VCOSS MEDIA RELEASE
Victoria’s peak social advocacy body has unveiled a comprehensive plan to restore fairness and promote wellbeing during a time of growing inequality.
The Victorian Council of Social Service’s 2018 state budget submission Building A Better Victoria contains 54 recommendations to improve the state’s education, health, justice and social support systems, while also making housing and power more affordable for Victorians doing it tough.
VCOSS CEO Emma King said more than 700,000 Victorians are currently living below the poverty line.
“Every person in Victoria should be supported to live a good life,” Ms King said.
“In practical terms, that means everybody should be supported to live with dignity and meaning.”
“This includes getting a great education, staying healthy, living free from violence and abuse, having a roof over your head and receiving a decent income.”
The VCOSS plan includes detailed measures to:
• INCREASE support for Victorians in energy hardship
• FUND two years of early childhood education for three and four year olds
• BUILD 30,000 new social housing properties
• PHASE OUT the state’s child prisons
• REPLACE stamp duties with land tax
• OVERHAUL public transport fare concessions
• CHAMPION the social service workforce to meet job demand
• PROVIDE immediate housing to people ‘sleeping rough’, and
• RESTRUCTURE support for students with a disability.
“We can’t give up on the dream of a Victoria genuinely free from poverty and disadvantage,” Ms King said,
“We must constantly explore new ways to combat inequality, and support the frontline workers and volunteers who assist those in our community who are facing vulnerability or hardship.”
Ms King said a copy of the document will be sent to every Victorian MP and department chief.
“This provides politicians and policymakers with a blueprint for how to make the state fairer, safer and more just,” she said.