Ballarat's schools and sports facilities will be looking a little greener, after funding for election promises were revealed in today's state budget.
Key promises including the full $10 million for Her Majesty's Theatre this year, $2.5 million for lighting up Lake Wendouree and Victoria Park and upgrades to the Wendouree West Recreation Reserve, were all part of an extensive list of election promises form 2018, the government is stumping up the cash to build.
Wendouree MP Juliana Addison had already foreshadowed that funding for many of the recreation reserve promises would be "dripped out" while Labor was in government, with staged re-developments planned.
Treasurer Tim Pallas told the media lock-up it was a budget of "difficult decisions", but the onus was on the government to fund the promises made to voters in the November 24 election and carry out the "mandate" given by the people of Victoria.
READ MORE: Ballarat's budget election wishlist
Ballarat's schools have been the biggest winner this year, with money for modernisation programs at Mount Clear College and Mount Rowan Secondary College. Cash for planning redevelopments and new schools has been budgeted for new works at Ballarat High School, Delacombe Primary School, Miners Rest Primary, Phoenix Primary School, and Urquhart Primary School.
For small businesses looking for some tax relief, regional payroll tax will be dropped from around 2.45 per cent, to hit around 1.12 per cent by 2022-23. The state government says by that date, it will be one quarter of the metropolitan rate.
Read on for the detail of how Ballarat fared in state budget.
Cash for school builds
Mount Clear College will receive $550,000 in the first year, as part of its $5.5 million modernisation project for its 'Block A', which houses the school's art, music, drama and science facilities. It is expected to be completed in the first three months of 2022.
Mount Rowan Secondary college will also receive a first year budget boost of $360,000 to kickstart the $3.59 million upgrade to school facilities including the gym, music block and a new synthetic court. The state government expects the project will be completed by the end of 2021, according to budget documents.
The other big winner in the 2019 budget is the next tranche of funding for Lucas Primary School which should be finished this year, ready for 2020 enrolements.
Cash for school upgrade planning
Ballarat High School will receive $560,000 in the next financial year to plan the upgrade of existing school facilities. The money will partway fund planning for an $8 million election promise, which would see fixes for the ground floor of the J.J. Sheehan Wing and will upgrade its administration building.
Around $455,000 will be released for Delacombe Primary School to start planning for a more modern school, with plans to cost taxpayers $650,000 overall.
Miners Rest Primary will receive $1.7 million for planning overall, with $1.19 million to be released from July 1 to help plan a new $17.1 million school. It will include facilities will include new classrooms, administration block and a competition-grade gymnasium and oval available to the community and sporting groups after school hours.
More broadly, three-year-old kinder will be rolled out in Hepburn Shire in 2021.
Phoenix P-12 Community College will receive $824,000 in 2019/20 for planning of upgrades, the first tranche of $11.7 million to build an extra two indoor competition-grade courts and relocate existing tennis courts.
Urquhart Park Primary will receive $1.5 million for an asbestos safety program in its modular building, with $676,000 of that being supplied from July 1.
TRANSPORT $100 million to plan for the electrification to Melton
More reliable and on-time trains to Ballarat could be on their way, with $100 million to be allocated in the Victorian state budget for more planning works.
The next stage of the Western Rail Plan, which will eventually separate regional and metropolitan services, has been funded - technical work has already begun to electrify the line all the way to Melton.
By separating the lines, V/Line trains will no longer be stuck behind Metro trains, or be subject to delays caused by system failures on that line.
1000 free car parks in Ballarat's CBD
The $14 million promise made by Premier Daniel Andrews only a week out from last year's November election will be partly funded over the next year.
The project will get part of a $30 million Regional Car Parks Fund over the next financial year.
Slated to include "a number of" multi-storey car parks in Ballarat's CBD, Wendouree MP Juliana Addison said it creation of the car parks was about "incentivising people to shop in our CBD".
But neither the government nor City of Ballarat have been able to agree on a location for the free car parking as yet.
Keeping Ballarat Moving
Around $9.58 million will be released in the next financial year for a budgeted $60.8 million project to upgrade nine of Ballarats problem intersections and roads.
Under the plan, traffic lights will replace the roundabout at the corner of Learmonth and Latrobe streets, and the major roundabout next to Delacombe Town Centre. A two lane roundabout will be created at the corner of Dyson Drive and Ballarat-Carngham Road.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-2022.
