Our community services play an important role in keeping us all healthy, safe and well. But the sector has been underfunded for years, and is struggling to provide services and support to everyone who needs it.
The Greens have a plan to invest in our disability, family violence and mental health systems, and ensure everyone can access the things we need to live a good life.
One in five Victorians has a disability. But Victorians with a disability continue to be excluded and are often denied the same rights as everyone else. Our buildings, public spaces and trains and trams are still not fully accessible, and people with a disability still experience barriers in accessing education, meaningful employment, adequate services, and the support they need.
Disability services policy is not just a matter of individual health and well-being – it is a fundamental human rights issue about everyone’s ability to participate fully in all aspects of society.
The Greens have a plan to address these barriers, invest in our disability sector and ensure that people with a disability are centred in policy and decision-making about their lives.
The Greens’ plan includes:
- Making our transport network accessible by doubling the number of accessible tram stops, pushing for more low floor trams and upgrading train stations across the city to make them accessible, and user-friendly.
- Entrenching accessibility in the planning system by requiring all new urban development to comply with universal design principles and implementing the Liveable Housing Australia Silver Standard into the planning scheme.
- Boosting employment opportunities by introducing a 20% quota for full disabled employee representation in the VPS by 2030.
- Providing $15m to disability advocacy organisations to empower more people with a disability exercise their rights and participate in policymaking.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence was a benchmark moment in acknowledging the epidemic of family violence in our communities. The government has acted on a number of recommendations to improve responses to family violence.
But there are significant gaps. There is no multicultural women’s refuge in Victoria dedicated to the particular needs of women from different cultural backgrounds. And the legal, health and support services that women need when leaving a family violence situation need more funding to meet demand.
The Greens' plan includes:
- Providing $40m for funding multicultural women’s family violence refuges.
- More funding for the services that women need when they are leaving a family violence situation, including specialised community legal services ($20m)
It’s too difficult to get affordable access to a qualified mental health professional in Victoria. Waiting lists are long, and out of pockets costs are more than many can pay.
Under the Greens’ plan, we’re calling for more psychologists and psychiatrists in schools and public clinics, and more funding for drug and alcohol rehab beds, so everyone can get the help they need, when they need it.
The Greens plan includes:
- Fund 500 more psychologists and psychiatrists for schools and public clinics.
- Fund 200 more drug and alcohol detox and rehab beds, so people can get access to these services when they need them.
- Invest further in public housing and homelessness services, and protection for renters, to break the cycle between housing insecurity and mental illness.
- $12m in funding to Eating Disorders Victoria. This funding will scale-up proven programs, increase early intervention, support broader system training and development, and provide organisational certainty.
Supported residential services
Supported residential services are privately-operated services that provide accommodation and other support for people who need additional support with everyday activities. While the sector is regulated by the state, the privatisation of the sector means standards vary greatly from service to service. In the last few years some truly shocking stories of neglect, abuse and violence in supported residential services have come to light, and the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has also called on the government to review and reform the sector.
Any abuse and neglect in our health and care sector is unacceptable. The Greens would like to see an investigation into how to bring the sector back into state hands to improve quality and outcomes for residents.