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Much to the horror of the Australian liberal party, the recent Victorian state election on Saturday 25th of November saw the Victorian population voting in Labor Party’s Daniel Andrews to continue for a second term. However, during any election campaign, many promises are made from both sides of the debate. Today, we will explore the promises that the Labor government made during this election period.
Over the next decade, the Victorian ALP will be pledged to funnel in billions of dollars toward education. Almost $5 billion will be promised to families which will enable those with children as young as three to gain 15 hours a week of preschool education at state-government preschools for free or gain a subsidy for those attending a private preschool. At this moment, funding only supports children from the ages of four and above attending state-government preschools.
Over the next two eight years, 100 new schools will be built and opened, not only that, Labor also promised that a kindergarten will be constructed alongside every new primary school opening in 2021 onwards.To keep up with demand for these new kindergartens, Daniel Andrews pledged a further $27 million to cover 8,000 TAFE scholarships for students undertaking early-childhood TAFE courses in Victoria.
Transport & Infrastructure
A promise to transform public transport in Victoria. One of their biggest pledges, the ALP will begin planning the development of a new underground rail loop network that will encircle Melbourne’s suburbs. Instead of including the CBD as a pit-stop for many train users, this new rail loop will sync many of Melbourne’s busiest suburbs.
The ALP is not only focused on the public transport of Victoria, but also the 100,000 daily road users that commute using Melbourne’s freeway network. The North East link, a proposal first considered in 1929, the North East Link will effectively connect Melbourne’s freeway network from the Eastern freeway to the M80 Ring Road. $16.7 billion dollars and a decade later, the ALP government plans that the North East Link will be completed.
Victorians will see many changes to hospitals over the next few years, as 700 million dollars will be contributed to improvements and upgrades to 11 Melbourne and regional hospitals, including the very popular, Royal Children’s hospital. $1.5 billion dollars will be spent on building a new hospital: “Footscray hospital”. Located in the Western suburbs, residents will be glad that world class healthcare is right on their doorstep.
The government says that 1 in 5 Victorian residents will experience mental illness this year alone, therefore, Daniel Andrews has proposed a royal commission into mental health, an inquiry that would be life-changing.
Also, Andrews announced that starting from term three of the 2019 school year, sanitary pads and tampons will be distributed and available for all female students in state-public schools.
$395.8 million dollars will be pledged to ensure that every state student in Victoria has access to free annual dental care through a fleet of 250 dental vans, a scheme that could save Victorian families upwards of $400 per child. These 250 dental vans are envisioned to be on the roads servicing schools across the state by 2022.
Energy & the Environment
The next coming years will see a flurry of homes equipped with new solar panels. Named, Solar Victoria, this promise will see around $1.2 billion of rebates and interest free loans for over 600,000 homes. This rebate would cut down solar installation costs by around 50%.
Something that many people hate is cold calling from companies, it’s no wonder that one of Labor’s main sellings points is the promise to stop cold calls from energy provider companies and to double fines for wrongly disconnecting customers.
Those that enjoy outdoor scenery and activities will be pleased to know that entry fees to state and national parks will effectively be reduced by 50% and $105 million will be contributed to improve hiking trails and camping locations.
Law and Order
$2 billion will be utilised to hire 3,000 additional police officers across the state, not only that, 24-hour police stations will have two officers on the counter at all times and there will also be a minimum number of officers patrolling the roads, ready to respond to any emergency call in an instant.
Victoria has one of the toughest bail laws in the country, further reforms to increased sentences and reduced judicial discretion during sentencing will lead to an increase of population within Victorian prisons. Therefore, two new prisons have been proposed by the ALP, one of which will look to reform young offenders.
Since Daniel Andrew’s first term, domestic violence has been a very important topic. Women and children that have fallen victim to domestic violence have been promised that their abusers will receive mandatory jail sentences and that victims will have increased support and social housing options available.
Sources: ABC Broadcasting/The Guardian/Australian Government/ 9news/ TheAge/Australian Bureau of Statistics.
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