The Andrews Government’s commitment to investing in housing and support services for some of our most vulnerable members of society is to be commended.
The government will implement all 227 recommendations put forward by the Royal Commission into Family Violence. This will initially involve $572m in funding over three years towards implementation of the Royal Commission’s most urgent recommendations.
The consistent theme arising out of those recommendations is a focus on investing in additional housing, shelter and support for victims.
Key initiatives include construction of up to 180 units of crisis accommodation, upgrades to existing accommodation, grants to deliver 130 new social housing dwellings, and redevelopment of some communal family violence refuges.
While the details of the broader reform package will be released in late 2016, the government’s initiative will be welcomed by our clients operating in the care services, social housing and building and construction industries, who should look forward to working with the government to bring the Commission’s recommendations to fruition.
The Andrews Government will also focus on investment in police, emergency services and children and family support services, with a primary focus on investment in infrastructure.
Victoria Police will benefit from the government’s commitment to invest $596m to increase police presence, further develop community crime prevention programs, and replace or refurbish a number of police stations in regional and rural areas.
Similarly, the government will invest $228m in emergency services. This will include the repair of six existing training facilities; remediation of the former Fiskville Training College site; building new training facilities in the Central Highlands; upgrades to the Huntly Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre; and the redevelopment of surf lifesaving facilities in Anglesea, Cape Paterson, Edithvale and Portsea.
Children and family support services will also benefit from funding to upgrade residential care facilities across the state.
The government has also invested in measures to stop the ice epidemic. It has pledged $57.6m to expand the Drug Court of Victoria to the Melbourne CBD; improve selected mental health, alcohol and other drug facilities; develop a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in the Grampians region; and further train and support front line workers.
The government’s ongoing investment in infrastructure to support its law and order and public safety initiatives will continue to sustain jobs for those in the building and construction industry and will, no doubt, be a welcome boost to businesses in the middle market.