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Media Centre

Jobs Victoria Wage Subsidies Deliver Jobs

Scores of Victorians each week are finding permanent work with the help of a Victorian Government program that pays part of the worker’s wage – providing a major boost to small businesses gearing up as the economy re-opens. More than 800 businesses across Victoria have successfully applied for a wage subsidy of up to $20,000 for some 1,300 new workers – including hairdressers, warehouse staff, bookkeepers, solar technicians and butchers like Christopher Cook from Beaufort Butchery. Mr Cook was laid off from previous casual work due to the impacts of the pandemic and had been unemployed for eight months before Beaufort Butchery owner Rohan Quinton accessed the $250 million Jobs Victoria Fund subsidy program and put the call out for a new butcher to join his team. The experienced worker has fitted in well and Mr Cook now has job security and a full-time income. With the benefit of an extra pair of hands, the butchery has been able to expand its offerings and the $20,000 wage subsidy is taking pressure off the business’s finances. The Jobs Victoria Fund is providing opportunities for priority jobseekers including people over 45 – especially women, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic such as young people, migrants from a non-English speaking background and people with a disability. The wage subsidies are part of a landmark $619 million investment in Jobs Victoria that is helping to connect people looking for work with employers seeking staff. Jobs Victoria services include free advice and support for jobseekers from a 600-strong network of jobs advocates, mentors and counsellors. More information about the Jobs Victoria Fund $20,000 wage subsidies and how businesses can apply is available at jobs.vic.gov.au or by calling the Jobs Victoria hotline on 1300 208 575. Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford “These subsidies are creating opportunities for workers who have been hit hard by the pandemic – and a boost for businesses that have done it just as tough.” “Beaufort Butchery is a terrific example of how this is creating benefits all round – for Christopher and Rohan and the entire community.” Quote attributable to Beaufort Butchery employee Christopher Cook “I was working casual jobs before I had a double hernia and getting this job has given me security and incentives, and it’s meant I can go to the bank and get a loan to buy a house.” Quote attributable to Beaufort Butchery owner Rohan Quinton “We were flat out all the time just doing what we had to do. The wage subsidy helped employ someone else and give us extra time to do more specialty type things that are more labour intensive.”

Jobs Victoria Wage Subsidies Deliver Jobs

Scores of Victorians each week are finding permanent work with the help of a Victorian Government program that pays part of the worker’s wage – providing a major boost to small businesses gearing up as the economy re-opens. More than 800 businesses across Victoria have successfully applied for a wage subsidy of up to $20,000 for some 1,300 new workers – including hairdressers, warehouse staff, bookkeepers, solar technicians and butchers like Christopher Cook from Beaufort Butchery. Mr Cook was laid off from previous casual work due to the impacts of the pandemic and had been unemployed for eight months before Beaufort Butchery owner Rohan Quinton accessed the $250 million Jobs Victoria Fund subsidy program and put the call out for a new butcher to join his team. The experienced worker has fitted in well and Mr Cook now has job security and a full-time income. With the benefit of an extra pair of hands, the butchery has been able to expand its offerings and the $20,000 wage subsidy is taking pressure off the business’s finances. The Jobs Victoria Fund is providing opportunities for priority jobseekers including people over 45 – especially women, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic such as young people, migrants from a non-English speaking background and people with a disability. The wage subsidies are part of a landmark $619 million investment in Jobs Victoria that is helping to connect people looking for work with employers seeking staff. Jobs Victoria services include free advice and support for jobseekers from a 600-strong network of jobs advocates, mentors and counsellors. More information about the Jobs Victoria Fund $20,000 wage subsidies and how businesses can apply is available at jobs.vic.gov.au or by calling the Jobs Victoria hotline on 1300 208 575. Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford “These subsidies are creating opportunities for workers who have been hit hard by the pandemic – and a boost for businesses that have done it just as tough.” “Beaufort Butchery is a terrific example of how this is creating benefits all round – for Christopher and Rohan and the entire community.” Quote attributable to Beaufort Butchery employee Christopher Cook “I was working casual jobs before I had a double hernia and getting this job has given me security and incentives, and it’s meant I can go to the bank and get a loan to buy a house.” Quote attributable to Beaufort Butchery owner Rohan Quinton “We were flat out all the time just doing what we had to do. The wage subsidy helped employ someone else and give us extra time to do more specialty type things that are more labour intensive.”

