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New school funding model fails the fairness t. . .

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New school funding model fails the fairness test

17 September 2014  |  

A State Government proposal to give more money to some disadvantaged schools, will actually remove targeted assistance for education costs and leave thousands of students unable to participate in the opportunities school has to offer, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “While the new funding model recognises the need for greater assistance for the most disadvantaged schools, it fails to reflect the reality that disadvantaged students exist across the whole school system,” said Emma King, VCOSS CEO. “The proposed model removes clear eligibility criteria and will force families ... Read More

Published under Education, EMA, State Politics, Victorian state election

Hazelwood mine fire lessons must be heeded

3 September 2014  |  

Victoria should heed the lessons of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry to ensure socially vulnerable people and communities are better protected and have their voices heard during disasters says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “The inquiry found the local Morwell community went ‘above and beyond’ what was expected of them during the weeks over which the disaster rolled on,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Yet it is clear from the inquiry report that the people of Morwell were let down by communication responses that did not reflect international best practice for crisis communication ... Read More

Better protections needed for energy consumers

2 September 2014  |  

An ALP plan to expand the powers of the Essential Services Commission would give Victorian energy customers stronger protections and help hold energy retailers to account, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Victorians deserve strong protections to ensure they are not forced into energy hardship or wrongfully disconnected from their energy supply,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The ALP plan to increase the powers of the Essential Services Commission is a welcome move that would help protect vulnerable people from energy retailers who too often have a cavalier approach to their ... Read More

Youth unemployment in Victoria running at 15 year high

26 August 2014  |  

Victoria’s youth unemployment rate has worsened sharply in the first half of 2014 and is now at its highest monthly average level in 15 years, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. A VCOSS analysis of ABS Labour Force figures shows that Victoria’s year-on-year monthly average unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds is running at 14.7 per cent – when examined from January to July 2014. This marks the highest average monthly youth unemployment rate since 1999 and has jumped by around 5 per cent in the last five years. So far in 2014 alone it is running more than 2 per cent higher than ... Read More

Melbourne world’s most liveable city, if you can afford it

19 August 2014  |  

The naming of Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit highlights the growing disparity that is emerging through a lack of services and decades of poor planning, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Melbourne has become a city divided – offering a high quality of life for those who can afford to live where the infrastructure and services are located, but leaving far too many people facing isolation, transport poverty and the risk of financial crisis,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Inner city Melbourne is an attractive proposition for ... Read More

Transport poverty a real and significant problem

14 August 2014  |  

People on low incomes living on Melbourne’s urban fringe and in regional areas are more reliant upon cars, have higher travel costs and are at significantly higher risk of ‘transport poverty’ than people in more affluent inner-city suburbs, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Contrary to the views of Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, the evidence shows that people on low incomes who live in our booming outer suburbs and regional growth areas are paying more for their transport costs and travelling further than people who live in wealthier inner suburban areas,” said Emma King, CEO of ... Read More

Prepayment meters not the answer for Victorians

11 August 2014  |  

The Victorian Government should not introduce prepaid electricity metering for low income households as such a scheme would leave people without access to this vital essential service, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Prepayment meters were banned in Victoria in 2004 for good reason: they significantly increase the risk and incidence of loss of electricity supply and offer no offsetting advantages to energy consumers,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “VCOSS objects to a system whereby households are required to pre-pay for energy in order to have it supplied, and in which the ... Read More

Victoria’s worsening unemployment alarming

7 August 2014  |  

Victoria’s worsening unemployment rate, which has hit its highest level since 2001, is alarming and shows the urgent need for a workforce participation plan says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Now at 7 per cent, Victoria’s growing unemployment rate  is alarming and demonstrates just how precarious the job situation is, especially for low-income and vulnerable households,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “There are now more than 215,000 Victorians who are out of work and the effects on our community of prolonged high unemployment are already profound.” “Community sector organisations ... Read More

Unemployed Australians should not be punished

31 July 2014  |  

The increasingly harsh punitive measures mooted by the Federal Government’s Work for the Dole program will do little to help people into meaningful work and risks stigmatising vulnerable members of the community warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Being unemployed is not a crime and people who are struggling to find work should not be punished for it,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The latest revelations that new job search requirements will see Work for the Dole participants undertake the same work as people on court-ordered community corrections orders shows the government ... Read More

Assist people into jobs by funding programs that work

28 July 2014  |  

"Work for the dole has a poor track record when it comes to getting people into real long-term jobs and should not be expanded at the expense of programs that work,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Work for the Dole is a blunt instrument that doesn't provide the kind of targeted support that has been shown time and time again to be the best way of helping people find and keep jobs.” “The expanded work for the dole program announced today comes as the Federal Government has shutdown successful programs with a proven track record of getting people into meaningful employment - such as the ... Read More