Budget boosts community safety and security

Media statement

May 3, 2022

Victorian budget 2022-23

Tania Maxwell MP says state budget funding to plan for a redeveloped public residential aged care home in Bright, build a new aged care home in Mansfield, and create an alcohol and other drugs (AOD) residential rehabilitation centre in Mildura will boost family safety and security in Northern Victoria.

The Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party MP asked the government to support Alpine Health’s Bright high-care aged care and hospital redevelopment project and a drug treatment and recovery facility in Mildura when she delivered her budget submission to Treasurer Tim Pallas MP on February 8.

“The Treasurer’s announcement today that Alpine Health will get $1.52 million to help it plan the redevelopment of Hawthorn Village to become a 40-bed residential aged care home means grandparents and parents will be able to look forward to staying in alpine communities close to their families and friends as they grow older,” Ms Maxwell said.

“Mansfield families will enjoy the same opportunity with a commitment from the government that Mansfield District Hospital will share in $146m to develop one of three new, much-needed residential aged care homes in regional Victoria,” Ms Maxwell said.

“For the western end of my electorate, I asked the Treasurer when I met him to consider allocating $35m for a drug court and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) rehabilitation unit in Mildura.

“The budget announcement of $36m for this unit is a really important step towards improving safety in Sunraysia communities and, now that it’s been made, I’ll continue to press for Mildura to be added to the network of Victoria’s drug courts.

“A major study has shown that re-offending can drop by one third and offences become less serious in communities where drug courts operate. The impacts of drug use and related crime also drop in communities where rehabilitation services are available.”

Ms Maxwell said funding for 82 new mental health beds would include the addition of 16 beds to the existing 20 beds in a redeveloped, modern acute care centre at Northeast Health Wangaratta, and new beds and land purchases for Goulburn Valley Health’s expansion in Shepparton.

“I raised in March the need for acute mental health services for 12-to-15-year-olds with Mental Health Minister James Merlino so I’m pleased to see the government further funding mental health support for young people.

“It’s providing $1.1m for place-based youth programs including Youth Live4Life, $6.6m to continue the Healthy Heart of Victoria program in the Loddon-Mallee region, and $12m to support group-based parenting counselling to improve infant, child and youth mental health and wellbeing.

“Support for justice and policing is also very welcome.

“The provision of $14m to support victim-survivors of sex crimes so they can get help and, as much as possible, avoid the trauma of re-telling their experiences when dealing with the police and justice systems is overdue.

“It’s good to see the government attach value in the budget to a proposal put last month by Justice Party colleague Stuart Grimley MP for an online alternative for sexual assault reporting.”

“A specialist family violence court is to be established in Bendigo, together with a Koori court to consider cases involving Indigenous Australians, specialist court services are to be expanded in the Loddon-Mallee, and $342m is to fund an extra 502 police and 50 protective services officers.”

Ms Maxwell said emergency service funding included:

  • $42m for the state’s emergency response workforce and fuel management
  • $25m to replace and renew critical bushfire emergency assets and resources
  • $10m to boost energy supplies
  • $9m for Country Fire Authority stations
  • $2.4m to continue to the Victoria’s powerline bushfire safety program

Image: Tania Maxwell MP (left), Tim McCurdy MP, Alpine mayor Sarah Nicholas, Alpine Health chief executive Nick Shaw, and Helen Haines MP .

[Photograph montage, December 2021]