The 2017 Victorian Budget delivers on the Government’s laudable commitment to ending family violence.
The Victorian Council of Social Service says the budget’s headline figure of $1.9 billion for family violence initiatives is a generous and welcome amount, and should be recognised as new money in addition to previous commitments.
“This is a budget with a heart,” Ms King said.
“The government has allocated a phenomenal amount of money to address family violence in a range of areas; from prevention to early intervention and support for victims and perpetrators.”
Specifically, the Government will protect women and children with a broad range of investments including:
- $448m to establish 17 Support and Safety Hubs for survivors
- $270.8 million to provide specialist support for victims and supporting recovery
- $269m to operate five specialist family violence courts
- $50.7 million to help stop the violence before it starts
- $20.5m to support community legal centres and financial counselors, which work on the frontline protecting families escaping violence
“The government should be commended for genuinely acting on the recommendations of the Family Violence Royal Commission,” Ms King said.
“These measures will save lives.”
The 2017 budget also formally allocates money towards initiatives to make housing safer, cheaper and more accessible for Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens, including the pre-announced $1b Social Housing Growth Fund.
Other highlights include;
- $81.2m to expand maternal and child health services and parenting support
- $87.1m to help kindergartens get kids from disadvantaged backgrounds ready for school
- $58.7m for the next phase of the Government’s Ice Action Plan
- $94m to boost jobs in disadvantaged areas, including the Latrobe Valley.
- $50.7m to help 350 poorly performing schools do better
- $19.9m to provide support to young people with disabilities in advance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
“There’s a lot to be proud of in this budget,” Ms King said.
“VCOSS will work with the government to ensure fairness is central across all key government decisions and investments over the coming year.”
VCOSS will analyse the budget in more detail over the coming days, with updates available at vcoss.org.au