Victorian budget 2021 LIVE updates: Treasurer Tim Pallas reveals state budget

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Some pre-budget laughs

Channel Nine reporter Andrew Lund has spotted a budget rental truck on budget day.

Pallas confident Commonwealth will fund state’s quarantine facility

Treasurer Tim Pallas is confident the federal government will fund a purpose-built quarantine facility in Melbourne’s north, describing discussions with the Commonwealth as “incredibly positive”.

However, the Andrews and Morrison governments are in disagreement over the future of using hotels in the CBD to quarantine international arrivals, with Victoria wanting them to be phased out over the long term.

Treasurer Tim Pallas says talks with the federal government “are proceeding in a very positive way”.Credit:Justin McManus

In an interview with The Age before he hands down his seventh budget on Thursday, Mr Pallas said while Victoria could fund the facility on its own, it was important for the two tiers of government to work together.

Click here to read the story.

What we know so far

Budget position: Smaller deficits over the next four years with the budget papers to show a pathway back to surplus following the government’s big-spending COVID-19 response of 2020-21.

Property tax: Land tax will increase by 0.25 per cent for taxable land holdings between $1.8 million and $3 million, and 0.30 per cent for taxable land holdings in excess of $3 million. Those changes are among a suite of changes to property tax expected to rake in $2.4b.

Health: $759 million into health and ambulance services, including for extra triage nurses and telehealth resources for Ambulance Victoria, improvements to flow in emergency departments and extra hospital facilities.

An ambulance drives past Southern Cross Station.Credit:Paul Rovere

Mental health: $349.6 million for 82 secure mental health beds and supporting infrastructure. This includes works at Thomas Embling Hospital where a dedicated 34-bed women’s precinct, a 48-bed medium security men’s facility, as well as clinical administration facilities will be funded.

Education: $383.8 million for skills, training and higher education, including establishing a new skills authority, subsidising VET to eligible students including asylum seekers, upgrades to TAFE campuses and tools and equipment needed for apprentices and trainees.

Courts: $210 million into court services, including the appointment of four additional County Court judges, two new Magistrates, including money for extra case management programs, expanded online services, additional workers and remoting hearing services.

The Arts: $140 million for expanding the capacity of the Geelong Arts Centre, $23.9 million supporting creative enterprises, venues, and festivals, $33.5 million for Museums Victoria, $4 million for First Peoples, young people, and people from diverse backgrounds, including for First Nations festivals, Yirramboi, Blak and Bright Literature Festival and Koorie Art Show Trains.

Transport: Nearly $1 billion to build 25 new X’Trapolis trains in Ballarat and $3.6 million for the extension of the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme to incentivise freight operators to put more freight on rail.

Good morning

G’day and welcome to today’s Victorian Budget blog as the state government announces its plan for the upcoming financial year.

I’m Roy Ward and I’ll be leading the blog today as we preview what is to come and then our team of reporters brings you coverage once the budget lock-in ends at around 1.30pm.

Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog and please enjoy the coverage to come.

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