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Lack of heatwave planning endangers lives. . .

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Lack of heatwave planning endangers lives

15 October 2014  |  

Victoria’s inadequate heatwave planning is endangering lives and must be immediately addressed before the summer heat begins, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Victoria needs to learn the lessons of recent years, where heatwaves have claimed hundreds of lives, and afford the risk of heatwaves the attention and detailed planning responses these emergencies deserve,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The Victorian Auditor General’s Report finds numerous holes in our state planning for heatwave emergencies, the most glaring being our lack of a comprehensive state-wide heatwave ... Read More

Published under Emergency management

One million Victorians face poverty risk

13 October 2014  |  

New figures revealing that more than one million Victorians are living near or below the poverty line paint an alarming picture of increasing disadvantage across the state and must galvanise action to address the underlying causes of poverty, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “These poverty figures are damning and sound a warning that we need to focus on measures which are most effective in reducing poverty and disadvantage,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The latest ACOSS Poverty Report reveals that 13.9 per cent of all Victorians are living below the poverty line. In ... Read More

Published under Advocacy, Welfare, Workforce participation, Young people

Federal plans for unemployed unlikely to help

7 October 2014  |  

Federal Government plans to expand work for the dole and to force people to relocate for work while removing income support for six months will not help address Victoria’s high rate of unemployment, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Victorians who are out of work are facing some the toughest job conditions in decades, with high levels of unemployment generally, and youth unemployment at its highest level in 15 years,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “At this time Victoria needs to be able focus on job creation with an adequate safety net that supports people into employment and ... Read More

Published under Advocacy, Education

Senate must reject harsh Budget measures

1 October 2014  |  

Harsh Federal Budget measures that would push thousands of young people into poverty and which breach our human rights obligations must be comprehensively rejected by the Australian Senate this week. “It is time for the Government to realise that their proposed changes to social security support are against the community’s interests and would make life harder for more Australians,” said Emma King, CEO of the Victorian Council of Social Service. “The recently released report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights which found that forcing young unemployed people off income ... Read More

Community attitudes drive prevalence of violence towards women

17 September 2014  |  

Australians must address community attitudes to violence against women and children if we are serious about arresting spiralling rates of family violence, warn Victoria’s peak family violence organisations. Members of the No More Deaths coalition are pointing to the release of VicHealth’s National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey to highlight the need for sustained investment and stronger political leadership to make our community safer for all women. “Community attitudes shape the conditions that allow violence against women to continue unabated and these attitudes ... Read More

Published under Family violence

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