The state budget handed down today by the Andrews government delivers on services for vulnerable Victorians.

The funding of community services means jobs for ASU members who deliver those services.  This is a win for community sector workers, a win for the clients who use those services and a win for the Victorian economy as members spend the wages that the new services fund.

Many of the initiatives announced today were contained in the Jobs for Women budget submission that the ASU put to the state government.

As Victoria emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic it is those Victorians who are experiencing challenges with family violence, housing & homelessness, alcohol & other drugs and mental health who need services the most. Services that will be provided by ASU community sector members like you who have kept this state going in its darkest hours.

The ASU congratulates the Andrews government on a budget that funds community sector services and continues this government’s reputation as the most progressive in Victoria’s history.

The ASU now look forward to working with the Andrews government over the next few months on focusing on making the work that ASU members do in community services more secure and getting rid of insecure work practices such as fixed term employment across the community services sector.

These budget announcements add to some great achievements that ASU community sector members have been able to get in what has otherwise been a pretty dismal year.  These achievements include delivering on equal pay and fixing the portable long services leave scheme for members in community health centres and in admin roles.

It pays to be a member of the ASU.

Please speak with your colleagues who are yet to join the ASU about joining.  It’s easy for anyone to join online at www.asu.asn.au/asujoin

Some of the specific community sector funding announcements in this budget are:

– $5.3 billion for new social and public housing, which will lead to the creation of 60 new ongoing tenancy management positions progressively over the build

-$11m for extra support at hotels for the homeless

– The Pathway to recovery program for residents at Nth Melb and Flemington will receive $7m

-$6m for enhanced services at refuges, inc 24 hours intake and supports for people with complex needs

-$6m to expand a pilot program of higher apprenticeships and traineeships in social services – 400 workers will be funded to turn their on the job experience into a formal qualification

-$9m for “Care Hubs” – wrap around support for kids entering residential care for first time

-$90.2m – tailored care packages across care system to provide tailored and individual support for children and their carers to keep out of residential care

-$85.78m in support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, inc $11.6m to establish Aboriginal-led family support teams at two pilot sites

-$15m sustainability fund for community organisations to support providers impacted financially by the pandemic

– $16.6m  in pathways to employment programs for the community sector

– internships and support for undergrads in child protection

– carer relief and other supports for unpaid carers pursuing a career in community services

– traineeships in community organisations with focus on skill in family violence

– establishment of new FV grad program for young people to create structured pathway

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