More Support For Victorian Aboriginal Businesses

Victorian Aboriginal businesses affected by the pandemic will be able to apply for additional financial support to cover expenses, adapt to changing conditions and plan for a strong future. The $1 million extension of the First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fundwill provide certainty to businesses across the state with grants of up $6,000 available. Up to 160 Aboriginal-owned businesses are expected to be eligible for payments. Specialising in Acknowledgement of Country plaques for schools and businesses, Kinya Lerrk art and design studio run by Emma Bamblett and Megan Van Den Berg was among initial beneficiaries of the fund after coronavirus restrictions meant they could no longer work in the studio together. The fund helped the pair to establish workspaces in their own homes and allowed them to diversify their business offerings while still focusing on producing unique plaques. The fund is open to Victorian Aboriginal businesses including sole traders and self-employed businesses that are certified as an Aboriginal business through the Kinaway Chamber of Commerce, have a minimum turnover of $30,000 per annum (or pro rata) and meet other criteria. Kinaway Chamber of Commerce will help administer the fund. Eligible businesses will be able to use grants to meet costs such as utilities and rent, pay salaries, develop marketing activities and business plans, or seek financial advice. The extended support builds on $1.3 million allocated through the fund last year. More information on the First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund is available at business.vic.gov.au. Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “It’s important that Aboriginal businesses are supported to adapt to new conditions and challenges brought about by the pandemic. These grants will help businesses recover and plan for a strong future.” Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams “Aboriginal businesses have shown amazing resilience throughout the pandemic and we’re proud to stand with them as we look forward to the economy re-opening.” Quote attributable to Kinaway Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott McCartney “Kinaway is committed to ensuring all of our Victorian Aboriginal businesses are advocated for and we hope to see more of these innovations going forward.” Quote attributable to founder of Kinya Lerrk Emma Bamblett "Receiving support opened up opportunities for us to explore new markets during lockdown that represent and celebrate connection to land and Country. We’ve been able to set up at home and achieve a work-life balance."

More Support For Victorian Aboriginal Businesses

Victorian Aboriginal businesses affected by the pandemic will be able to apply for additional financial support to cover expenses, adapt to changing conditions and plan for a strong future. The $1 million extension of the First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fundwill provide certainty to businesses across the state with grants of up $6,000 available. Up to 160 Aboriginal-owned businesses are expected to be eligible for payments. Specialising in Acknowledgement of Country plaques for schools and businesses, Kinya Lerrk art and design studio run by Emma Bamblett and Megan Van Den Berg was among initial beneficiaries of the fund after coronavirus restrictions meant they could no longer work in the studio together. The fund helped the pair to establish workspaces in their own homes and allowed them to diversify their business offerings while still focusing on producing unique plaques. The fund is open to Victorian Aboriginal businesses including sole traders and self-employed businesses that are certified as an Aboriginal business through the Kinaway Chamber of Commerce, have a minimum turnover of $30,000 per annum (or pro rata) and meet other criteria. Kinaway Chamber of Commerce will help administer the fund. Eligible businesses will be able to use grants to meet costs such as utilities and rent, pay salaries, develop marketing activities and business plans, or seek financial advice. The extended support builds on $1.3 million allocated through the fund last year. More information on the First Peoples’ COVID-19 Business Support Fund is available at business.vic.gov.au. Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “It’s important that Aboriginal businesses are supported to adapt to new conditions and challenges brought about by the pandemic. These grants will help businesses recover and plan for a strong future.” Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams “Aboriginal businesses have shown amazing resilience throughout the pandemic and we’re proud to stand with them as we look forward to the economy re-opening.” Quote attributable to Kinaway Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott McCartney “Kinaway is committed to ensuring all of our Victorian Aboriginal businesses are advocated for and we hope to see more of these innovations going forward.” Quote attributable to founder of Kinya Lerrk Emma Bamblett "Receiving support opened up opportunities for us to explore new markets during lockdown that represent and celebrate connection to land and Country. We’ve been able to set up at home and achieve a work-life balance."

