Tuesday, 3 May 2022 


The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Footscray.  

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. 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 Footscray 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. 

We’re 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. Locally that means we’re providing $8.7 million towards Stage 1 of the Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Precinct Plan – to help cement its role as a major community arts and cultural precinct in the West. 

We’re also getting on with supporting our creative industries and artists in the West with a $2.4 million investment. As part of the Go West fund, creatives and community groups will be supported to hold festivals, family activities and performances and access more affordable creative spaces – taking creativity to the next level in the West.  

Local communities also deserve great places to play sport and under an Andrews Labor Government, they will have them. We’re investing $88 million to build, upgrade and renovate community sporting infrastructure. This will deliver bigger, better change rooms, club rooms and community spaces for our community to enjoy including at the Rosamond Bowls Club, where $250,000 will be invested to deliver new synthetic greens. 

Every parent worries whether their child will be ready for school – but with an extra year of kinder, and all the learning and play that brings – we’ll make sure they are. Under the Andrews Labor Government, every Victorian child can get a good quality early education in the early years that prepares them for a strong and successful future, with up to 15 hours of free three-year-old kinder. 

The Government will expand critical refuge and crisis accommodation for victim survivors who cannot remain safely at home, with a $69.1 million boost for two refuges, six new crisis accommodation properties and support for three organisations to bolster crisis accommodation options, including the McAuley Devonshire Project. 

The Andrews Labor Government will keep delivering improvements to our public transport network, making it easier for Victorians to cycle around our city and suburbs by upgrading bike parking facilities at train stations across the west including Sunshine and Footscray. The Budget also will support detailed development and design work for an upgrade to the Footscray Station Bus Interchange to make traveling on our bus network easier.  

We also want to give our multicultural communities the chance to celebrate everything they hold dear, with those they hold close. This Budget provides $250,000 to support upgrades to the Australian Islamic Centre while across Victoria we’re investing over $6.4 million to ensure that Victorians of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds can hold festivals and celebrations in great community spaces.   

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. 

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

Quotes attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall 

“Across the world we’re seeing enormous pressure on our healthcare staff, and in the West it’s no different. But this Budget will ease that pressure and invest in the nurses, paramedics and community mental health nurses who look after us – building on our investment in health across the west.” 

“Footscray is fast becoming a major creative hub for our state’s creative industries. With so many artists and performers living, working and creating locally, I couldn’t be prouder to deliver this investment for the Footscray Community Arts Centre.”