The Victorian Budget

5 May 2015

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Victoria’s major projects agenda has been scaled back in favour of upfront cash for schools, TAFEs, hospitals and services in a first budget aiming to deliver election promises and consolidating Labor’s election win.

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Steve Herbert

Victorian skills minister Steve Herbert

 

Spending increases over the next four years will be cranked up to 3% annually from 2.5% previously to the meet the demands of booming population growth and cost-of-living pressures.

The budget includes $3.9 billion for students, schools, TAFES and early childhood development, with $325 million to refurbish and rebuild 67 schools and $111 million to build 10 new schools.
Some $350 million, which has been previously announced, is being invested to support Victoria’s struggling TAFE system.

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget provides $300 million to complete the full TAFE Rescue Fund to help institutes across the state reopen closed campuses, bring in new students, upgrade workshops and classrooms and get back into the black.

The government says that $20 million from this Fund has already been fast-tracked to secure the financial future of seven struggling TAFEs that were on the brink of collapse.

The $50 million TAFE Back To Work Fund will help campuses meet the needs of local employers, creating new training courses to “give local students the skills they need for the jobs they want.”

The Budget also provides $8 million to establish a new Office of the Victorian Skills Commissioner, which is to provide advice on the training market, identifying where skills are needed and where jobs are growing.

Local Learning and Employment Networks will receive $32 million to support vulnerable young people who have dropped out of school and can’t get work.

The Budget also provides $2 million over four years to support the General Sir John Monash Foundation to offer a new scholarship category for Victorians. The new General Sir John Monash Scholarship will provide up to $180,000 per student to pursue post-graduate study overseas for up to three years.

With international education as Victoria’s number one export, the Budget provides $4 million to support International Student Welfare Grants.  Organisations helping international students overcome social isolation, and consumer, housing and education problems, will have the opportunity to apply for grants up to $50,000.

 

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