Taking It Outdoors: Supporting A Safer Way To Open

The Victorian Government will help businesses and the community breathe new life into local neighborhoods as vaccination progressively delivers greater freedoms across the state from Friday. With summer drawing near and Victorians warming to the promise of a return to bars, cafes and restaurants, new supportunveiled todaywillbuild on the success of last year’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package which helped to create an agile world of parklets and pop-up bars, with streamlined council permits. The $54.5 million Outdoor Economy Package will help support the costs for thousands of businesses of setting up for street trading, and back councils to provide the necessary infrastructure and support. A $14.5 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program will provide more than 7,000 Victorian businesses, community organisations, not-for-profits and trader associations with $2,000 grants when they spend at least that amount to support initiatives such as outdoor hospitality and entertainment. The vouchers will be valid for expenses including purchasing and hiring marquees, screens and umbrellas, obtaining insurance and promoting outdoor operations. Some 20 per cent of the vouchers will be allocated in regional Victoria. Hairdressers, beauty services, retail shops, dance studios and gyms will also be eligible to apply for vouchers, meaning they can join restaurants, cafes and bars in harnessing the opportunities of kerbside trading. The Voucher Program will open soon and will be delivered by Business Victoria in partnership with Service Victoria. A new $40 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund will help councils transform more outdoor areas so Victorians can enjoy local attractions safely as we reach the key 70 per cent double vaccination threshold, then 80 per cent, with restrictions lifting significantly at those marks. The Fund will allocate $20.5 million so councils can provide immediate assistance to businesses to operate outdoors, through physical improvements such as new street furniture, landscaping, marquees, planter boxes and public art, as well as entertainment to bring our outdoor precincts to life. Funding will be allocated based on the level of business activity, with metropolitan councils to receive between $300,000 and $800,000, regional councils $300,000–$500,000 and rural councils $100,000–$250,000. Councils will also receive a share of $19.5 million to establish semi-permanent and permanent outdoor precincts. The Fund will provide maximum benefit to businesses with councils encouraged to use part of their allocation to waive permit fees and related charges. Councils will be required to agree not to create or impose any new or net additional fees or charges to businesses to use new or upgraded outdoor spaces. The City of Melbourne will continue to be supported separately through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund and the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – the Government is working with the City of Melbourne to devise a program of direct support for businesses to establish and enhance outdoor operations. Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “This is about giving businesses support to reopen in safe and new ways, ensuring they can recover strongly and quickly. Our small businesses are rearing to go and this will mean more customers and more trade as we move ever closer to our key vaccination targets.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “Councils will work with their communities to breathe new life into streets and shopping strips across the state, making the most of outdoor opportunities this summer and beyond.”

Taking It Outdoors: Supporting A Safer Way To Open

The Victorian Government will help businesses and the community breathe new life into local neighborhoods as vaccination progressively delivers greater freedoms across the state from Friday. With summer drawing near and Victorians warming to the promise of a return to bars, cafes and restaurants, new supportunveiled todaywillbuild on the success of last year’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package which helped to create an agile world of parklets and pop-up bars, with streamlined council permits. The $54.5 million Outdoor Economy Package will help support the costs for thousands of businesses of setting up for street trading, and back councils to provide the necessary infrastructure and support. A $14.5 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program will provide more than 7,000 Victorian businesses, community organisations, not-for-profits and trader associations with $2,000 grants when they spend at least that amount to support initiatives such as outdoor hospitality and entertainment. The vouchers will be valid for expenses including purchasing and hiring marquees, screens and umbrellas, obtaining insurance and promoting outdoor operations. Some 20 per cent of the vouchers will be allocated in regional Victoria. Hairdressers, beauty services, retail shops, dance studios and gyms will also be eligible to apply for vouchers, meaning they can join restaurants, cafes and bars in harnessing the opportunities of kerbside trading. The Voucher Program will open soon and will be delivered by Business Victoria in partnership with Service Victoria. A new $40 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund will help councils transform more outdoor areas so Victorians can enjoy local attractions safely as we reach the key 70 per cent double vaccination threshold, then 80 per cent, with restrictions lifting significantly at those marks. The Fund will allocate $20.5 million so councils can provide immediate assistance to businesses to operate outdoors, through physical improvements such as new street furniture, landscaping, marquees, planter boxes and public art, as well as entertainment to bring our outdoor precincts to life. Funding will be allocated based on the level of business activity, with metropolitan councils to receive between $300,000 and $800,000, regional councils $300,000–$500,000 and rural councils $100,000–$250,000. Councils will also receive a share of $19.5 million to establish semi-permanent and permanent outdoor precincts. The Fund will provide maximum benefit to businesses with councils encouraged to use part of their allocation to waive permit fees and related charges. Councils will be required to agree not to create or impose any new or net additional fees or charges to businesses to use new or upgraded outdoor spaces. The City of Melbourne will continue to be supported separately through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund and the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – the Government is working with the City of Melbourne to devise a program of direct support for businesses to establish and enhance outdoor operations. Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford “This is about giving businesses support to reopen in safe and new ways, ensuring they can recover strongly and quickly. Our small businesses are rearing to go and this will mean more customers and more trade as we move ever closer to our key vaccination targets.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “Councils will work with their communities to breathe new life into streets and shopping strips across the state, making the most of outdoor opportunities this summer and beyond.”

