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2018 State Election - building a fairer Victoria where everyone flourishes

2018 Victorian Election - Building a fairer Victoria where everyone flourishes

Deputy Premier James Merlino told the 2018 pre-election forum at Catholic Social Services that "a great society is where the most vulnerable citizens are supported so that they can reach their full potential."  Deputy Liberal leader David Hodgett noted that "good economic policy needs to be balanced with support for those that are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised."

The forum was an opportunity for over 60 representatives from the community and health sector to hear from the Deputy Premier and the Hon David Hodgett, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.  Master of Ceremonies, Gabrielle McMullen AM introduced the MPs and Fr Joe Caddy, who launched Catholic Social Services Victoria’s pre-election brochure - Building a fairer Victoria where everyone flourishes. The brochure identifies policy issues and priorities to encourage dialogue with candidates in the lead up to the election.
There are some in Victoria that are doing it tough. Stagnant wage growth and income allowances are not keeping up with rising living costs such as housing, electricity, transport and education costs. Rural and regional communities, new growth suburbs and communities where there is persistent, entrenched disadvantage, are also feeling the pinch. Strong economic growth should include further investment in infrastructure and support services that underpin the development of a safe, just and compassionate society, where all share in Victoria’s wealth.
In his presentation, the deputy Premier reflected that a great society is where the most vulnerable citizens are supported so that they can reach their full potential. He also focused on progress the Andrew’s government has made towards reducing the number of children and young people dropping out of school. He emphasised the need for government to work closely with community organisations to co-design local solutions; highlighting the success of the ‘Lookout’ and ‘Navigator’ programs to re-engage children and young people in education. Mr Merlino also stated that since being in parliament, the Treaty legislation has been one of the most significant and proud achievements.
Mr Hodgett noted that good economic policy needs to be balanced with support for those that are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised. Mr Hodgett was positive about support for a range of Closing the Gap programs, but made no further statement regarding support for the Treaty work underway. He mentioned the need to increase access to drug and alcohol rehabilitation services and the need to reduce power prices by supporting on-shore coal extraction. He highlighted the need to reduce the number of people waiting for social housing and increase the support for victims of crime. The Liberal party are also considering a ‘Police in schools’ program to help develop good relationships between the Police and young people.
The forum was also an opportunity for participants to dialogue with the two MPs.  Issues raised included; concerns about the increasing number of parents seeking assistance to pay for educational expenses; government’s dependency on gambling revenue; how governments can work better with newly arrived communities and the ongoing need for more social housing. The forum prompted the start of important conversations that need to continue prior to the election.
Victoria’s healthy economy, presents an opportunity for voters and political parties to consider how Victoria’s wealth is shared and invested in vulnerable Victorians, in the interests of the community as a whole. We all have a responsibility to work together for the common good and to ensure the fair distribution of the State’s prosperity, particularly towards those who are vulnerable and those in need.
The pre-election brochure is being distributed to all parishes across Victoria, to members of parliament and candidates and more broadly in the community. It can be used to write to, or meet with local members and candidates to discuss issues that are important to you. You can also write to local, regional and national newspaper editors expressing your views on key issues.
Let’s show our parliamentary candidates what kind of society we want to live in, today and in the future.
Claire-Anne Willis, Catholic Social Services Victoria

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