|The Budget contains several initiatives to support greater social inclusion and diversity. These include initiatives for culturally and linguistically diverse communities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians.
There is welcome funding in the Budget for Neighbourhood Houses. Each week in Victoria 190,000 people use a Neighbourhood House and 6,700 Victorians volunteer. Neighbourhood Houses bring people together to connect, learn and contribute in their local communities through social, educational, recreational and support activities, reducing social isolation and enhancing community inclusiveness.
- Supporting LGBTI Victorians in the health care system
Extra funding has been allocated for two additional specialists to improve the capacity of health services to support trans and gender diverse Victorians. Skills development and training will also be provided to health care professionals. There is also funding for a peer support program for trans, gender diverse and intersex people.
Cost: $1.7m ($3.4m/4 years)
- Pride Events and Festivals fund
The Government will establish a Pride Events and Festivals Fund to promote LGBTI arts and culture, and to celebrate diversity and acceptance.
Cost: $0.5m ($2m/4 years)
- African Communities Action Plan
The African Communities Action Plan, released in April 2018, is a 10-year plan to support African communities’ economic and social participation in Victoria. The Budget funds the Government’s response to the Plan for two years.
Cost: $3.6m ($8.6m/2 years)
- Multicultural community infrastructure program
Additional funding has been provided for 2018/19 for community infrastructure, as well as program expansion and security upgrades.
Cost: $15.3m in 2018/19 (additional funding for one year only)
- Neighbourhood Houses
The additional funding for Neighbourhood Houses increases the Neighbourhood House Coordination Program. This will increase the number of hours House Coordinators are funded where they are currently below 25 hours per week. There is also funding for the Regional Neighbourhood House Networks.
Cost: $5m ($21.8m/4 years)
Funding has been allocated to support capacity and capability development in the volunteering sector through leadership training and the application of technology.
Cost: $0.3m ($0.5m/2 years)