GIVING KINDER KIDS IN HINDMARSH SHIRE THE BEST START TO SCHOOL

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure all children in Hindmarsh Shire attending a funded kindergarten program in 2022 have the right support in place to help them transition from early childhood education to the start of their formal school life.  Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced Hindmarsh Shire would benefit from $57,703 in School Readiness Funding for new programs, supports and extra staffing across four kindergartens ─ helping them provide world-class early education and give children the best start in life. This funding is among the $53.9 million available in 2022 for more than 2,500 Victorian funded kindergarten services from the Labor Government’s $160 million School Readiness Funding initiative. The Australian-first initiative addresses gaps in educational disadvantage by building the capacity of services, educators and families to support children's learning and development. The program focuses on growing communication, social and emotional wellbeing skills, as well as improving access and inclusion.  Services will receive a funding allocation based on the level of need from children in their programs, with support available to all three- and four-year-old children in funded kinder programs including sessional and long day care. The support allows kindergarten services to select the package of resources and programs that best reflects the needs of their children and staff – which can include programs targeting speech, language and literacy, support for culturally and linguistically diverse children and families and tools for parents to support their child's development. Services can also use funding to tap into the expertise of speech and occupational therapists, language and literacy professionals and child psychologists – who can boost the capability of both parents and teachers. School Readiness Funding is part of the Victorian kindergarten funding model to help improve learning and development outcomes – with more than 4,200 services receiving funding, helping over 129,000 children. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, and ensuring no child is disadvantaged as they start their education. The Labor Government is leading the nation in early childhood education, investing almost $5 billion this decade to give three-year-old children access to an additional year of funded kindergarten programs. From 2022, three-year-old children across the state will have access to at least five hours of kindergarten. Services will then scale up their hours to reach the full 15-hour program by 2029. Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford “We are making sure children in Hindmarsh Shire have the supports they need for the education they deserve ─ and this funding will help our local kinders best prepare our children for school.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We are ensuring kindergarten services have the resources they need to deliver high-quality programs that support all our children so that they can fully participate and get the most out of their early learning years.” “This needs-based funding will improve outcomes in communication, social and emotional wellbeing, access and participation so that all our children are on track to have the best start to school and are on par with their peers.”

