The Treasurer Tim Pallas delivered Victoria’s 2019-2020 State Budget on Monday 27 May 2019. The Budget aims on delivering in all key sectors to meet the state’s growing needs (including better healthcare and education systems, as well as a more reliable road and rail transport system).

While the Budget included a number of revenue changes, the Victorian Government seems to have taken the opportunity to make additional duties changes which are set out in the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 (Vic) (“Bill”) tabled in Parliament today. More on those changes below, including some early insights and observations.

State of the Victorian economy

  • In 2017-18, Victoria’s economy grew by 3.5%, exceeding Australia’s national economic growth of 2.8%.
  • In 2019-20, the Government’s infrastructure investment will reach $14.2 billion, averaging $13.4 billion a year over the Budget and forward estimates period.
  • With a focus on building local and hiring local, the Government claims that its infrastructure agenda has ensured more than 115,000 jobs for Victorians.
  • Despite the revenue write-downs, the Budget produces an operating surplus of $1 billion, with surpluses averaging $3.4 billion a year over the forward estimates period.
  • Net debt to gross state product will be stabilised at 12% over the medium term.
  • The AAA credit rating from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s will be retained.

 

Road, Rail and Infrastructure

  • The Suburban Transport Blitz will fund $27.4 billion towards suburban infrastructure. This includes funding for the North East Link, removing dangerous and congested level crossings across Victoria and upgrades to the public transport network.
  • The Budget dedicates $2.6 billion to focus on the needs of Victoria’s regional communities, and with a view to adding approximately 4,500 jobs throughout the state.
  • The Government will be investing $1.3 billion over the next 10 years to expand Solar Homes, on top of the $74 million already provided. This includes offering rebates for the cost of solar panels, solar hot water systems or battery storage for 770,000 homes around Victoria over the next decade. The program has been expanded to renters, and funding will be provided for training, safety and quality audits to ensure the safety and sustainability of the rollout.