The Victorian Budget 2018/19 will deliver new skills, good jobs, more schools and better roads for every Victorian.

Families in Thomastown will have good schools close to home, with nearly $1.3 billion for schools around the state. This includes building and planning 28 new schools, and upgrading 130 existing schools.

Locally, $3 million will go to upgrading facilities at Epping Secondary College, including improvements to the school’s classrooms.

Three new local schools will also be established, with fund to purchase land for Wollert Central P-6, Wollert East P-6 and Wollert East 7-12, giving local families certainty about their children’s future.

This Budget also provides $3.8 million to Lalor Gardens Primary School to modernise their facilities, including a new gymnasium, music facility and canteen.

Local commuters will also benefit from this Budget, with 74 more parking spots to be created at Epping Station, part of a $60 million package from the Andrews Government.

Local roads will also be upgraded as part of a massive $2.2 billion Suburban Roads Upgrade investment.

This will see four kilometres of Epping Road, from Craigieburn Road East to Memorial Avenue, doubled from two lanes to four lanes. New traffic signals will be installed at one intersection and five other existing signalised intersections will be upgraded.

Childs Road, from Beaumont Crescent to Prince of Wales Avenue, will also be doubled from two lanes to four lanes, while a new bridge will be built over Darebin Creek, and the Bowman Drive roundabout upgraded to a signalised intersection.

Cost should never stop someone from learning new skills, that’s why this year’s Budget includes $172 million to make priority TAFE courses free, giving more Thomastown residents the chance to be able to train at TAFE and get the right skills they need for a good job.

30 priority TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses will be made free, while more than 30,000 new TAFE places will be funded across the state.

More local students will also be able to finish school qualified and ready to work, with the introduction of Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships in 100 secondary schools.

It means kids in our community will have the option to undertake an additional year of high school, and graduate with an apprenticeship or traineeship, ready to start work in a good job.

Thomastown students will also get expert advice to help them make the right career choices, with career education in schools to be overhauled across the state and start from Year 9.

In more good news for local families, this year’s Budget includes $1 million for the Northern Regional Trails Strategy to plan and prioritise local cycling and hiking trails, as identified by the Northern Metropolitan Partnership.

A $23.9 million investment in this year’s Budget will go toward improving road safety around our schools and boosting Victoria’s School Crossing Supervisor Program.

This funding boost will give local parents confidence that as they send their kids off to school, a crossing supervisor will be looking out for them – rain, hail or shine.

This is a Budget that delivers on the things that matter most to our state. This is a Budget that gets things done.

Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny

As we all know, our community is growing like never before. Our Labor budget invests in vital infrastructure for this growth but also recognises that we cannot forget the needs of those in more established areas as well.”

“We have continued on from previous budgets – investing in road duplications as well as land for new schools, and further school rebuilds to remove asbestos.”

 “It still doesn’t cover everything we need but we are definitely getting there with these strong Labor budgets. To date I have calculated that the previous Liberal Government spent less than $40 million in the Thomastown electorate compared to almost $400 million under the Andrews Labor Government.”

“TAFE is extremely important for residents. Over 11,000 people in the Thomastown electorate have a TAFE qualification. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 will provide training at no cost for 30 courses, cutting down another barrier to getting a good and secure job.”