GIVING KINDER KIDS IN HINDMARSH SHIRE THE BEST START TO SCHOOL

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure all children in Hindmarsh Shire attending a funded kindergarten program in 2022 have the right support in place to help them transition from early childhood education to the start of their formal school life.  Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced Hindmarsh Shire would benefit from $57,703 in School Readiness Funding for new programs, supports and extra staffing across four kindergartens ─ helping them provide world-class early education and give children the best start in life. This funding is among the $53.9 million available in 2022 for more than 2,500 Victorian funded kindergarten services from the Labor Government’s $160 million School Readiness Funding initiative. The Australian-first initiative addresses gaps in educational disadvantage by building the capacity of services, educators and families to support children's learning and development. The program focuses on growing communication, social and emotional wellbeing skills, as well as improving access and inclusion.  Services will receive a funding allocation based on the level of need from children in their programs, with support available to all three- and four-year-old children in funded kinder programs including sessional and long day care. The support allows kindergarten services to select the package of resources and programs that best reflects the needs of their children and staff – which can include programs targeting speech, language and literacy, support for culturally and linguistically diverse children and families and tools for parents to support their child's development. Services can also use funding to tap into the expertise of speech and occupational therapists, language and literacy professionals and child psychologists – who can boost the capability of both parents and teachers. School Readiness Funding is part of the Victorian kindergarten funding model to help improve learning and development outcomes – with more than 4,200 services receiving funding, helping over 129,000 children. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, and ensuring no child is disadvantaged as they start their education. The Labor Government is leading the nation in early childhood education, investing almost $5 billion this decade to give three-year-old children access to an additional year of funded kindergarten programs. From 2022, three-year-old children across the state will have access to at least five hours of kindergarten. Services will then scale up their hours to reach the full 15-hour program by 2029. Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford “We are making sure children in Hindmarsh Shire have the supports they need for the education they deserve ─ and this funding will help our local kinders best prepare our children for school.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We are ensuring kindergarten services have the resources they need to deliver high-quality programs that support all our children so that they can fully participate and get the most out of their early learning years.” “This needs-based funding will improve outcomes in communication, social and emotional wellbeing, access and participation so that all our children are on track to have the best start to school and are on par with their peers.”

 

MENTAL HEALTH ADVISORY BODIES GIVING COMMUNITIES A VOICE

The Victorian Government is continuing its work to build a reformed mental health and wellbeing system centred around community – giving people in Grampians Region access to the support they need, when they need it, close to home.  As part of the work, expressions of interest are now open for the Chair of a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Interim Regional Body to be established in Grampians Region.  Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said the Interim Regional Body will give a voice to local communities ─ bringing together people with local knowledge and expertise to advise and guide Government on the unique mental health and wellbeing needs of communities across the state. The Interim Regional Bodies were a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, and will be based in the three metropolitan regions of North-East, South-East and Western metro as well as in the Grampians, Loddon Mallee, Hume, Gippsland and South-West areas of regional Victoria. Each body will consist of a Chair and five members – including at least one person with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress, and at least one person with lived experience as a family member or carer. In its final report, the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System set out a 10-year plan to rebuild the system from the ground up, recommending a significant transformation to the way decisions are made in relation to Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing services. The eight Interim Regional Bodies are an intermediary step towards regional governance, which will be cemented by the establishment of the legislated Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards across Victoria by the end of 2023. For more information, including how to apply, visit boards.vic.gov.au. To build the state’s new mental health system that meets the needs of all Victorians, the Victorian Budget 2021/22 invested a record $3.8 billion in mental health and wellbeing services and support. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support you can call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health James Merlino “Our future mental health system will be responsive to people who need it most, with services that are safe, tailored and localised – and that’s why we need the expertise of community members from every corner of our state.”  Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford MP “The opportunity for Grampians Region locals to be part of the planning process from the beginning will help us create the best, tailored mental health and wellbeing services, supports and treatments that will meet the needs of the community.”

