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The 2018-19 Victorian budget delivered by Treasurer Tim Pallas on Tuesday 1 May 2018 provides something for nearly everyone: it focuses on training and skills development, further infrastructure investment at an unprecedented level, and some contribution to most areas of social need. Such largesse was enabled by continued strong growth in the economy and a massive 9% increase in budgeted revenue, largely from grants.
However, a fundamental challenge remains: to see as core business addressing the needs of those on the margins; and, in the current political environment, to apply political courage to address the true causes of crime, rather than reacting to headlines with more investments in building prisons.
For the Feast of St Joseph the Worker on 1 May, the Chairman of Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop Vincent Long OFMConv is calling for an urgent increase in minimum wages and the Newstart Allowance. Australia is facing a wage crisis, Bishop Long writes in his pastoral letter, A Fair Day's Pay - for the dignity of the worker and good of all. Read the full pastoral letter, here.

Together with ThinkPrevent, Catholic Social Services Victoria is hosting a workshop on Bystander Intervention for parishes and those keen to respond, to the prevention of family violence and violence against women. The workshop will be held at the Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne, from 6pm (for 6.30pm start). Dr Ree Boddé, CEO of ThinkPrevent will speak.

Catholic social services has a key role in building a Church that serves those on the margins; to hold others to account to ensure this is core business, for Church and for government; and to find the words to convey the belief that underpins our work. These words were spoken by Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV), Denis Fitzgerald, in his welcoming address at the CSSV Annual General Meeting held in East Melbourne last night.

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