Response to the Victorian Budget 2017

Regarding family violence measures in the Victorian Budget

Attributable to Jillian Williams, Co-Director of Legal Practice:

The financial impact of family violence is profound and often hidden. The Victorian Government’s $20.5 million for specialist financial counsellors and community legal centres as part of its family violence package will make a big difference to Victorians experiencing family violence.

The budget will continue funding for 10 specialist financial counsellors across Victoria, as well as family violence training and online resources for all Victorian financial counsellors. This funding is critical to assisting victim survivors to regain financial security and stability.

We also welcome the additional funding for community legal centres to ensure that they can continue providing essential legal services to vulnerable members of our community who would otherwise not have access to justice and advice.

Regarding energy measures in the Victorian Budget

Attributable to Denise Boyd, Director of Policy and Campaigns:

Too many Victorians are missing out on the benefits we were promised from competition in the energy market, so it’s encouraging that the Victorian Government has recognised that in this year’s budget. It’s important for governments to intervene and make essential services affordable for everyone, including the people who are most at risk.

Financial assistance for low-income households to have access to more efficient housing and appliances will take a big load off people struggling with their bills. And it’s good the Government will help Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities avoid signing up to tricky energy contracts that don’t meet their household needs.

Improvements to the comparison tool Victorian Energy Compare are a good start, but what would really make a difference is a less confusing energy market. We hope the Victorian Energy Market Review will address some of these issues and make energy fairer and more affordable for all Victorians.

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