The 2023-24 Victorian State Budget was released on the afternoon of Tuesday, 23rd of May, by the Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas.
For members, there is good news in relation to the government spending priorities in relation to the ongoing “big build” with new infrastructure programs and new and improved schools, hospitals and other public buildings.
The 2023-24 Budget adds $9.3 billion to the Government’s existing infrastructure program. These include new and upgraded schools, new and upgraded hospitals and $136m to specifically address the issue of a lack of air conditioning in public housing.
Some of the more important outcomes for members include:
- Building reforms – $2.5m in 2023/24 and $1.2m in 2024/25
- Plan Melbourne – to support housing growth around existing infrastructure – $4.9m in 2023/24 and $4.2m in 2024/25
- Precinct Structure Plans to unlock housing supply across Victoria – $3.5m in 2023/24
- Land and Precincts Program to help with design, delivery and coordination of the State’s planning and infrastructure investments – $7.0m in 2023/24, and $7.7m in 2024/25 https://www.architecture.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Analysis-of-2023-State-Budget-Highlights-for-Victorian-Chapter_FINAL.pdf
Some of the more important Capital expenditure items include:
- $320 million initial investment to expand and build new hospitals – including in West Gippsland, the Austin Hospital and the Monash Medical Centre
- $1.3 billion is provided for new schools, upgrades to existing schools and additional maintenance
- $1.1 billion for early childhood learning https://www.architecture.com.au/wp-content/uploads/New-CAPITAL-investments-in-the-Vic-2023-24-Budget_FINAL.pdf
The Institute will advocate for greater funding for the OVGA (who’s whose budget is unchanged since last year’s cut), better heritage protection and seek financial assistance for architecture graduates (and firms that employ them) to gain necessary work skills and experience. We will also seek renewed funding for the “living heritage grants” in future budgets. These grants cease as of 1 July 2023.
A number of changes to payroll and land taxes were announced and are covered in detail in the budget analysis (see link above). In short, these measures include:
- temporary increases in the Payroll tax levy (An additional rate of 0.5 per cent will apply for businesses with national payrolls above $10 million – for 10 years starting 1 July 2023)
- commitment to increase the threshold before a business has to pay the Payroll tax levy (from 1 July 2024, the payroll tax-free threshold will be lifted from $700,000 to $900,000)
- Reductions in when land tax payments start (down from the current threshold of $300,000 to just $50,000)
- Abolishing Business Insurance levies over a 10-year period