Victorian State Budget - a mixed bag for Aboriginal communities

Posted by VACCHO Policy Team on 3 May 2017

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VACCHO welcomes the announcement of $22 million in establishing social, emotional and mental health and alcohol and drug workforces in Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs).

“This is the largest investment we have seen in Aboriginal specific wellbeing, mental health and alcohol and drug services in a long time” said Jill Gallagher AO, CEO VACCHO.

A significant investment in disability support services and the transition to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is also a tribute to a socially progressive Victorian Government.

“VACCHO will continue to work with the Department and our Members to ensure Aboriginal people living with a disability get the support they need.” In this budget the Government will also provide:

• $100.6 million to work with Aboriginal Victorians, to build foundations for self-determination

• $33.5 million for greater family violence support for Aboriginal Victorians and Aboriginal organisations

Approximately $130 million of the total Budget investment is towards closing the inequality gaps and building strong, sustainable and resilient Aboriginal communities.

“If this budget is about getting on with the job, then let us get on with our jobs in accordance with true Aboriginal self-determination.”

“We can only hope that no new investment in Aboriginal health in this budget means that it will be funded with a big bang in next year’s budget.”

$81.2 million to expand maternal and child health (MCH) services and parenting support has been announced, however we are yet to see how innovation allows greater access for Aboriginal children and their families to MCH services.

“Access to universal services, family services and strengthening the capacity of ACCOs are key drivers in reducing family violence and closing the health and wellbeing gap. This budget simply does not accommodate for that.”

VACCHO will work with key Government departments to ensure an equitable process in administering both Aboriginal and mainstream specific funds to ACCOs and the communities they serve.

Download the full media release here. PDF


Media enquiries: Dana Pyne, Acting Manager Policy on 0438 539 541