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Victorian budget for 2018 revealed

Article image for Victorian budget for 2018 revealed

Thousands of students will be able to study at TAFE free of charge, the centre piece announcement in today’s state budget.

The $172 million plan to make 30 priority TAFE courses free is designed to give Victorians skills to build the state.

Among the courses to be funded are engineering, concreting and civil construction.

The budget includes $13.7 billion for infrastructure projects which are expected to deliver more than 75,000 jobs.

“We’ve got an aggressive agenda and we’re getting on and building things,” Premier Daniel Andrews told 3AW Drive.

Click PLAY below to hear more from the Premier

Other initiatives announced today include $705 million for mental health support.

A budget surplus of $1.4 billion is being boosted by a $24 billion tax take, with land tax generating millions more than previously expected.

Victoria’s economy grew by 3.3 per cent, well above the national average.

Scroll down to see how funds have been allocated according to category.

$304m to create 30,000 new training places
$172m to make 30 priority TAFE and 18 pre-apprenticeship purses free
$108m to overhaul career education
$50m for Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships program for 1700 students

$2.2b for suburban road upgrades
$941m for regional road upgrades
$712m for Monash Fwy upgrade stage 2
$110m to fast track planning for the North East Link
$75m for Mordialloc bypass

Public Transport
$704m for regional rail including $313m to upgrade the Shepparton line
$572m to duplicate Cranbourne line
$104m for five new trains
$50m to plan for fast rail to Geelong

Law and order
$689m to expand Lara prison precinct
$160m for new beds in youth justice facilities
$129m for new bail and remand court and extra magistrates and judges

$627m to upgrade and improve regional hospitals
$396m to fund a new heart hospital
$218m for elective surgery
$124m for new medical records system
$58m for 90 paramedics and 12 ambulance vehicles

Mental Health
$705m to address mental illness and addiction, including mental health crisis hubs at six hospital emergency departments (Monash Medical Centre, St Vincent’s, Geelong, Royal Melbourne, Sunshine and Frankston)
89 new acute inpatient beds
Community based mental health services for 12,800 Victorians

$483m to upgrade existing schools
$353m for new and planned school projects
$272m to purchase land for school sites
$288m for students with a disability
$27m for new kindergarten places

Tax relief/cost of living
Payroll tax rate cut for regional businesses from 3.65% to 2.425%
$48m to give households a $50 bonus for comparing power companies
Increase in the Utility Relief grant from $500 to $650
Stamp duty relief for those buying their first farm
Reduction in regional student transport pass