VICTORIA 2023-24 STATE BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
- Victorian State Budget for 2023-24 was handed down 23 May 2023.
This Budget builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s record of delivering for all Victorians. It includes a COVID Debt Repayment Plan which will raise an equivalent amount of funds, including interest on this debt, to offset the impact of the COVID debt over the next 10 years. This will be achieved by introducing new savings and a time-limited and targeted COVID Debt Levy, and by using the growing Victorian Future Fund (VFF) established last year.
Backing Victoria’s thriving industries
- Investing more than $900 million in medical research and a further $12 million to continue supporting the growing mRNA industry.
- $21 million to establish a Manufacturing and Industry Sovereignty Fund, providing grants to support the development, expansion and retention of Victoria’s strategic manufacturing capability.
- $87 million to support the growth and sustainability of the Victorian racing industry, which has around 3,000 jobs across the state – with many of those in regional areas.
Contributing to a creative Victoria
- $35 million to support live music and community broadcasting, including around 10,000 gigs, getting more artists back on stage through grants for musicians to perform at live music venues as well as for music festivals, big and small.
- $23 million to expand the Major Events Fund, promoting Victoria’s calendar of events and strengthening the State’s position as the nation’s top location for major events.
Training for the skills the economy needs
- $186 million to expand the eligibility criteria for subsidised training courses, including Free TAFE, to make it more widely available for every Victorian who wants to get the skills they need for the job they want – supporting local jobs and boosting the economy with a pipeline of highly‑skilled, in‑demand workers.
- $90 million to meet the expected demand for training while providing additional literacy, numeracy and digital support for Free TAFE students.
- $90 million for TAFEs to continue to provide priority skills, job placement support, improve student wellbeing and to maintain high-quality workforces.
Economic reform to create jobs
- To better support small businesses across the state, from 1 July 2024 the Government will raise the tax‑free threshold from $700,000 to $900,000, with a further increase to $1 million from 1 July 2025. These reforms will save around 26,000 Victorian businesses up to $14,550 per year, and around 6,000 of those businesses will stop paying payroll tax altogether.
- The Government will be cutting the cost of running a business further by abolishing business insurance duty. The rate of insurance duty on fire and industrial special risks, public and product liability, professional indemnity, employers’ liability, and marine and aviation insurance will be reduced by 1 percentage point each year from 1 July 2024. These reforms could save businesses around $3 200 on professional indemnity insurance and $2 400 on fire and other special risk insurance cumulatively over 10 years.
- This Budget provides $38 million for a government‑wide Regulatory Reform program, helping to identify and drive real reforms which maximise benefits for Victorian businesses and consumers.
Supporting Victorians in the workplace
- $35 million to support disadvantaged jobseekers in Victoria by extending the Jobs Victoria Mentors program, supporting disadvantaged jobseekers and removing the barriers they face when it comes to finding work.
Victoria’s flood recovery
$677 million to meet the emergency response and recovery needs of flood affected communities, including:
- Early intervention and psychological services to support the mental health of communities impacted by floods and disasters.
- Support to councils for flood recovery programs and to undertake secondary impact assessments.
- Continuing the communications program on flood recovery, and covering emergency services response costs.
- Additional flood recovery support programs that are yet to be agreed with the Commonwealth on eligibility for cost sharing arrangements.
Further boosting regional jobs and economies
- $7.3 million to deliver place‑based economic and community development through the Latrobe Valley Authority, and continue the Ladder Step Up and Inclusive Employment Worker Transition programs.
- A new $10 million Tiny Towns Fund will provide local grants from $5,000 up to $50,000 to help tiny towns shine, available to communities of up to 5,000 people.
Helping the farmers
- To support farmers, this Budget invests $49 million to enhance biosecurity protections and back world-class producers to grow. These programs include grant programs for producers, scholarships for hospitality workers, a farm safety and well-being program and funding for pests and weed management.
- $40 million towards the Metropolitan Health Infrastructure Fund, providing grants to upgrade essential equipment and renew, reconfigure and refurbish metropolitan health services’ infrastructure.
- $32 million for medical graduate incentives to undertake general practitioner (GP) training.