MENTAL HEALTH ADVISORY BODIES GIVING COMMUNITIES A VOICE

The Victorian Government is continuing its work to build a reformed mental health and wellbeing system centred around community – giving people in Grampians Region access to the support they need, when they need it, close to home.  As part of the work, expressions of interest are now open for the Chair of a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Interim Regional Body to be established in Grampians Region.  Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said the Interim Regional Body will give a voice to local communities ─ bringing together people with local knowledge and expertise to advise and guide Government on the unique mental health and wellbeing needs of communities across the state. The Interim Regional Bodies were a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, and will be based in the three metropolitan regions of North-East, South-East and Western metro as well as in the Grampians, Loddon Mallee, Hume, Gippsland and South-West areas of regional Victoria. Each body will consist of a Chair and five members – including at least one person with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress, and at least one person with lived experience as a family member or carer. In its final report, the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System set out a 10-year plan to rebuild the system from the ground up, recommending a significant transformation to the way decisions are made in relation to Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing services. The eight Interim Regional Bodies are an intermediary step towards regional governance, which will be cemented by the establishment of the legislated Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards across Victoria by the end of 2023. For more information, including how to apply, visit boards.vic.gov.au. To build the state’s new mental health system that meets the needs of all Victorians, the Victorian Budget 2021/22 invested a record $3.8 billion in mental health and wellbeing services and support. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support you can call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health James Merlino “Our future mental health system will be responsive to people who need it most, with services that are safe, tailored and localised – and that’s why we need the expertise of community members from every corner of our state.”  Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford MP “The opportunity for Grampians Region locals to be part of the planning process from the beginning will help us create the best, tailored mental health and wellbeing services, supports and treatments that will meet the needs of the community.”

DELIVERING STRONGER HEALTH SERVICES IN ARARAT

The Victorian Government is ensuring people living in Ararat Rural City have access to the world-class care they deserve close to home.  Nearly 80 rural and regional hospitals, community health services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations will share in $120 million from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) – creating hundreds of jobs.  The program will deliver a variety of projects across regional Victoria including operating theatre refurbishments, new waiting rooms and hospital beds, accessible paths and ramps, additional consulting rooms, expansions projects and equipment upgrades.   With 105 projects located across 40 rural and regional council areas across Victoria, the program is ensuring communities continue to be able to access high quality care from Cann River to Mildura.  Nearly $1.3 million is being invested in the Ararat Rural City area including $1,215,000 for East Grampians Health Service, to redevelop the medical imaging department into a contemporary and high quality service to meet increased clinical service demands and to relocate palliative care to allow families greater privacy. Elmhurst Bush Nursing Centre are receiving around $45,000 to provide undercover areas at the rear of the activities room and around $15,000 to replace their existing vehicle (wagon) with an AWD vehicle to ensure safer travel on local roads. Almost $20,000 is being invested in Lake Bolac Bush Nursing Centre to replace their remote area vehicle. The current AWD vehicle is now 7 years old and needs updating with new safety and energy efficient technologies. With this latest round of RHIF projects the Government has now invested $490 million in more than 470 regional healthcare projects across the state - the largest program of its type in Victoria. More information at projects funded by the RHIF at: vhba.vic.gov.au/health/regional-facilities/regional-health-infrastructure-fund. Quotes for Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford MP “Everyone deserves access to quality health care facilities and services – we’re ensuing the Ararat community has exactly that close to home.”  “We’re delivering better health outcomes for the Ararat community with modern services and facilities while creating local jobs.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley  “We’re continuing to invest in our local hospitals and health services – and the health of all Victorians no matter where they live.”

DELIVERING STRONGER HEALTH SERVICES IN ARARAT

The Victorian Government is ensuring people living in Ararat Rural City have access to the world-class care they deserve close to home.  Nearly 80 rural and regional hospitals, community health services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations will share in $120 million from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) – creating hundreds of jobs.  The program will deliver a variety of projects across regional Victoria including operating theatre refurbishments, new waiting rooms and hospital beds, accessible paths and ramps, additional consulting rooms, expansions projects and equipment upgrades.   With 105 projects located across 40 rural and regional council areas across Victoria, the program is ensuring communities continue to be able to access high quality care from Cann River to Mildura.  Nearly $1.3 million is being invested in the Ararat Rural City area including $1,215,000 for East Grampians Health Service, to redevelop the medical imaging department into a contemporary and high quality service to meet increased clinical service demands and to relocate palliative care to allow families greater privacy. Elmhurst Bush Nursing Centre are receiving around $45,000 to provide undercover areas at the rear of the activities room and around $15,000 to replace their existing vehicle (wagon) with an AWD vehicle to ensure safer travel on local roads. Almost $20,000 is being invested in Lake Bolac Bush Nursing Centre to replace their remote area vehicle. The current AWD vehicle is now 7 years old and needs updating with new safety and energy efficient technologies. With this latest round of RHIF projects the Government has now invested $490 million in more than 470 regional healthcare projects across the state - the largest program of its type in Victoria. More information at projects funded by the RHIF at: vhba.vic.gov.au/health/regional-facilities/regional-health-infrastructure-fund. Quotes for Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford MP “Everyone deserves access to quality health care facilities and services – we’re ensuing the Ararat community has exactly that close to home.”  “We’re delivering better health outcomes for the Ararat community with modern services and facilities while creating local jobs.” Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley  “We’re continuing to invest in our local hospitals and health services – and the health of all Victorians no matter where they live.”

