The good and bad for Geelong in state budget

Premier Jacinta Allan (Ivan Kemp)

It was slim pickings in the state budget for the Geelong region following its release today.

The Allan government’s Helping Families theme looked to recognise the cost-of-living pressures affecting many households across the state in its more than $318.6 million 2024-25 state budget.

Budget benefits for the Geelong region include two new schools to be built in Charlemont and Armstrong Creek by 2026 and 72 out of 400 new social and affordable homes to be built in Waurn Ponds.

The Gordan TAFE will also benefit from an additional $550 million investment in TAFE training and $4 million allocated to maintain the Kardinia Park Stadium.

The budget investment also prepares for the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre, a huge new events space, opening in 2026 to bring conferences, entertainment and live music to the city.

The budget will also invest $133.4 million to support the regional rail network, which includes upgrading the 150-year-old historic rail tunnel between Geelong and South Geelong.

Transport connection in the Geelong region shows limited improvement through the budget, with no regional road funding allocated for the area.

Services won’t be increased on the Geelong Warrnambool Line, and the doubling of weekend train services to Geelong promised in the last budget won’t come until next year.

The Melbourne Airport link will be on hold for at least another four years, with no commitments made for a rail connection to service Avalon.

The future of the Torquay Community Hospital remains unclear, with the treasurer confirming that the project was under review.

Premier Jacinta Allan said the budget, which was her first as premier, was “firmly focused on helping families”.

“We know inflation is hurting; that’s why this budget is all about making life that little bit easier for families, including help to cover the costs of sending kids to school,” she said.

“It’s also a budget that makes the sensible and disciplined decisions to respond to the challenges ahead and secure a strong future for our state.

“Our Labor government is continuing its record of investing in health, education, transport and homes, while also making sure our state is stronger, fairer and safer for all Victorians.”