- $15 million to expand the health workforce, including financial and international recruitment incentives.
- $12 million for research initiatives that will directly benefit women’s health, such as an inquiry into women’s pain management and early work to establish a Women’s Health Research Institute.
Bringing back the State Electricity Commission (SEC)
- $19 million for 10,000 students to undertake work experience placements in the clean energy sector and other priority sectors.
- $16 million to deliver two new clean energy worker training centres – one for hydrogen and one for wind to prepare workers for Victoria’s emerging industries.
- $12 million to establish a SEC Centre of Training Excellence to coordinate and accredit courses in clean energy – and attend career nights across government schools.
- $50 million TAFE Clean Energy Fund, as part of the $170 million for the Building Better TAFE Fund, which provides four TAFE projects and establishes the TAFE Clean Energy Fund to improve lifelong education pathways, workforce skills and capacity.
- $321 million for essential maintenance at schools and outdoor facilities.
- $182 million for relocatable buildings to create new learning spaces at schools that are reaching their capacity.
- $91 million to expand capacity to meet enrolment growth anticipated for the 2027 school year at four established area schools.
- $10 million to fund minor capital projects at schools across the state.
- $10 million for the Inclusive Schools Fund, to meet the educational and social needs of all children and young people, including those with disabilities and additional needs.
- $10 million for facility modifications to improve accessibility, which may include installation of ramps and handrails, and alterations for vision and hearing‑impaired students.
- $450 million towards building and upgrading low‑fee Independent and Catholic schools.
- $235 million package to help students living with disability, their carers and families.
- $40 million for two education initiatives focused on early intervention.
Cost of living relief for families
- $400 million for another round of the hugely popular Power Saving Bonus, providing another $250 to households that use the Victorian Energy Compare website to search for the cheapest electricity deal.
- $190 million for fairer public transport fares for regional Victorians – capping regional public transport fares at the metro rate.
- $42 million to recognise the service of Victorian veterans and their families and help them with the cost of living.
- $23 million to provide free period products in public places across the state.
- $16 million for Solar Victoria to provide interest‑free loans to eligible households to install solar battery storage systems in their home.
Equality for all Victorians
- $9.7 million to expand the Rainbow Tick program, including affirmative care training.
- $8 million for the LGBTIQ+ Community Grants Program, which helps community organisations celebrate and connect LGBTIQ+ communities.
- $4.5 million to pilot the Pride in Ageing program to better support older LGBTIQ+ Victorians and strengthen their connections to community.
- $40 million to continue the Multicultural Infrastructure Fund to upgrade, renovate and build multicultural and multifaith community facilities.
- $17 million to upgrade and revitalise business and cultural hubs in Victoria’s multicultural precincts, provide grants to multicultural trader associations and for scholarships to help train staff to fill jobs in these precincts.
- $12 million to help the multicultural and multifaith communities celebrate the festivals and events that offer important connections.
- $9.8 million for multicultural support programs including the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, to help the voices of multicultural and multifaith communities be heard.
- $6 million to strengthen and extend language provision in Community Language Schools and select government schools, including by establishing three new beacon schools offering Hindi and Punjabi language subjects.
Supporting Treaty and self‑determination
- $35 million to support 25 self‑determining Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to strengthen workforce capacity to deliver more episodes of care to Aboriginal Victorians and meet Victoria’s commitment under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
- $10 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program to help advance employment and social and economic development opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians.
- $1.4 million to deliver Aboriginal cultural events and awards, celebrating and remembering Victoria’s Aboriginal culture and history.
Protecting the environment
- $10 million to establish a Green Links fund to support revegetation along creeks, rivers, and waterways.
- $9.3 million to support not‑for‑profit and community veterinary clinics, pet shelters, animal rescue and rehoming organisations, and to modernise animal welfare laws.
Regional parks and recreation areas
- $16 million for recreational boating infrastructure improvements to increase recreational opportunities for Victorians and visitors.
- $8.7 million for Community Sport and Recreation Participation Programs. Many programs are in regional areas and will provide further opportunities for priority groups, support grassroots clubs and build sector capacity.
- $2.5 million for the Country Football and Netball Program to develop community sport and recreation infrastructure.