 billion to build new hospitals and deliver upgrades to health services in every corner of our state, including $12 million for Victoria’s second Mobile Stroke Unit at the Monash Medical Center in Clayton.

By expanding our emergency departments, adding more surgical beds to get more elective surgeries done and increasing maternity care services – this Budget will ensure more Victorians get the very best of care, close to home.

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

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.

Every family deserves the chance to get out and kick a ball, go for a run, walk the dog or enjoy our great local parks and clubs. That’s why we’re investing $5.5 million to improve Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve. We’re funding a masterplan and a program of early works upgrading toilets, car parks and trails making the park more accessible and giving local families better green spaces to relax and be close to nature in Dandenong.

We’re also providing $200,000 to plan for a Multicultural Community Services Hub in the south east, and another $200,000 to kick off planning for an Afghan Community Centre in Dandenong. With this Budget, we’re making sure that multicultural communities can continue to share and celebrate their culture and traditions.

We’re also giving our performers and creatives great spaces to work and perform in, as part of a $17.5 million package in building infrastructure for the creative industries. This investment will boost our creative industries, and create jobs in the arts and in construction, all while Victorians enjoy the best entertainment. It’s why this Budget is delivering $850,000 towards the planning of a new Arts Hub in Dandenong – so that local artists and creative groups can access new, affordable collaborative spaces right here in Dandenong.

But that’s not all. We’ll also keep supporting our growing suburbs, with an additional $50 million for our Growing Suburbs Fund so we can continue building health and wellbeing hubs, new parks, and community centres in our growing suburban and peri-urban communities.

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.

With this Budget, we’re getting on with delivering for all Victorians.

Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams

“We’re investing in Victoria’s second Mobile Stroke Unit for Monash Health, so that paramedics have the extra pair of helping hands they need to provide families in Dandenong with the best healthcare.”

“By investing in the Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve, we’re making Dandenong an even better place to live, with great local parks for every family to enjoy with their loved ones.”