We welcome the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget as delivering for vulnerable Victorians.
With significant investments in mental health, preventing homelessness, jobs and at-risk children and families, Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike said she was pleased with the focus on health and wellbeing and supporting those who need it most.
“This is a Budget which recognises and responds to the immediate needs of vulnerable Victorians while also putting the building blocks in place for the challenges ahead,” Ms Pike said.
“The $3.8 billion investment to rebuild the mental health system is a game-changer which shifts the focus to prevention and early intervention and for the first time recognises the importance of proper mental health care.
“We commend the Government for continuing funding for the Private Rental Assistance Program, which is giving security to thousands of people by providing them with the support they need to stay in their home.
“Uniting Vic.Tas has committed $20 million towards social housing, including a plan to build 500 new homes over the next five years. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Government to deliver its social housing strategy.
“New residential rehabilitation beds and community-based alcohol and other drug treatment services, particularly in regional areas, will give people struggling with addiction more options to get the help they need, close to home.
“We strongly believe in a harm minimisation approach and support the continued investment in medically supervised injecting rooms, which will save lives.
“We’re delighted with the expansion of three-year old kindergarten across the state from 2022. This will give every child regardless of where they live, the best start in life.
“Further investment in programs for at-risk children and families is timely, however, we believe more needs to be done to make the out-of-home care system fairer by ensuring all children receive the appropriate therapeutic care.
“The continuation of funding for Child FIRST which connects vulnerable families to services which best suit their needs and provides access to appropriate community-based support is a positive.
“Overall, we believe this is the right Budget for the time, a Budget which delivers for our most vulnerable and takes important steps towards improving the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.”