03 May 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is putting patients first in Bentleigh.  

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, including $12 million for Victoria’s second Mobile Stroke Unit at the Monash Medical Center in Clayton. 

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 Bentleigh get the care they deserve, we're also getting on with delivering the schools, roads and public transport services they rely on. 

You can't get a first-rate education, in a second-rate classroom. It’s why we’re going to upgrade Bentleigh Secondary College – which will receive $12.7 million for new learning spaces and a brand-new Performing Arts Centre so more students can get involved in creative activities, because under an Andrews Labor Government, we're giving every child the opportunity to achieve their full potential. 

Students with special needs should receive the same opportunities as every other student in our state. In this Budget, we're upgrading 36 special schools, including Berendale and Katandra Schools – which will receive $12.2 million to bring the schools together, giving students modern classrooms and a new library in two brand-new buildings. This will mean every single special school in Victoria will have received funding for a major upgrade since we came to government.  

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. 

Local communities 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 $500,000 for Bentleigh Reserve to upgrade the cricket nets into a multipurpose space so that other local sports teams, like the netball club, can enjoy them all-year round. 

We're building the roads we need now, as well as future proofing our road network by investing in planning for our transport needs. The Budget kicks off the planning for a pedestrian crossing on East Boundary Road near Clarence Street, so locals and their families can cross more safely.  

Thousands of Victorians rely on their local bus to get them to work, school and around their community. Now, thanks to the investment in this Budget, Victorians will get a smarter, faster and more reliable bus network including more frequent services between Southland and Box Hill, on the 733 and 767 bus routes – so Victorians spend less time waiting at the bus stop and more time at home with loved ones. With this Budget, we’re getting on with delivering for all Victorians.  

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. 

Quotes attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos 

“We can’t ever thank our nurses and paramedics enough for their hard work throughout the pandemic. It’s only right that we make sure they have the support they need to keep delivering the best care for Victorians and their families.” 

“I’ve been lucky to see many musicals at Bentleigh Secondary College from Seussical to Grease – their performing arts program is second to none and now they’ll have the Performing Arts Centre to match.”