Tag: Daniel Andrews

Victoria Budget 2020-21 supports post COVID recovery

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE,24 November 2020: As Victoria moves towards the post-COVID Normal, it’s budget for 2020-21 presented today has set the tone for a “record investment to rebuild the state – and make sure Victorians recover too.”

At the heart of that effort is getting Victorians back into work. The Andrews Labor Government’s $49 billion Jobs
Plan aims to create 400,000 jobs by 2025 – 200,000 jobs by 2022.

Premier Daniel Andrews says, “A job is worth more than just a paycheque. A job means security and stability – for you and the people you love. It’s why the heart of this Budget is dedicated to creating new jobs and getting Victorians back into work.”

“There is no real recovery from this pandemic unless we face up to the deep cracks it’s exposed and do something about them. Victorians deserve nothing less.”

This includes Jobs for Victoria, a $619 million investment to help those most impacted by the pandemic: women, young people, and Victorians without a formal qualification, but plenty of experience.

This includes $250 million to partner with employers to help cover the wages of up to 10,000 new workers. We’ll also make it easier to retrain, with $1 billion to support our skills sector, including an extra 80,000 Free TAFE and training places with courses for jobs that are in demand right now.

To help businesses that rehire staff, restore hours, and create new jobs, the budget provides a New Jobs Tax Credit. This tax credit will be available for two years, saving businesses a total of $836 million. It will also help support an estimated 9,400 people back into employment.

This Budget also will help build schools with $1.9 billion, expected to create more than 6,400 jobs across the state. Funding of $5.3 billion will make sure more Victorians have the security and stability of a home, building 12,000 new social and affordable homes.

Treasurer Tim Pallas says, “This is a Budget for our time – acknowledging the incredible damage that’s been done by this global pandemic, but also making a commitment to rebuild our state stronger and fairer.”

A media release from the Premier’s office says, “This pandemic has shown that many Victorians are forced to choose between their health and feeding their families. That’s why the Labor Government will develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme, providing up to five days of sick and carer’s pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers.

This year has shown us – nothing matters more than your health and the health of the people you love. It’s why this Budget delivers $2 billion to build new hospitals and upgrading existing ones.

We’ll also continue our work to fix our broken mental health system, with nearly $870 million to extend mental health services to more Victorians. This investment will deliver new beds, more staff, and dedicated one-on-one support for those most in need.”

“In order to help fund these investments, Victoria will make use of record low interest rates – borrowing now to ensure our state can rebuild sooner and stronger.

Because as we recover, our success must be measured not just by the wealth of our economy and but by the wellbeing of our people. This is a Budget to rebuild, recover, and make us stronger than before. This is a Budget that puts people first,” the media release says.

Finally at zero new cases, Victoria is on top of the world after unprecedented lockdown effort

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By Stephen Duckett* & Tom Crowley**

If the past few months have been like a long-haul flight, Victorians are now standing in the aisles waiting for the cabin door to open, a little groggy and disoriented but relieved.

They have every right to be. No other place in the world has tamed a second wave this large. Few have even come close.

It’s not a competition

Comparing different countries’ fights against COVID-19 is not a straightforward exercise, given differences in demography, geography, health system capability, and government strategy.

Perhaps most importantly, not every country has tried to get down to zero, or near zero, community transmission. This may not have been a realistic goal for countries with less border control than Australia.

Also, as Victorians understand acutely, the virus is unpredictable. Today, as the crisis accelerates in Europe and elsewhere, Victoria’s “zero new cases” are the envy of the world. But there can be no certainty about where things will be in a few months’ time.

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All of this is to say that a favorable international comparison should not encourage complacency. But it is nevertheless true that Victoria’s efforts are notable on the world stage. The state’s success has warded off a significant human toll and further economic damage. As a result, Australia has a much better chance of returning to an approximation of “normal life” in the new year.

Victorians should be proud of these efforts, and the starkly different outcomes in countries that were in a similar position should reassure them that the efforts were worthwhile.

Surfing the second wave: Victoria, Singapore, then daylight
On August 5, Victoria’s seven-day average of daily new cases reached 533, the worst numbers seen anywhere in Australia.

Several other countries had similar numbers around that time, including Canada, Japan, Singapore, and most of Europe. They had taken different paths to get there; for Europe, these numbers represented a low ebb, not a peak. But the trajectories after this period diverged even more dramatically.

As the chart below shows, case numbers in several European countries began to accelerate steeply and are now much worse than ever. In contrast, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, and Australia have so far kept case numbers at a moderate level.

But as this next chart shows, there is significant divergence even among these relatively stable countries. Sweden appears on track to replicate the sharp acceleration seen elsewhere in Europe. In Denmark and Japan, case numbers remain at a moderate level but are not trending towards zero. Only Victoria and Singapore, which peaked at around 300, have returned to single digits.

By suppressing their second waves, Victoria and Singapore are well placed to join a small club of countries that have sustained zero or near-zero cases, including New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and the rest of Australia. The dividend for these countries has been economic, not just health-related.

Victoria’s lockdown has been long and difficult, but it now occupies a rare and envious position. As Victorians await new freedoms on the next step towards COVID-normal, they should feel a sense of accomplishment.
* Director, Health Program, Grattan Institute
** Associate, Grattan Institute

Source- The Conversation, 26 October 2020. (Under Creative Commons Licence)

Daniel Andrews announces $ 14.3 m more for multicultural communities, calling the pandemic the biggest challenge we ever had to face

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 13 August 2020: The Victorian Government is boosting support for multicultural communities across the state so that all Victorians can play their part, help slow the spread of coronavirus, and stay safe.

