Statement – Brimbank Council response to State Budget 2021

“Brimbank Council welcomes State Government investment in mental health, education, transport and other services – including a new local mental health service for Brimbank, trees for the West and funding for the Calder Freeway.

“We are eager to learn more detail about initiatives in the budget and how they will support Brimbank thrive as we continue our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

“It’s exciting to see the State Government’s commitments to projects which will make a real difference to liveability in Brimbank.

“This includes $50 million in response to Brimbank’s ‘Fix the Calder’ campaign, and $5 million for the ‘More Trees for a Cooler, Greener Melbourne’s West’ initiative.

“We also delighted that the budget will include $1.084 million towards development of new sports facilities at Bon Thomas Reserve in Deer Park.

“We particularly welcome the State Government’s commitment of $264 million to build the first 20 of up to 60 new local mental health services across the state – including a centre at Brimbank to open by the end of 2022.

“With Brimbank experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression, along with significant socio-economic challenges, it’s vital that we improve access to mental health support in our community.

“Council also welcomes $200 million to establish the School Mental Health Fund which schools will use on support programs, staff and other resources and we look forward to seeing this support flow into our local community through schools.

“Education and wellbeing are huge priorities for Brimbank, and we know that our children and young people did it tough during lockdown. We are delighted to see funding for school upgrades – including $7.9 million for St Albans East Primary School.

“Brimbank Council is committed to early years’ education, so we’re delighted to acknowledge $400.7 million allocated to making three-year old kindergarten accessible across all communities from 2022.

“We are also pleased that Brimbank-Melton area has been named as one of two locations for the $18 million Putting Families First program – a new whole-of-family support model for families with complex needs.

“The trial would see interdisciplinary teams led by a family practitioner work with vulnerable families with multiple health, justice or human services needs to improve their safety, health and wellbeing, and divert them from long‑term acute and tertiary service usage.

“Council has in the past advocated to the State Government for primary health services to tackle drug and alcohol issues in Brimbank, and welcomes $9.4 million towards alcohol and other drugs residential rehabilitation treatment expansions, including funding to deliver an additional 10 beds and refurbish support areas at Westside Lodge in Sunshine.

“More broadly, it is pleasing to see investment in issues that are important to our community – such as $521.6 million to implement 227 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence; $193 million to support programs and initiatives for people experiencing homelessness; and more than $383.8 million investment in skills and learning.

“Having State Government commit to these important projects for Brimbank is a great outcome for our community. Many of these will serve as anchor investments in helping us to create local jobs, support local businesses and local community outcomes,” Cr Rasic said.

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