The Coalition government’s first budget, released on May 3, is a clear win for Caulfield residents.
David declared it “a responsible and caring budget delivering on our election commitments in challenging times” and it includes significant investments in health, education, public transport and crime prevention as well as a number of initiatives aimed at reducing Victorians’ cost of living.
The government will invest more than $13 billion in improving Victoria’s health system. This includes a $90 million waiting list and emergency department reform package that will act to slash hospital waiting list times.
In the area of education, the government is investing $11 billion aimed at improving the quality of both government and independent schools.
David is extremely proud of the allocation of $240 million to support funding in the independent school sector. “In Caulfield we take great pride at the diverse educational opportunities available due to the many independent schools in the community and this funding will be a great help to Caulfield families,” David said.
After 11 years of broken promises, the government has announced a $484 million package aimed at improving Victoria’s public transport and rail freight infrastructure.
Caulfield residents will benefit significantly from these investments. $11.9 million was committed upgrading Balaclava Railway Station to Premium Status and funding has been allocated towards the removal of the railway crossing at Ormond Station.
‘The previous Government did not have any plans to do this project throughout their 11 years in office,” David said. “Removing this level crossing will ease congestion and the frustration to drivers that it causes.”
Ensuring community safety and preventing crime has always been a particular concern of David’s and he is very pleased that a number of programs and policies have been launched in this area.
The budget provides for $602 million to fund an additional 1600 frontline police and 100 transit police, including an extra 9 officers in the City of Glen Eira and 12 in the City of Port Phillip. $212 million is also being spent to provide 940 protective services officers across all metropolitan railway stations and major regional stations.
Additionally, a $29m Community Crime Prevention Program will empower local communities by providing grants of $10 000 to Councils and other groups to tackle local crimes while a commitment of $4m was made to work with local councils to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to graffiti.
“I am particularly happy, as I am sure many Caulfield residents will be, that the Coalition Government has restored street-by-street local crime statistics access to Neighbourhood Watch. This will allow our great volunteers to continue doing their vital work,” David said.
Finally, the budget shows the priority the government has placed upon helping reduce Victorians’ cost of living.
This included more than half a billion in stamp duty cuts for first homebuyers. Stamp duty will be progressively reduced by 50 per cent for first homebuyers purchasing principal places of residence valued up to $600 000. “This policy will greatly benefit the many young people in Caulfield looking to purchase their first home,” said David.
Additionally, a 50% reduction in ambulance membership fees will make access to ambulance services far more affordable.
David is proud of the extent to which this budget reflects the government’s priorities and values. “Despite inheriting the mess caused by the previous Government’s incompetence the Treasurer has put together a budget which supports Victorian families, eases cost of living pressures and reflects the needs of the community.’