The corner of Docwra Street and the Midland Highway will now have a roundabout and upgraded school crossing for Magpie Primary School.
Traffic lights will be installed at the corner of Gillies and Gregory streets, and at the corner of Sturt, Morrison and Russell streets. Albert Street in Sebastopol will be widened from two to four lanes, with traffic lights installed at Hertford Street.
Extra carriages on the way for regional lines
Within the $615 million the state government has promises for regional public transport, 18 new V/Locity trains will be built to take pressure off the busiest country rail lines.
The new trains will cost $340 million and will mean orders for the extra rolling stock will help relieve overcrowding as the Ballarat Line Upgrade adds extra services from 2020.
The state government is also putting forward money for train stabling and maintenance facility operations in Ballarat East, as part of a $19 million commitment across four sites.
The remaining $3.85 million for the Ballarat bus interchange will be released over the next financial year, which is meant to be completed by April 2020.
SPORTS, ARTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Her Majesty's Theatre
The entire slab of the state government cash will be released for the $10 million election promise for Her Majesty's Theatre, despite there being no federal government promise for the final $5 million to complete the restoration.
Works will include making the theatre Disability Discrimination Act-compliant, restoration works, the installation of lifts at the back and front-of-house, automation of the orchestra pit, better dressing rooms and the extension and improvement of foyer spaces.
Wendouree West Recreation Reserve
The large-scale follow-ups on 2018 election promises was also extended to sport and community facilities with the full $7 million upgrade budgeted for the Forest Rangers Soccer club home ground, and to make the Wendouree West Recreation Reserve a community gathering place.
The upgrades, when completed will include a new pavilion, new soccer pitches and lighting for night games, a dog park, improvements for Wendouree Neighbourhood Centre and relocation of the Men's Shed.
The 2019 Budget has also confirmed money would be allocated for a $3 million upgrade of the Ballan Recreation Reserve, for a new sporting pavilion.
Lake Wendouree and Victoria Park lighting
It's going to get a lot easier to keep off those winter pounds in Ballarat, with cash for Ballarat's most popular project.
The full $2.5 million for the project in today's budget will create a 10-kilometre lit circuit. City of Ballarat has previously stated lighting will be in limited periods early in the morning and evening for greater safety and improved vision for those running, cycling, walking and rowing about the lake, particularly in winter.
The recreation promises follow the $11.8 million announced this morning for the Ballarat Sports and events Centre and Mars Stadium upgrades.
Mars Stadium will get new entrances, new ticket boxes and covered areas, permanent bathrooms and increased accessible seating in the Western and Eastern stands. BSEC's stage two will include a strength and conditioning centre for athletes and outdoor 3x3 basketball courts.
The full $5 million for a revitalisation of Sebastopol's town centre will be funded over the next year, which could include a pocket park or town square as well as trees and beautification works.
After last year's bumper health budget for Ballarat - where $461.1 million was committed for the Ballarat Base Hospital redevelopment - specific health commitments for the region are a little more sparse.
Beaufort is going to get a boost to its paramedics numbers and resources, to try and improve health outcomes in the area.
The single-officer town will get a share of $109 million, which will go partly towards funding an additional paramedic.
The state government already announced a new parenting centre would be created in Ballarat, to cater to the 2000 babies born every year in the city who might be struggling with sleeping and feeding.
The state budget contains $135.1 million for upgrades to existing early parenting centres at Footscray and Noble Park, and new centres to be built in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Casey, Frankston, Wyndham and Whittlesea.
The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which which helped to establish Ballarat's Palliative Care Hub, will get a $100 million boost over the next financial year.
The budget details $209 million to build 1000 new public housing properties across Victoria, including in Ballarat. In regional Victoria properties will be built in Geelong and Ballarat to provide support for Victorians escaping violence and homelessness. Darebin, Maribyrnong, Stonnington and Whitehorse are confirmed as other areas to receive the housing investment.
The funding commitment comes after Ballarat welfare organisation calls for investment in public and affordable housing and the release of figures that show Ballarat's rental vacancy rate is the lowest in the state.
The budget also provides $50.4 million to provide assistance for Victorians experiencing homelessness, including assistance for more than 6000 people as part of the Private Rental Assistance Program.