‘Looking for the original, pre-pandemic 2020 VCOSS budget submission? Click here.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2020
Victoria’s economic environment, social landscape and political climate bears little resemblance to anything that was predicted just months ago.
COVID changed everything.
The state budget itself was moved, in recognition of these unique and changing circumstances, and the difficulty in forecasting how things will look when some sense of normality returns.
The original VCOSS 2020 Victorian Budget Submission ‘A State of Wellbeing’ was written before the world changed.
Many of the issues, challenges and solutions contained in that submission remain unresolved, but new challenges have since emerged, demand for community sector assistance has soared and the operating environment is now wildly different.
This paper serves as a companion document to that original submission, building on its themes and proposals by putting them in the contemporary context, and identifying the most pressing actions we can take to support Victorians in the wake of COVID.
Creating new jobs, looking after mental health and making sure people have safe and secure homes has never been more important. A strong community sector is a vital safety net for Victorians struggling in the wake of the pandemic.
Last year we highlighted wellbeing as a guiding principle to create a fairer and stronger Victoria, with the related concepts of wellbeing budgeting and a wellbeing economy as central to this mission. As we now look towards a post-pandemic recovery, wellbeing is more critical than ever.
This submission calls for community and individual wellbeing to be central to our COVID recovery, in recognition that social and economic outcomes are inextricably linked.
More broadly, wellbeing should be instilled as the core concept that shapes the future of Victorian policy-making and budgets, as we emerge and rebuild from the looming pandemic recession.
In the short term, a key component of this will be the establishment of a Social Recovery Taskforce to shape and inform Victoria’s immediate and medium-term recovery.
In the longer term, we need a strengthened community services industry, with secure funding and a pipeline of skilled workers to meet the needs of a forever changed Victorian community.
We need the 2020 Victorian Budget to truly focus on the wellbeing of all Victorians and Victorian communities.