Premier Daniel Andrews will most likely get to see out his vision for Victoria for another four years, if recent polls are mirrored on Saturday.
But Opposition Leader Matthew Guy is competitive enough that voters could choose his plans for the state. (And a hung parliament isn’t out of the question.)
The New Daily has reviewed months of announcements from both major parties. Here is a non-exhaustive list of promises Mr Andrews and Mr Guy have made in key policy areas.
Infrastructure and transport
Mr Guy has pegged the Coalition’s transport announcements to his decentralisation plan, to encourage people to move to the regions and ease pressure in fast-growing Melbourne.
Labor built its reputation on delivering infrastructure this term, and has continued making rail and road announcements this term.
The Coalition has committed to both the North East Link and the East West Link, which was dumped by Labor after the 2014 election.
The West Gate Tunnel will be finished no matter who is elected.
Mr Andrews has promised to fast-track planning and design for the $16.5 billion North East Link with another $110 million from this year’s budget, with procurement to start within 100 days if re-elected.
Labor has also promised upgrades to Ballarat roads, Narre Warren North Road, Moorabbin’s South Road, and intersections at Ballarto Road, Station and Saunders roads, and Gisborne-Kilmore and Melbourne Road.
All 48 regional councils would also share $30 million of grants to fix country roads under Labor, with another $70 million to come.
The Coalition promised to remove 55 traffic light and roundabout intersections over two terms, at a cost of $600 million.
Mr Guy would put another $20.5 million towards a smart traffic light trial on the Nepean Highway to react to congestion in real time.
A ‘Road Fix Blitz’ on country and regional roads would cost $1 billion over 10 years if Mr Guy is elected.
Law and order in Victoria was Mr Guy’s bread and butter in the lead-up to the election campaign.
He vowed to fast-track counter-terrorism measures days after the Bourke Street attack this month.
That includes a $89.5 million plan to introduce restriction orders for radicalised Victorians, which could ban people from entering the CBD or force them to wear monitoring devices. He would train 100 officers in counter terrorism, put another 76 patrol officers in the city, and hire another 50 surveillance staff.
- Rush bail laws through Parliament to jail anybody who breaches bail
- Publish the decision of courts online
- Youth boot camp for non-violent offenders in a two-year, $5 million trial starting 2020
- Work with the federal government to deport more criminal foreign nationals through a dedicated unit within the Justice Department
- 300-bed remand centre at Lara and a business case for a 300-bed remand centre at Dandenong
- Extend mandatory minimum jail sentences for repeat offenders of 17 offences
- Force first-time home invasion and car jackers to wear tracking devices while on parole
- 100 new protective service officers (PSOs) for train stations, and $24 million for more CCTV and lighting
- Establish a public sex offenders register and a family violence disclosure scheme
- Buy 4000 tasers for police
- Establish 12 police shopfronts in shopping centres
- Re-establish the ‘police in schools’ program
- Boost Neighbourhood Watch with $2 million over four years
- Increase police resources in tourist towns during holiday seasons
Mr Andrews has fought off law and order criticism by arguing he has recruited 3135 more police in his four years as premier.
He has nominated the ‘No.1’ crime issue as family violence, and will implement all remaining recommendations from the 2016 royal commission.
Mr Andrews also committed to building new police stations at Clyde North and Narre Warren at a cost of $34 million each. The Dandenong Division would get another 96 police officers.
Priests would no longer be exempt from mandatory reporting laws of child abuse if Mr Andrews is re-elected.
Mr Andrews has centred his school promises on upgrades to infrastructure and facilities, fancying Victoria as ‘the education state’.
And the independent school sector will get $400 million to upgrade and build schools no matter who is elected on November 24.