HELPING MORE ARARAT RURAL CITY SCHOOL KIDS STAY SAFE IN THE SUN

More Ararat students will be protected from the sun’s damaging rays thanks to a Victorian Government funding to provide more shade in school playgrounds and outdoor areas. Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced three schools in the Ararat Rural City will share in over $1.3 million of funding from the latest round of the School Shade Grants program.  The program provides grants to build new shade structures, repair existing structures, or create natural shade by planting trees. Funding is also provided to purchase sun protective items including hats and sunscreen. The children, teachers and families of Maroona Primary School will get $1,818 to replace the hexagonal shade sail over their sandpit.  Moyston Primary School will get $24,386 for new permanent shade sail and Pomonal Primary School $9,501 to construct a new shade sail over the high-traffic sandpit area. Through this initiative the Victorian Government is helping children to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while still embracing the outdoors and keeping fit, active and healthy.  Childhood and adolescence are critical periods during which exposure to UV radiation is more likely to contribute to skin cancer later in life. Schools play an important role teaching effective sun smart behaviours from an early age.  Shade alone can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent when used in combination with other sun protection strategies such as sun screen, hats, sunglasses and protective clothing.  In 2018, melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria with 3,096 new cases diagnosed and sadly 291 deaths. The School Shade Grant program is complemented by the Community Shade Grants program, which provides shade for community organisations. The outcome of the current round of the Community Shade Grants will be announced soon. So far, these programs have awarded 1715 grants totalling more than $16 million in funding across Victoria. Round seven of the Shade Grants Program will open in mid-2022. It forms part of the Government’s ambitious Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24 which sets out a target to halve the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040. Quotes for Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford MP “It’s great for kids to spend time playing outdoors and keeping active. These grants mean school children can still enjoy the outdoors while having the necessary shade to be protected from the sun.” “Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer in Australia. It’s important we give Victorians the protection they need to stay sun smart.” “Our grants programs have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer. Now even more children will be shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.”

HELPING MORE ARARAT RURAL CITY SCHOOL KIDS STAY SAFE IN THE SUN

More Ararat students will be protected from the sun’s damaging rays thanks to a Victorian Government funding to provide more shade in school playgrounds and outdoor areas. Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced three schools in the Ararat Rural City will share in over $1.3 million of funding from the latest round of the School Shade Grants program.  The program provides grants to build new shade structures, repair existing structures, or create natural shade by planting trees. Funding is also provided to purchase sun protective items including hats and sunscreen. The children, teachers and families of Maroona Primary School will get $1,818 to replace the hexagonal shade sail over their sandpit.  Moyston Primary School will get $24,386 for new permanent shade sail and Pomonal Primary School $9,501 to construct a new shade sail over the high-traffic sandpit area. Through this initiative the Victorian Government is helping children to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while still embracing the outdoors and keeping fit, active and healthy.  Childhood and adolescence are critical periods during which exposure to UV radiation is more likely to contribute to skin cancer later in life. Schools play an important role teaching effective sun smart behaviours from an early age.  Shade alone can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent when used in combination with other sun protection strategies such as sun screen, hats, sunglasses and protective clothing.  In 2018, melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria with 3,096 new cases diagnosed and sadly 291 deaths. The School Shade Grant program is complemented by the Community Shade Grants program, which provides shade for community organisations. The outcome of the current round of the Community Shade Grants will be announced soon. So far, these programs have awarded 1715 grants totalling more than $16 million in funding across Victoria. Round seven of the Shade Grants Program will open in mid-2022. It forms part of the Government’s ambitious Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24 which sets out a target to halve the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040. Quotes for Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford MP “It’s great for kids to spend time playing outdoors and keeping active. These grants mean school children can still enjoy the outdoors while having the necessary shade to be protected from the sun.” “Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer in Australia. It’s important we give Victorians the protection they need to stay sun smart.” “Our grants programs have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer. Now even more children will be shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.”

