Today the Andrews Labor Government released its much-awaited Victorian Budget 2022/23.
As usual, there’s quite a lot to unpack. We’ve read through the papers and media releases to give you a summary on what you need to know.
While we haven’t seen support of our region’s big-ticket projects like the Geelong Gallery expansion, You Yangs Master Plan, or further support for the Spirit of Tasmania’s relocation in this budget, we’re hopeful these will feature as election commitments later in the year.
However, the Victorian Budget 2022/23 does contain some welcome additions for the Geelong Arts Centre, to prepare regional Victoria for the Commonwealth Games in 2026, and some generally for our sector.
Here are the highlights:
- $2.6 billion to prepare Victoria to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026, and a further $111 million to boost tourism and support events;
- Kardinia Park Stadium Trust is among five tourism and sporting attractions to share in $65.7 million in infrastructure funding;
- Visit Victoria will receive an additional $5 million in funding to entice overseas visitors to Australia;
- $2.6 million boost to the National Business Events Program to attract more conferences and business events to Victoria;
- Geelong Arts Centre is among seven cultural attractions to share in a further $127.4 million to support a strong recovery after two years of disruption;
- Tourism and live music will receive $2.9 million to create dedicated touring circuits in regional Victoria;
- A $17.5 million Creative Infrastructure Program for small to medium-sized organisations;
- A $10 million Distillery Door Grants program over two years to support the Victorian distillery industry to support the visitor experience, export market development and skills development;
- $6 million to fund the Creative Spaces and Places program, which aims to grow affordable spaces for Victorian artists and creatives to develop and showcase their work;
- $2.3 million to revitalise Geelong’s city centre (Revitalising Central Geelong – Market St South), including an expanded laneways program improving access for pedestrians moving between the retail and medical precincts.
- $109 million for new and upgraded bus services in key areas including Geelong’s growing suburbs and three other Victorian suburbs;
- Liquor licence renewals to be made available online (via Service Victoria) and a $10 million Business Acceleration Fund will streamline applications and approvals, improve information flow and provide faster licensing at local and state levels;
- $245.6 million Sick Pay Guarantee pilot scheme will transform casual and contract work in Victoria by providing eligible workers in insecure work the safety net they need to take time off when they are sick or need to care for loved ones;
- An additional $30 million towards the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund to help businesses create more jobs in regional Victoria; and
- $5 million to replenish the Specialist Advice Pathways program for small businesses.
We’ll continue to advocate for the priority projects mentioned above along with those highlighted in the Geelong Collective Top Priorities 2022 (read more on those here).
The Victoria Tourism Industry Council has responded to the budget, in particular its shortfall in addressing our sector’s jobs crisis. Read Budget invests in the visitor economy, but the jobs crisis remains the Achilles heel.
If you’d like to read the papers, media releases or find out more visit budget.vic.gov.au.