- 15 hours of kindergarten for every three-year-old, progressively rolled out from 2020 with almost $5 billion in funding over 10 years. Another 785 kindergartens will be built over the decade and 170 expanded
- Build another 24 schools in the next term, adding to the 21 that have already been fully funded in a $850 million package to build 100 new schools over eight years. Planning for the remaining 55 would start in the next term
- The New Daily counted almost 70 extra schools promised to get upgrades, on top of the 1300 already announced or delivered
- Build a second McKinnon Secondary campus with $70 million
- $220 million for the ‘Building Better TAFEs Fund’ to upgrade campuses
- $6 million to upgrade accommodation and facilities at agricultural colleges
- A new community and education performing arts centre at the Gasworks Arts Park for $12.5 million
- A phonics check for year one students
- Free textbooks for all students, phasing in across two years from 2020
- $90.25 million upgrade to schools in the Geelong region, and another $34.5 million on a new Armstrong Creek Secondary School (which is also part of Labor’s plans) and a feasibility study into a Leopold secondary college
- $16 million for early language and literacy programs in areas where children are considered developmentally vulnerable
- $80 million for the Brighter Futures Fund to support parents and children in the early years of schooling
- Abolish Safe Schools and replace it with a separate anti-bullying program
Mr Andrews has made big-ticket promises for free dental and sanitary items for public school children, as part of the ‘fairness’ brand he’s selling.
Annual dental check-ups and necessary dental work would be provided to all public school children at a cost of $395.8 million, through roving vans.
The pads and tampons would be available in all female, unisex and accessible toilets at public schools from term three next year.
- Establish a Royal Commission into mental health for $13.2 million
- Baby bundles worth $150 at a cost of $21.8 million over four years
- $232 million for seven new Early Parenting Centres in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo
- Billions in funding for hospital upgrades at the Royal Children’s, Maryborough, Frankston, Wangaratta, Bendigo, Latrobe Regional, Angliss, Wantirna Health, Footscray (to be built on previously funded land), and Geelong Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- Another 1100 nurses for $460 million, 90 paramedics for $109 million, and $25 million to buy 23 new ambulances
- 10 new and expanded community hospitals for $675 million
- Subsidised and bulk-billed IVF for low-income Victorians for $32 million
- $132.6 million for 500,000 specialist appointments for regional Victorians
- Emergency departments for children at Casey, Maroondah, Frankston, Barwon Health and the Northern hospitals for $62.4 million
- $100 million for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) to help regional providers upgrade facilities
- $49.5 million to expand respite care access for carers of people with a mental illness
- $25.3 million for six culturally specific aged care facilities
- Subsidise hospital parking spaces for concession holders with $40 million
- Make the contraceptive pill available over the counter for anyone who has been prescribed it
- Three new Community Mental Health Hubs in Frankston, Albert Park and regional Victoria for $24 million
- Revive the cartoon character Norm from the ‘Life. Be in it’ campaign
- $35.1 million to give more regional Victorians access to reimbursements from the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance for travelling to specialist care
- $175 million to help more people with chronic disease get home treatment
- $140 million to boost palliative care
- $50 million over four years for families dealing with autism, including a 24-hour AMAZE hotline and community support groups
- $1 million over four years to boost the Community Ice Action Grants program, and $4.8 million in grants for rehab centres for a ‘step-down’ program
- Add 60 beds to rehab centres in Mildura, Warrnambool and the Latrobe Valley
- $10,000 to cover medical expenses for mental health care for police, emergency, ambulance workers and public prison officers while their WorkCover claim is processed in a $7 million promise
- $1 million over four years for peer support programs for former police with post-traumatic stress disorder
- $6 million for a stroke ambulance based at Monash Medical Centre
- $20 million for four robots that perform complex surgery at public hospitals
- $1 million awareness campaign for rare diseases
- Release elective surgery wait times for patients
- Expand The Babes Project in Kilsyth to help disadvantaged first-time mums in Melbourne’s west through $700,000. The opposition had already promised $300,000 to support the group
- Another $1500 for foster and kinship carers to cover expenses, while regional carers would get 10 per cent extra
Almost 808,000 early votes had been cast by Tuesday evening, compared to almost 478,000 at this time in the last election. More than 135,000 postal votes have been received.