Dimopoulos, Staikos, Tarlarmis, Theophanous – the connection between the Greek community and our Labor Government is as clear as the names printed on the ballot paper.
Labor has stood with the Greek community from the days of Gough Whitlam in the early 70s and we continue to stand with the Greek community today and every day.
As Premier and even before, you’ve welcomed me into your homes, your businesses, and your churches.
And in every sense – you have made our state stronger, more successful, cultured and compassionate. As the Greek community know – better than most – our multicultural success story was far from guaranteed.
Not so long ago Greek migrants were met with suspicion. Names were shortened, and families forced to only speak their language or practice their faith in private.
It took many years of tenacity – epimoní̱ (επιμονή)– to achieve our state’s multicultural and multifaith identity. It’s what makes it such a precious thing. And it means us – those who’ve inherited it – have a duty to protect it.
It is something the Greek community has always understood – and Labor does too. That’s why we’ll invest $1 million in improving Greek community infrastructure – providing better spaces for families to connect, celebrate and share their heritage.
We’ll establish new bilingual kinders and deliver new multicultural story-time in communities across the state, helping even more young Greek Victorians maintain their connection to language and culture.
A further $1.2 million will support Greek festivals and events, including funding for Oakleigh Glendi and Lonsdale Street Festival – celebrating Melbourne’s proud Greek culture. And because nobody is more passionate about football than our Greek communities, we’ll bring over a team of Greece’s own to a play a friendly match at the spiritual home of sport, the MCG.
It speaks to Labor’s commitment to our Greek community. But we know there’s plenty more that matters to your families.
Right now, mums and dads are sitting around kitchen tables trying to figure out whether they can afford childcare – and whether they can afford to go back to work.
It’s why we’ll make sure childcare actually works for working families. From next year, we’ll make kinder free – saving families thousands of dollars in fees.
We’ll also open 50 new government-owned and operated childcare centres, including in Noble Park East, Glenroy, Reservoir and Lalor – providing a low-cost option for local parents. And we’ll upgrade Hughesdale kinder making it even better for kids and their parents.
I also know the price of power is hurting Victorian families.
Thirty years ago, Matthew Guy’s Liberals sold off our energy networks to private companies. They increased prices, sacked workers and charged Victorians $23 billion – paid by pensioners, families and small businesses.
To be frank: privatisation has failed. It’s why Labor will bring back the SEC, driving down the cost of your electricity bills.
Our plan will also support new jobs: 59,000 jobs. And because we want to make sure its our kids who benefit, at least 6000 of those jobs will be for apprentices and trainees.
It’s been our approach since the beginning. Delivering our Big Build – at the same time as creating more jobs for Victorians. Level crossing removals. The Metro Tunnel. The new Victorian Heart Hospital at Clayton. Building and upgrading hundreds of local schools.
All driving the creation of tens of thousands of Victorians jobs. And giving tens of thousands of Victorians – and their families – security and stability.
At this election, though, Victorian jobs are on the ballot.
Because if Matthew Guy and the Liberals have their way – all these projects will be “audited”. We know what “audit” really means. We’ve seen it before.
The Liberals will take a big axe to our Big Build – and with it, the livelihoods of Victorians working on these projects.
It’s why I’m asking:
If you value cheaper childcare, cheaper power, Victorian jobs and Victorian workers – then vote for them.
Vote for Labor.
Dan Andrews is the Labor Premier of Victoria