The latest State Budget has invested record levels of funding critical to sustaining healthy and connected communities. Key funding commitments include:
- building and expanding hospitals across Victoria
- new funding for facilities and programs to address mental health and addiction, and
- a record boost to women’s and community sports in Melbourne and regional areas.
Bigger, better hospitals
In total more than $1 billion has been committed to continue the important work of building and expanding hospitals across Victoria. The Budget provides $619 million for our major metropolitan hospitals, including:
- $396 million for the Victorian Heart Hospital (bringing total investment in the project to $543 million)
- $69.5 million for new infrastructure at the Alfred Hospital and
- $29.6 million to expand and redevelop the Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department.
Regional communities will benefit from a $627 million investment in their hospitals, including:
- $462 million for the expansion and redevelopment of the Ballarat Base Hospital
- $115 million to redevelop Wonthaggi Hospital’s Emergency Department
- $50 million boost for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to continue the upgrade of critical infrastructure at rural and regional health facilities.
New funding for mental health
A centrepiece of the budget is $705 million in new funding to support programs and facilities aimed at tackling mental health and addiction issues. The new projects include:
- $48.1 million for six new emergency department crisis hubs and $11.9 million to set up a new 20-bed prevention and recovery care service for young people in Melbourne’s north-west.
- three new residential drug rehabilitation treatment units will be developed in the Barwon, Gippsland and Hume regions at a cost of $40.6 million, and
- $10 million has been committed for infrastructure and capital works in state-owned mental health and alcohol and drug facilities.
Boost for community sports
This year’s State Budget has invested heavily in promoting access to sports activities, including the biggest investment in community and women’s sport in Victoria’s history. The Government will invest nearly $500 million in sports facilities across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
A total of $241.6 million has been allocated to upgrading ageing facilities at suburban grounds, local clubs and high performance centres across the state. Also included is a $64 million upgrade to the State Netball and Hockey Centre, part of more than $100 million in funding committed to improve sporting facilities and access for Victorian women.