In the lead up to the Victorian State Election we will explore the platforms and policies that will shape our state for the next four years. Jason Davies-Kildea from The Salvation Army explains what they want to see on the agenda in the lead up to the poll.
There are now just over two months until Victorians go to the polls to elect the party that they want to govern their state for the next four years. In the area of social and community services, much has changed in Victoria since the last election with a number of reforms well underway and others clearly on the agenda. In addition, the Commonwealth Government are pursuing significant changes to social welfare, health and education systems that will have major implications for state governments across the country.
It is in this context that The Salvation Army has thrown a number of key issues on the table for our Victorian political parties to consider. The Salvos are a leading provider of social and community services across the state, helping more than 100,000 individuals and families every year through a wide variety of service streams including homelessness and housing, drug and alcohol treatment, family violence, out of home care, mental health, emergency relief and chaplaincy services, amongst others.
The Salvation Army’s 2014 Victorian Election Platform draws upon insights from the frontline experience of more than 300 services across the state, highlighting particular areas of vulnerability and disadvantage, as well as promoting evidence-based solutions. Key issues include: homelessness and housing affordability; dealing more effectively with increased reporting in family violence; a better justice system that deals with the causes and not just the consequences of crime; an increased emphasis on transitional supports for young people leaving the out of home care system; and a health system that is accessible to and successfully engages with Victoria’s most marginalised and vulnerable people.
Whilst none of this is particularly surprising to seasoned campaigners, this year the Salvos have gone a step further asking the major political parties to respond to a range of questions about how their policies will impact upon these key issues. Responses from each party will be collated and published on the Salvos website, so that interested Victorians can compare and make informed decisions when the time comes to cast their ballot.
The Salvation Army’s 2014 Victorian election platform.
Responses to questions raised for political parties will be published online in October.