As tough as 2020 has been, we’re reminded of just how important our neighbours and our neighbourhoods really are.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 will continue to build strong, connected communities – recognising that investing in our communities means investing in the people who call them home.

With $148 million for local government and suburban development, the Andrews Labor Government will deliver on the projects that matter to local families – at the same time delivering a boost to the state’s economic recovery.

That includes $75 million through the Growing Suburbs Fund to deliver hundreds of local infrastructure projects and community facilities in Melbourne’s diverse and growing suburbs.

From playgrounds to community facilities, these projects will help bring communities together, while also supporting local tradies, businesses and suppliers.

Libraries have provided tremendous support to their communities throughout the pandemic. The Budget will deliver $13.3 million for the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program and the Public Libraries Resource Program, to help local councils and regional libraries renew, redesign or rebuild libraries for all Victorians to enjoy.

The Budget includes $20 million to revitalise town centres in Altona, Broadmeadows, Boronia, Frankston, Lilydale, Melton, Noble Park, Reservoir and Tarneit, delivering upgrades and improvements to local community spaces.

Councils will also be able to access low interest loans from the $100 million Local Government Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme, which is already supporting dog parks, bike trails and community hubs across the state.

We will extend the work of the Metropolitan Partnerships, with $3 million to  bring together business, community and local government representatives from the Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western, Inner South East and Inner Metro areas – making sure local voices are heard at the heart of government.

Supporting our rural and regional communities, the Labor Government is also investing $3.7 million towards the Roadside Weeds and Pests Program and Municipal Emergency Resourcing Planning, which supports councils and communities to plan and prepare for local emergencies.

A $6.3 million investment in the Women Building Surveyors Program will give women an opportunity to take on surveyor cadetships in local government.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government and Suburban Development Shaun Leane

“This year we’ve come to appreciate our local parks, playgrounds and shopping strips more than ever – this Budget delivers for growing communities across our suburbs.”

“With this Budget, we’re continuing to invest in local projects that create local jobs and make a real difference in people’s lives.”