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State Budget Submission 2017-18

ekpic2Emma King VCOSS CEO


Overall, Victoria is experiencing growth and prosperity. Yet it is not reaching everyone, and inequality is growing.
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Media release

VCOSS has warned not all Victorians are benefiting from social and economic growth, and is proposing a range of targeted  investments to turn the tide..
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Priority investments

Build more social housing

The Victorian government can establish a dedicated social housing growth fund to help more people find secure, affordable and appropriate housing. Building more social housing is Victoria’s most effective ammunition in the fight against poverty. The state’s significant lack of affordable housing makes all other social problems worse … Read more


Help students with disability succeed at school

The Victorian government can empower students with additional health and development needs to succeed at school by reforming the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) funding model. Adopting a functional needs-based funding approach would shift the system to better respond to and maximise these students’ learning and development … Read more


Support every child with high quality early learning

The Victorian government can give children the best start in life by extending the availability of high quality early learning services, from birth to when they start school. The Victorian government can help by securing funding for 15 hours per week of four-year-old kindergarten, providing universal access to at least five hours of three-year-old kindergarten, and more early learning hours and stronger participation strategies for children facing disadvantage … Read more


Retain community mental health rehabilitation services

The Victorian government can empower people to manage and recover from mental illness by retaining funding responsibility for community-based mental illness rehabilitation services. Victoria has committed to transferring all its community-based mental health service funding over to the NDIS, making it unclear who will deliver rehabilitation services, as these are deemed outside the scope of the NDIS … Read more


Empower young people leaving care

The Victorian government can empower young people leaving out-of-home-care by providing holistic support and care until at least age 21. Giving young people similar opportunities as their peers to successfully and gradually transition into adulthood will help them achieve better health, employment and quality of life … Read more


Empower people with disability through independent advocacy services

The Victorian government can empower people with disability and their carers to protect their rights and direct their lives by increasing long term funding for independent disability advocacy services. Independent advocacy can help people navigate the NDIS rollout, understand their rights and entitlements, prepare for NDIS planning, and access internal and external review processes. People ineligible for individual NDIS funding packages use advocacy to access mainstream systems. Disability advocacy also helps people with inclusion and human rights violations not remedied by the NDIS … Read more


Cut people’s bills with energy efficiency

The Victorian government can help people on low incomes cut their cost of living by funding expanded home energy efficiency programs. Energy-efficient housing helps to cut people’s bills and promotes good health, including by protecting people against extreme and prolonged cold and heat … Read more


Improve access to legal assistance

The Victorian government can empower people to resolve their legal problems by investing more in community legal centres. Equal access to justice, when everyone receives adequate legal assistance and a fair hearing, protects human rights and reduces inequality. Legal assistance targeted early as possible to people who need it, can resolve legal issues that otherwise lead to more problems and higher costs for individuals and the justice system … Read more


Empower communities to deliver local solutions with a social innovation fund

The Victorian government can empower communities by creating a social innovation fund to resource place-based approaches to delivering local solutions to poverty and disadvantage. Place-based approaches facilitate government, non-government, private sector and community collaboration, to design and deliver services that build on local strengths and tackle local issues… Read more


Develop a community sector workforce plan

The Victorian community sector can help plan for the projected rapid workforce growth, along with substantial service delivery changes, by investing in an industry plan, led by the sector, in partnership with government. This can include collecting baseline data on the skills and capabilities of the sector’s existing workforce, and identifying skills gaps and employer needs. Community sector workforce growth will be a major source of new jobs in Victoria, but skill and worker shortages are likely to occur without careful planning … Read more