Describing the pandemic as a ‘great challenge’ Premier Daniel Andrews today announced an additional $14.3 million to reach out to more culturally and linguistically diverse Victorians and ensure they get the support they need, when they need it.

Premier Daniel Andrews told a virtual multicultural media conference today, “We are equal to this task, but it will only work if each and every Victorian plays their part – we’ve got to look out for each other.”
“This is one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever had to face, but by supporting one another, staying home and
slowing the spread of this deadly virus, we’ll get through to the other side,”he said.

The funding includes $6.9 million for expanded health messaging and support for multicultural organizations that work on the ground to deliver emergency relief, such as culturally specific accommodation and food for those self-isolating or in quarantine.

It will also ensure positive cases and their close contacts are cared for and taken through compliance checks in a culturally appropriate way, while also providing cultural advice to support the work of the coronavirus contact tracing team.

A CALD Communities Taskforce will also be established to help multicultural and multifaith communities through the pandemic, with representatives from the Victorian Multicultural Commission and various departments.

The funding package also includes $5.5 million to continue and expand the distribution of vital health advice that has been translated into 55 different languages, ensuring people understand and comply with restrictions designed to keep us safe, with a focus on supporting younger CALD members.

Support for multicultural communities has been rolling out since the beginning of the pandemic, with advertising campaigns on TV, social media, digital platforms, newspapers, and radio, as well as a series of community roundtables.

The latest in-language videos released earlier this week feature frontline health workers speaking about their experiences in Oromo, Vietnamese, Turkish, and Korean.

A further $2 million will go towards translation and interpreter services to meet the increase in demand.

This latest investment builds on the $11.3 million package that was announced in May to help multicultural and multifaith Victorians battle social isolation, engage young people and fund culturally specific family violence support agencies.

Victoria launches ‘Victoria Together’ online portal

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 1 May 2020: To help keep Victorians connected – and help keep our creators creating – the Victorian Government has launched Victoria Together, a new online portal showcasing the best our state has to offer from live music and comedy to the amazing animals at Melbourne Zoo.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today launched the new site as part of a dedicated campaign to help keep Victorians connected as we face coronavirus – together.

Premier Daniel Andrews says, “There’s nothing more Victorian than watching a live gig, trying out a recipe from one of our best chefs, or visit our
outstanding regional galleries – that’s why we’re bringing these experiences into people’s homes.”

“I know we’re asking a lot of Victorians at the moment but following the rules and staying apart keeps us together as a community.”

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley says, “This digital offering will not only share Victorian creative content with more people – but it will also help generate new opportunities for our creative industries hard hit by this pandemic.”

Victoria Together will also be home to a new online series developed with Mushroom Group, State of Music, which will feature weekly performances from some of our best home-grown talent.

The first episode will air this Sunday at 7.30 pm AEST and will be live-streamed on the site. The episode will be hosted by Rosie Beaton and feature an interview with James Reyne and performances from Birds of Tokyo, Diesel, and G Flip.

The project will also produce other local content, dedicated to supporting and sharing the talents of emerging local artists.

In addition to the State of Music project, the site will be supported by a grants and partnerships program of $2.35 million – mainly to help support creators digitize their content and generate new experiences online for Victorians
who are following health directions and staying at home. With many local artists having lost work, ACMI will help lead the curation of this new content from across our creative industries.

To experience everything Victoria Together has to offer, visit together.vic.gov.au.

Victoria’s modelling confirms staying at home saves lives

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Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews. Photo: SAT

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 20 April 2020: New state-based modeling shows staying at home and other physical distancing requirements are working to slow the spread of coronavirus, saving thousands of Victorian lives.

The modeling, undertaken by Monash University and the Doherty Institute, in collaboration with epidemiology experts
in the Department of Health and Human Services, finds that if no physical distancing restrictions were in place, Victoria would have seen up to 58,000 new coronavirus cases every day at the peak of the pandemic, overwhelming our health system.

The data also reveals that if a business-as-usual approach had been adopted, 10,000 intensive care beds would have
been required and as many as 9,200 Victorians would have been presenting to the hospital every single day. Tragically, it also shows the immense human cost of the pandemic, with as many as 36,000 Victorians dying – that’s averaging 70 lives lost every day and up to 650 deaths in a day during the peak.

Premier Daniel Andrews says, “With Victorians doing the right thing and staying home, we’ve been able to slow the spread of the virus – if we stay the course and don’t get complacent, we will get through this together.”
“We’ll continue to take the advice of our public health experts, informed by the data, as we make decisions about when is the right time to ease some of the restrictions that we have in place.”

The modeling also shows that Victoria’s ‘Reff’ number – the projected number of infections passed on by a person with coronavirus – has dropped to 0.5. If Reff is kept below one, an outbreak slowly wanes. If it is above one, it grows.
Thanks to the current restrictions and the overwhelming number of Victorians doing the right thing, the modeling confirms that our curve is flattening. Victoria’s curve compares favorably with other countries that also acted early, like South Korea and New Zealand.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos says, “We thank all Victorians for playing a part in saving lives – we have a long way to go, but we should all take pride in the positive impact of our efforts.”

For information about coronavirus visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call 1800 675 398.