Pioneering Children‘s Research Project Arrives In Ballarat

More families in Ballarat and around regional Victoria are joining Australia’s largest-ever child and parent research project, helping drive better health outcomes for the next generation of young Victorians. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today welcomed the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Generation Victoria (GenV) project to Ballarat. Ballarat Health Services and St John of God Hospital have joined 27 other regional hospitals across the state taking part in the study, which will track the wellbeing of 150,000 Victorians throughout their lives in a pioneering bid to map the health of an entire generation of young people. Expanding the project to regional areas will drive better health outcomes for children across the state, helping doctors and researchers identify if there are health issues that are specific or unique to certain areas. Participating families will receive regular communication to ensure they are fully aware of the project’s progression and how data will be used. Families can opt out of the study at any time. So far, more than 5,000 newborns have become involved in the study, with a fifth of those born regionally. Data from the trial show a 99.1 per cent of parents feel positive about taking part in the voluntary initiative. GenV is leading the world in studying the first post COVID-19 generation and will be able to measure the physical, economic and policy impacts of the virus across the population. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is leading the project and working with the Royal Children’s Hospital, the University of Melbourne and the Paul Ramsay Foundation, backed by a $30 million investment from the Victorian Government. Quote attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “This groundbreaking project is helping paint a complete health and wellbeing map of the state and speeding up answers to some of the major issues facing children around regional Victoria.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison “As one of the largest studies ever done on pregnancies and children, GenV reinforces Victoria’s position as a world leader in medical research and will give great insight into health issues in the region.” Quote attributable to Member for BuninyongMichaela Settle “Our brilliant Gen-V researchers are making discoveries that will improve the qualityof life for children and parents in Ballarat for decades to come.” Quote attributable to GenV regional manager Rachael Cooper “Through this this once-in-a-generation initiative we are addressing the inequities that face so many children and families across Victoria and we hope it will be particularly useful for the most vulnerable communities in our state.”

Pioneering Children‘s Research Project Arrives In Ballarat

More families in Ballarat and around regional Victoria are joining Australia’s largest-ever child and parent research project, helping drive better health outcomes for the next generation of young Victorians. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today welcomed the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Generation Victoria (GenV) project to Ballarat. Ballarat Health Services and St John of God Hospital have joined 27 other regional hospitals across the state taking part in the study, which will track the wellbeing of 150,000 Victorians throughout their lives in a pioneering bid to map the health of an entire generation of young people. Expanding the project to regional areas will drive better health outcomes for children across the state, helping doctors and researchers identify if there are health issues that are specific or unique to certain areas. Participating families will receive regular communication to ensure they are fully aware of the project’s progression and how data will be used. Families can opt out of the study at any time. So far, more than 5,000 newborns have become involved in the study, with a fifth of those born regionally. Data from the trial show a 99.1 per cent of parents feel positive about taking part in the voluntary initiative. GenV is leading the world in studying the first post COVID-19 generation and will be able to measure the physical, economic and policy impacts of the virus across the population. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is leading the project and working with the Royal Children’s Hospital, the University of Melbourne and the Paul Ramsay Foundation, backed by a $30 million investment from the Victorian Government. Quote attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “This groundbreaking project is helping paint a complete health and wellbeing map of the state and speeding up answers to some of the major issues facing children around regional Victoria.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison “As one of the largest studies ever done on pregnancies and children, GenV reinforces Victoria’s position as a world leader in medical research and will give great insight into health issues in the region.” Quote attributable to Member for BuninyongMichaela Settle “Our brilliant Gen-V researchers are making discoveries that will improve the qualityof life for children and parents in Ballarat for decades to come.” Quote attributable to GenV regional manager Rachael Cooper “Through this this once-in-a-generation initiative we are addressing the inequities that face so many children and families across Victoria and we hope it will be particularly useful for the most vulnerable communities in our state.”