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2014 State Election Platform

2014 State Election Platform

Immediate Priorities
The top 12 ways to build a Victoria without poverty

Give every child a better start

1. Help every child succeed in education

The experience of disadvantage impoverishes lives from birth. The most effective way to
reduce poverty in the future is for every child to participate in high quality early childhood
education and fully participate in school. We call on all parties to provide dedicated funds to
cover schooling costs for vulnerable children, and free kindergarten for every 3- and 4- year
old child.

2. Develop integrated early childhood services that support vulnerable children

Children in families experiencing disadvantage can benefit enormously from a range
of services that help their families nurture them to grow and learn in a positive, healthy
environment. We call on all parties to develop innovative and locally-based models that
support vulnerable children and their families by integrating early years learning, health and
community services, as exemplified by the approaches taken at Doveton College, Bendigo
Community Health and Yuille Park Community College.

3. Make child protection work

Children in the care of the Victorian Government are among our most vulnerable people.
Despite inquiries, reports, reviews and plans, children are still at risk of harm in our child
protection system. We call on all parties to invest in early and integrated family support
services to reduce risks to children, and to provide every child living in residential care with
the therapeutic support they need.

Liveable communities

4. Reduce the cost of housing

A safe, secure and affordable home is the foundation of a dignified life. Without it, people
can rarely achieve other life goals. We call on all parties to develop a whole-of-government
affordable housing strategy that reduces the cost of housing for low-income Victorians, by
expanding social housing, improving rental laws, using targeted planning tools, creating new financial products and leveraging taxation policies.

5. Expand the public transport network

Good public transport can be used by young people, older people, people with disabilities
and those who cannot afford a car. A car-dependent transport system traps our most
vulnerable people and stops them accessing employment, services and social opportunities.
We call on all parties to invest in building a frequent public transport network, including
frequent bus connections to local centres and train stations, especially in under-served
communities in outer Melbourne, and rural and regional Victoria.

Healthy communities

6. Reduce violence against women and children

Over the past decade reports of family violence have more than doubled, and both police
and family violence services are overwhelmed by demand. We call on all parties to commit to a package of services and reforms to combat violence against women and their children by establishing a Minister for Violence against Women and Children, a central coordination role for the Premier’s Department, a comprehensive primary prevention strategy, multi-agency responses to protect women and children at risk, and a significant expansion of support services across health, housing, legal assistance and support programs.

Work and financial security

7. Improve workforce participation

Unemployment rates are at decade highs, especially for vulnerable groups including young
people, older people, Aboriginal people, refugees and people with disabilities. We need to
develop people’s work skills and remove barriers to employment, so more people can enter
paid work. We call on all parties to develop a workforce participation plan, that incorporates
community services, vocational education providers and potential employers, to increase
employment for vulnerable groups.

8. Deliver one million energy efficient homes to cut the cost of living

Many Victorian families have high energy bills because they can’t fix their energy inefficient
homes or install efficient appliances, as they have low incomes or are renting. We call on all
parties to commit to improving one million low-income households’ homes, through retrofits,
minimum standards and appliance upgrades, to cut their energy bills and cost of living.

Justice reinvestment and human rights

9. Reduce crime through justice reinvestment

Changes to sentencing laws have resulted in an explosion in our prison population, while
recorded crime rates continue to rise. We call on all parties to develop a justice reinvestment plan to reduce crime, divert people from prison, improve treatment for prisoners and rehabilitate people leaving prison.

Better services from a stronger community sector

10. Deliver funding fairness for community services

Community organisations are not funded for the full cost of delivering services. We call on
all parties to establish a fair funding model for community organisations, indexed to meet the real costs of providing services, so they can deliver quality, effective services that meet the needs of vulnerable people.

Better governance

11. Develop a whole-of-government plan for social policy change

Too often, effective social change is thwarted because government agencies do not work
together. For government to work effectively, it needs a high level vision for the social goals
it is trying to achieve. We call on all parties to develop a whole-of-government plan for social policy, centrally coordinated by the Premier’s Department, with clear goals, targets and funding.

12. Create a sustainable revenue base

The Victorian Government needs more revenue to pay for essential services and
infrastructure. We cannot cut our way to prosperity. We call on all parties to commit
to reviewing Victoria’s revenue streams, to build up sufficient resources to meet the
community’s future needs and aspirations.