Taking a closer look at the Victorian Budget 2015

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As usual, there was much anticipation for the release of the present Victorian Government’s first State Budget on 5 May. And first impressions are that the Budget has been a stand out in its consistency with the government’s pre-election commitments, as detailed in its Labor Financial Statements.

Big winners for this year have been social services (Family Violence, Child Protection, ICE and a smaller project looking at information sharing and risk monitoring across responsible portfolios), transport (roads, buses, trains and trams), hospitals and health services, education and emergency services.

The government has also unveiled a number of packages/programs aimed at creating jobs in the state – such as the Back to Work Policy and Victorian Labor’s plan for 100,000 jobs. Other key policies include Back to School and Project 10,000 – Labor’s Transport Alternative.

Within government these high level policies have helped inform not just the budget commitments, but the structure of the public service, roles, responsibilities, annual plans etc.

For businesses seeking to create business opportunities with government, it’s very important to be familiar with these key polices and align your service offering to them. But you can also look more specifically at what projects have been identified – which was the focus of our post last week (Creating business opportunities through the Victorian Government Budget May 2015 – An industry perspective).

Examples of Budget initiatives for industry

In last week’s post about the budget, we outlined the government programs that are attracting the greatest government funding, followed by the larger specific projects that fall under these programs. Today we have taken a cross section of initiatives within the budget that represent business opportunities for small and large business across industry sectors. We hope this sample of projects will give you confidence to delve deeper into budget paper No. 3 to identify those opportunities for you.

  • Courts Video conferencing acquisition and support — Forecast expenditure $14.60M (Courts will be provided with 148 video conferencing units.)
  • Video conferencing support costs — Forecast expenditure $4.60M
  • State Library of Victoria redevelopment — Forecast expenditure $73.20M (A major program of conservation and upgrade works will be undertaken to include expanding floor space, refurbishing Queen’s Hall, a designated area for children’s programming, and a media centre to showcase new and emerging technologies.)
  • Crash and Trauma Education Centre — Forecast expenditure  $46M (A dedicated road safety education complex will be built for road safety. Young drivers can learn from emergency services experts and crash survivors, and participate in simulations that demonstrate the influence of alcohol, drugs, distractions and speed on driver performance. The centre will also run diversionary programs for repeat driving offenders.)
  • Optimising transport network performance – congestion package — Forecast expenditure $79.7M (A package of infrastructure and Intelligent Transport System projects in metropolitan and regional areas to optimise transport network efficiency and productivity.)
  • Canadian State Park, Ballarat — Forecast expenditure $0.30M (A new state park will be established on former plantation land and state forest in Ballarat to provide community access for recreation and tourism. This includes picnic areas and walking and bike trails. )
  • Parks Victoria critical infrastructure — Forecast expenditure $5.00M (Funding is provided for critical renewal works to revitalise or replace priority park infrastructure to make parks more accessible and enjoyable.)
  • Delivering 10 new schools — Forecast expenditure $110.20M
  • Planning for school upgrades including Kalianna special school, Parkhill Primary School and Bimbadeen Heights Primary School — Forecast expenditure $2.20M
  • Acute Health Services – Clinical services hardware replacement program — Forecast expenditure $10.00M (Obsolete information system hardware for patient‑related clinical services will be replaced at Monash Health, Peninsula Health and Melbourne Health. This will allow continued delivery of reliable acute clinical support services.)
  • The Alfred Hospital – fire services upgrade — Forecast expenditure $4.10M (Safety works will be undertaken at the Alfred Hospital to comply with firefighting equipment and systems standards. The enhancements include to the warning and sprinkler systems, and installation of smoke separation barriers.)
  • Victorian Heart Hospital – planning and early works — Forecast expenditure $15.00M (Planning and development of Australia’s first specialist heart hospital. Funding in a future budget will deliver a 195 bed stand‑alone cardiac facility at Monash University Clayton.)
  • A new Mernda Police Station — Forecast expenditure $15.10M
  • Country Fire Authority trucks — Forecast expenditure $33.50M (70 new firefighter vehicles will be purchased to replace ageing CFA fleet. The new appliances will incorporate up‑to‑date technology that will improve firefighting capabilities.)
  • Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) asset maintenance and renewal program — Forecast expenditure $3.60M (Funding is provided for the continuation of maintenance and renewal of essential infrastructure)
  • PROV digital archive — Forecast expenditure $4.10M (The digital archive information technology platform and software applications will be upgraded and maintained. This will enable and support the accessing, storage, preservation, discovery, presentation and reuse of digital public records, and improve the operation and reliability of the archive.)
  • Parliament House security upgrade — Forecast expenditure $8.50M (Parliament House will be provided with additional security staff and services.)

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