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2016 Victorian Budget – policy snapshots

2016 Victorian Budget – policy snapshots

VCOSS believes the 2016 Victorian Budget includes welcome measures to support people facing disadvantage and hardship, while leaving scope for further initiatives in the fight against poverty and inequality.

Click here to view our media release.

For a more in depth look, our policy analysts have dissected the budget papers to produce the detailed policy snapshots below.


Expand people’s transport options.

This 2016 Victorian Budget funds a number of large scale transport projects and procurements, which provides a long-term pipeline of infrastructure projects, with associated employment and economic benefits.


Prevent crime through a smarter justice system.

VCOSS welcomes the 2016 Victorian Budget’s focus on diverting disadvantaged people away from the justice system and addressing the underlying causes of offending, by expanding the youth diversion program and continuing funding to the Koori women’s diversion program.


Help people facing disadvantage gain work and skills.

The 2016 Victorian Budget has a strong emphasis on developing employment pathways for people facing disadvantage. This is particularly important in an era of technological and structural change in key industries.


Investments for the Latrobe Valley in response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry

VCOSS applauds the government for its commitment to improving people’s health in the Latrobe Valley, and in particular its announcement of a Health Innovation Zone to co-design preventative health programs and early interventions.


Generate adequate revenue to fulfil community aspirations.

The 2016 Victorian Budget projects substantial surpluses over the next four years. This is driven by revenue rising faster than expenditure over the four years.


Help make housing affordable for people facing disadvantage

The 2016 Victorian Budget includes considerable investment in housing and homelessness in response to the Family Violence Royal Commission, in the form of a family violence housing blitz. This $152m package over two years contains many pleasing initiatives.

Cut the cost of living for people on low incomes

Despite increasing average living standards in Australia, these benefits are not equally shared. VCOSS welcomes the initiatives in the 2016 Victorian Budget designed to begin addressing the energy cost impact of poor quality housing on public tenants, strengthen protections for energy customers in financial hardship, and improve support for asylum seekers and rural small business people.


Strengthen community organisations to help people fulfil their potential

The decline in real funding for community organisations continues, while funding for community sector wage rises incurred as a result of the Equal Remuneration Order will be covered by the Victorian government, as announced in last year’s budget.


Improve the lives of people with disability and carers

The NDIS is a chance to improve the lives of people with disability, however, is a major change in the way services are provided. People with disability and disability service organisations need support to manage the change. VCOSS is pleased the state government has committed funds to close the last disability institution in Victoria and provide additional support for the transition to the NDIS.


Build cohesive and resilient communities

VCOSS commends the 2016 Victorian Budget for its support for LGBTI community members, with the announcement of a new Pride Centre, a new LGBTI grants program and support to combat homophobia in rural and regional Victoria. Increasing support for and encouraging the equality of LGBTI community members will help to build social cohesion.


Help vulnerable families nurture their children

The 2016 Victorian Budget features substantial investment in supporting the wellbeing of vulnerable children and families. Many of these initiatives were announced as part of the government’s Roadmap for Reform Package and cover a wide-range of measures from prevention and early intervention initiatives through to better support for carers and children.


Deliver an equitable education system to help every child fulfil their potential

The 2016 Victorian Budget has prioritised investment in education, with substantial infrastructure funding provided to build and upgrade schools, provide Tech Schools and support early childhood and care services. Positive investment is also made in vocational and workplace learning initiatives, a shared facilities fund to support community hubs, and delivering on their election commitment to provide a doctors in schools program to support the healthcare of disadvantaged students.


Prevent, identify and respond to family violence

VCOSS was particularly pleased to see in the 2016 Victorian Budget additional detail on prevention initiatives seeking to address the underlying drivers of family violence, including gender inequality, inclusive of target priority population groups.

Improve community health and wellbeing

VCOSS is encouraged the 2016 Victorian Budget includes significant investment in regional Victoria, with more than $200m allocated over four years to enhance the quality and amenity of rural and regional health services, including community health services.