Coronavirus prompts Victoria to launch $2.7b construction blitz to stimulate state’s economic recovery

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a $2.7 billion construction blitz, including more than $1 billion to upgrade schools, to stimulate the Victorian economy and create thousands of jobs.

“The Government will invest that money to deliver hundreds of projects to secure thousands of jobs in maintenance, upgrades to public housing, through to road maintenance, upgrading train stations and a very significant boost, more than $1 billion to schools,” Mr Andrews said.

He said many of the projects in the Building Works package were new while others had already been planned but were being brought forward.

The projects were specifically chosen because they could begin quickly and stimulate the economy.

Work to refurbish 23,000 public housing units would begin immediately with the rest of the projects to get underway within three to six months, he said.

The package is expected to create 3,700 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs.

“We’re ready to go with this and it will be a great boost to carpenters, to bricklayers, to concreters, to people who do carpet laying, to plumbers across the board,” Mr Andrews said

“Small firms particularly will benefit. Hundreds and hundreds of projects supporting thousands of families.”

The money is in addition to the State Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package announced last month.

Spending and projects in the package announced today include:

  • $500 million to upgrade 23,000 public and community housing dwellings and build 168 new homes
  • $382 million for upgrades, maintenance and new experiences at tourism destinations including 50 kilometres of mountain bike trails in the Ararat Hills and upgrades at the Gippsland Lakes
  • Other small projects such as local sports facility upgrades, work to improve waterways and coastal areas, tree planting and graffiti removal
  • Transport spending including 300km of regional track improvements, repairs at more than 15 train stations, more maintenance on trains and trams, local pier upgrades along the coast and $328 million for resurfacing and patching roads
  • More than $100 million for CFA and SES station upgrades, disability accommodation and mental health and aged care facilities across Victoria

State to get new schools, upgrades and relocatable buildings

Education Minister James Merlino said almost $1.2 billion of the funding would be spent building 10 new schools and 250 relocatable buildings and completing 57 upgrades.

Mr Merlino said the works would create capacity for 21,000 additional student places around the state and more than 1,600 local construction jobs.