Transforming a 20th century icon of traditional manufacturing in the shadows of Melbourne’s CBD into a future‑focused hub of innovation, design and new jobs, tells the story of a state on the path to recovery.

And a pledge to build a state‑of‑the‑art home for Australia’s national women’s soccer team – the Matildas – in Melbourne’s north, confirms the Victorian Government’s nation‑leading support for equality and fairness.

The Victorian Budget 2021/22 will inject $746 million to support Victoria’s ongoing manufacturing and industry success story, boost local jobs, continue the revitalisation of the tourism sector, promote Victoria to the world as a study destination, back the sporting stars who inspire younger generations, and accelerate the Melbourne CBD’s economic and social resurgence.

This builds on the government's massive $945 million investment delivered in last year’s Budget – part of its pledge to support the creation of 400,000 new jobs for Victorians – half of them by 2022.

Supporting International Education's recovery

The Victorian Government will invest $50.9 million to support recovery in international education – further expanding the state’s Global Education Network and offshore Study Melbourne Hubs, promoting Victoria as a study destination in regions such as Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The government will continue to deliver international student support through the Study Melbourne Student Centre and outreach programs for onshore and offshore students, who contribute so much to our state.

Victoria's new global innovation hub

To put Victoria at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, engineering and design, the Victorian Government will invest $179.4 million to deliver the first stage of the transformation of the former General Motors Holden site at Fishermans Bend into a global innovation hub. The works will include demolition, site remediation, road and infrastructure upgrades, and construction of the services and amenities critical to creating an investment‑ready precinct.

“Jobs are driving our recovery from the global pandemic and we’re backing the industries and businesses that make our state tick, as well as fast‑tracking innovative projects like Fishermans Bend.” Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

The site will house the University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering by 2024 and is expected to become a world‑renowned centre for innovation by 2051, supporting up to 30,000 high‑value STEM jobs.

This investment will deliver the jobs of the future, and it will back the jobs of today – supporting up to 300 workers at any one time over the next three years.

Transformative 10-year Agriculture Strategy

This Budget also invests $33 million in our agriculture industry to grow and protect the sector so it continues to be a cornerstone of our economy, in line with the Victorian Government’s transformative 10-year Agriculture Strategy.

That includes investing $12 million to deliver the establishment of a traceability information hub, the development of new systems to prove the origin and quality of Victorian produce, and campaigns to promote the paddock-to-plate journey of Victoria's produce.

Recovery through sport

Building the Home of the Matildas

In an unprecedented show of support for women’s elite sport, an injection of $101.1 million will help establish the Home of the Matildas along with a State Rugby Union Centre at La Trobe University’s Bundoora Sports Park. This major government investment is supported by $15 million from the Commonwealth Government and follows an investment of $1.5 million in the last Budget for planning works for the precinct.

The Home of the Matildas is designed to include a show pitch with grandstand seating, four additional pitches and high‑performance facilities including a gymnasium and wet recovery area, medical and rehabilitation centre, meeting areas and player lounge.

Having a permanent base for the national women’s soccer team will be a significant boost for Matildas captain Sam Kerr and her teammates as they prepare for the 2023 World Cup, which will be contested at Melbourne’s AAMI Park and other stadiums in Australia and New Zealand.

The Bundoora complex will also provide a home base for Football Victoria with administrative space, function rooms and match‑day facilities.

Supporting equality in sport

In a further step towards supporting equality in sport, the Victorian Government has allocated $250,000 to commission a statue of an iconic female netball identity at John Cain Arena.

Backing our next generation of sporting stars

The Budget backs top‑level athletes in a range of other sports. As preparations heighten for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Government will invest $24.5 million to fund significantly expanded operations at the Victorian Institute of Sport to nurture our next generation of sporting stars.

This will more than double the current $6.7 million annual contribution towards the VIS over the next three financial years, allowing the Institute to build on its renowned programs for elite competitors and attract and retain quality coaches.

Funding is provided and held in central contingency for a range of AFL/AFLW and VFL infrastructure and community projects including:

  • Gosch’s Paddock upgrade (Melbourne FC)
  • Kennedy Community Centre Dingley (Hawthorn FC)
  • Downer Oval (Williamstown Seagulls FC).

Release of funds from contingency will be subject to finalisation of project scopes and funding profiles, and decisions regarding AFLW expansion.

Supporting Local Jobs First

Local businesses and workers will benefit from guaranteed work on our state’s biggest projects through the government's Local Jobs First policy, which has supported more than 40,000 local jobs since 2014 on projects worth almost $100 billion.

The Budget invests $40.6 million to continue this work, maximising local jobs and local content by enabling suppliers to compete for government projects including large infrastructure, manufacturing, and goods and services contracts.

Strengthening Victoria's defence sector

Victoria’s defence sector comprises 6300 small and medium‑sized businesses which contribute more than $8 billion to the state’s economy each year in fields including vehicle production, maritime design, aerospace componentry and digital and cyber security.

A $5.4 million investment will help strengthen our defence industries through support for companies to secure new high‑value Australian and international manufacturing contracts.

Supporting small business

To continue supporting industry co‑ordination and recovery from the global pandemic, the Government will invest $31 million in small business and industry guidance, public event delivery and a contact centre for COVID‑19 queries.

After an initial $619 million investment to establish Jobs Victoria – which includes a network of 600‑plus job advocates, mentors and career counsellors to help people into work – a further $23.5 million will be invested in targeted support for people facing barriers to employment.

Social enterprises will have improved access to work on government projects, while the Impact 21 program will be supported to continue to provide employment pathways for young adults with Down Syndrome.

Supporting the steady recovery of Victoria's tourism sector

The Budget reinforces the government’s support for the steady recovery of the tourism sector after bushfires and the pandemic, building on the $633 million Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan.

We’re not waiting for visitors to stumble across Victoria – we’re telling our great travel story across the state and across Australia, and eventually we’ll tell it again across the globe. We’re investing in tourism promotion because it means jobs for Victorians.” Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

Support of $55 million will drive more Visit Victoria destination marketing and engagement, while Victoria’s Business Events Program will benefit from $42.9 million to attract new opportunities and support the operations of the Melbourne Convention Bureau and Business Events Victoria.

A further $8.9 million will support the transition of Regional Tourism Boards to Visitor Economy Partnerships, while $11.2 million will support the continued operation of the much‑loved Puffing Billy heritage railway in the Dandenong Ranges.

Harness Racing Victoria will receive $4.1 million to deliver its transformation program, which will increase investment in the code by encouraging greater participation, reduce barriers to entry and build on the industry’s strong regional presence.

Rejuvenating Melbourne's CBD

An investment of $107.4 million will drive the rejuvenation of Melbourne’s CBD. An allocation of $100 million for the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund will be matched by the City of Melbourne to create a $200 million pool to renew city spaces, finance CBD arts and cultural events and extend the ‘parklet’ al fresco dining revolution.

A $7.4 million investment will provide for a new dining voucher scheme to entice Melburnians and visitors to support city hospitality businesses.

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