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The VCOSS policy team has been busy analysing the 2017 Victorian Budget in detail.
Please browse this page for summaries of initiatives in key policy areas.
Click on the subject headings to read more, or use the buttons below to explore other forms of analysis.
The 2017 Victorian Budget contains a range of welcome initiatives aimed at promoting social cohesion.
This budget largely funds the Victorian Government’s Homes for Victorians policy, announced in February 2017, including expanded social housing and stamp duty concessions for first home buyers. The unprecedented investment in family violence also includes additional funding for social housing and crisis accommodation.
The Victorian Government has invested $1.9 billion in the budget for family violence initiatives, to respond to the Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations. This welcome and landmark investment will address family violence across a range of areas; from prevention to early intervention and support for victims and perpetrators.
The 2017 Victorian Budget includes welcome investment to improve learning and educational outcomes for children and young people, including substantial infrastructure funding and initiatives aimed at addressing disadvantage.
The 2017 Victorian Budget includes funding for clinical mental health services, including additional inpatient, community and weekend care. A new mental health care facility will be built in Ballarat, along with funding for mental health and alcohol and other drug facility upgrades across regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. There is also a focus on forensic mental health support services to better support people in the justice system.
The 2017 Victorian Budget provides some new child protection initiatives. New announcements include funding for additional child protection workers and earlier intervention for vulnerable families. There has been a welcome increase in supports for young people to move from residential care, and the budget also commits to enhanced supports for adults who grew up in care.
The 2017 Victorian Budget includes welcome initiatives to stimulate employment growth in localities facing disadvantage and for workers facing redundancy. Measures include funding to support workers to transition to new jobs in the Latrobe Valley and funding for social enterprise development that will benefit vulnerable Victorians.
The 2017 Victorian Budget includes some modest positive initiatives to help improve the lives of people with disability, including measures to improve access to disability supports, help prevent and respond to abuse, and prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The 2017 Victorian Budget includes some welcome measures to help low-income households with the cost of rising energy bills. VCOSS also supports the funding for an independent energy broker pilot, an initiative VCOSS has called for in the energy retail markets review.
VCOSS welcomes the establishment of the Fast Track Remand Court, helping to resolve cases faster for young people on remand. Other positive initiatives include additional funding for legal services for low income people, and mental health services for young people at risk of offending and those in the court or corrections systems.
The Government has also announced:
The Victorian Government’s budget is projected to achieve a substantial surplus of $1.2b in 2017-18. This is a result of strong revenue growth, especially land transfer duty (stamp duty) and payroll tax. Revenue is expected to exceed growth in spending over the next four years.
The Victorian Government is investing heavily in major transport infrastructure projects. Apart from making all-night public transport on weekends permanent, there is only modest investment in additional services.
Strong growth in revenue has allowed the Victorian government to cut payroll tax and stamp duty for first home buyers and still see increases in revenue from these sources.
Among welcome measures, Victoria's new 'supermax' youth jail represents a missed opportunity to create a world-class youth justice system.
There is a reason VCOSS called the 2017 Victorian Budget "a budget with a heart". It contains a historic and phenomenal $1.9 billion to combat family violence. Get all the details here.
Subsidised energy efficiency upgrades, support for choosing energy retailers and investment in financial counselling are good measures for low-income households in the 2017 Victorian Budget.
Funding to support people in the transition to the NDIS and to reduce abuse in disability services are among some modest positive 2017 Victorian Budget initiatives to help improve the lives of people with disability.
Funding to develop an Aboriginal treaty, a LGBTI inclusive Victoria and implementing the state's multicultural policy are positive investments to improve social cohesion in the 2017 Victorian Budget.
Expanding the Maternal and Child Health service and increasing the number of child protection workers through this year's Victorian Budget will help support children in vulnerable families.
Expanding social housing through measures including a growth fund and community housing loans, the 2017 Victorian Budget is a great start to turning around Victoria's housing affordability and homelessness problems.
Investment in mental health, drug and alcohol services and in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in the 2017 Victorian Budget will help more people access services and gain control of their lives.
There is more support for students facing disadvantage across early years and school years in the 2017 Victorian Budget, as well as substantial investment in upgrading facilities.
The 2017 Victorian Budget includes welcome initiatives to stimulate employment growth in new industries and in localities facing disadvantage. It provides transition support for workers facing redundancy.
The 2017 Victorian Budget delivers on the Government’s laudable commitment to ending family violence. The Victorian Council of Social Service says the budget’s headline figure of $1.9 billion for family violence initiatives is a generous and welcome amount, and should […]
If just 20% of the public discussion was about how to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place, we’d be much closer to a genuine solution.
Ageist stereotypes and assumptions about the capabilities of older people can be disempowering and takes away older people’s agency and power.
Did you know a large number of people living with serious mental health conditions—up to 10,000 in Victoria alone—could miss out under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
When we place more demands on our foster carers, we have a responsibility to provide them with additional support.
Sending more and more people to prison is not making Victoria any safer. Through justice reinvestment we can redirect prison dollars to community programs that help stop crime occurring in the first place.
Victoria has a problem with the repeat and violent offending behaviours by a small number of young offenders. But we can’t arrest our way out of this problem.