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Unpacking the Victorian state election

After enduring weeks of irritating television ads, Victorians will get the final say in the state election as they head to the polls on November 24. The Labor government, led by Daniel Andrews, will be looking to secure a second term in power after victory in the 2014 election; the Coalition of the Liberal and National parties, headed by Victorian Liberal leader Matthew Guy, will be aiming to win back government after a single term in opposition. 

Opinion polls taken in early October suggest that Labor is on track to retain power, with the current government winning 52 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. Experts believe that victory isn’t a sure bet, with the election likely to be decided in the marginal electorates of Melbourne south-east.  

With the state election under two weeks away and misleading campaigning at its peak, it’s time for you to consider where you’ll direct your vote. We’ve summarised the re-election pledges of the three major parties in Victoria so you can cut through the political spin to make an informed decision at the voting booth.  

Labor

Education: 

  • Build and upgrade over 2,000 schools across Victoria
  • $5 billion investment in kindergarten, with every Victorian child having access to up to 15 hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder over the next decade 
  • Establish the Building Better TAFEs Fund worth $220 million to restore TAFE campuses and facilities around Victoria 

Jobs: 

  • Create thousands of jobs across Victoria through infrastructure projects
  • Introduce new workplace safety laws that propose jail terms for negligent employers 
  • Permanent protection of public holiday protection rates 
  • Establish the Indian Cinema and Bollywood Attraction Fund to boost film industry, create jobs, attract tourists and grow Victorian economy  

Transport: 

  • Remove 75 level crossings across Victoria 
  • Upgrade train travel by building a rail link to Melton, the airport and around suburban Melbourne 
  • Fast-track the North East Link project 

Health: 

  • Build and upgrade 10 community hospitals across Melbourne’s suburbs and towns 
  • Create a Nursing and Midwifery Development Fund to establish minimum nurse and midwife to patient ratios in public hospitals 
  • Provide $4 million in extra funding to the National Centre for Farmer Health 
  • Deliver 500,000 more specialist appointments in regional communities to provide closer to home care for all Victorians 

Community: 

  • $209 million public housing investment, with 1,000 additional properties being built by 2022 
  • Half price solar panels at no up-front costs for 650,000 Victorian homes 

Coalition 

Health and education: 

  • Cut the cost of hospital parking by $20 a day 
  • Introduce a Free School Books for Students program into secondary schools 
  • Close Richmond’s drug injecting room 
  • Free voluntary flu vaccinations for all Victorian children between the ages of six months and five years old

Regional areas: 

  • Cut payroll tax in regional Victoria to one per cent 
  • Honour the 2014 vote to separate Sunbury from the City of Hume by establishing the Sunbury City Council 
  • Encourage decentralisation of the Victorian economy by introducing tax incentives for businesses 
  • Create the Rural Tertiary Network for students who have relocated for higher education studies 

Crime: 

  • Mandatory GPS tracking bracelets for violent criminals on parole 
  • Mandatory minimum sentencing for re-offenders 
  • Major overhaul of bail system 
  • Establish a Family Violence Disclosure Scheme
  • Deploy an additional 100 Protective Services Officers at railway stations identified as daytime crime hotspots 
  • Introduce a public Victorian sex offenders register 

Transport: 

  • $295 discount on car registration for Victorian red P-plate drivers 
  • Create a European-style high speed rail network across Victoria 
  • Develop an East West and North East Link across Melbourne  

Fire services: 

  • Conduct a Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services 
  • Amend the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 to enshrine greater rights for CFA volunteers 

Greens 

Transport: 

  • Extend Melbourne Metro to provide rail services to commuters in Melbourne’s outer west and south-east 
  • Create a publicly-owned Transport Super Agency 
  • Upgrade Melbourne’s bus and tram routes 

Environment: 

  • Double the Victorian Renewable Energy Target 
  • Create Power Victoria, a public energy retailer 
  • Install solar panels and batteries in every Victorian school 
  • Ban single-use plastics where alternative options are affordable and available

Health: 

  • Provide $200 million in funding to Community Mental Health Services 
  • Scrap ambulance membership fees and move towards systems operating in Queensland and Tasmania 
  • Establish an Aboriginal Health Commissioner 

Education: 

  • Fix the outstanding school maintenance backlog within two years 
  • Start development on a policy framework to provide all three and four year olds with 15 hours of free preschool per week 
  • Guarantee a minimum of 70 per cent of government vocational funding for TAFEs 

For further information on the where, when and how of voting, please visit the Victorian Electoral Commission website. To follow the state election online, check out the ABC’s Victoria Votes webpage. If you’d like more information on election pledges, head to the Labour, Liberal, National Party or Greens campaign websites. 

 

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