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Building A Safer And Fairer State For All Victorians

03 May 2022

The Andrews Labor Government will strengthen gambling oversight, make sex work safe work and improve access to community justice services to build a safer and fairer state for all Victorians.

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 provides a significant boost for casino and gambling regulation, with $55.6 million to implement recommendations from the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence – making sure Victoria’s casino operator is held to the highest standards of probity and integrity.

This investment will help the Office of the Special Manager undertake its stringent review of the casino licence over the next two years. In addition, more support will be provided for the regulator to oversee the casino operator and focus on driving down gambling-related harm.

The regulator’s singular focus on the casino and gambling will be strengthened by transferring the liquor regulation function to the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

An $11.3 million investment will help implement the Labor Government’s landmark sex work decriminalisation laws, keeping those who work in the industry safer and reducing discrimination.

This will include free legal support to sex workers through the St Kilda Legal Service and $5.3 million for WorkSafe to establish a dedicated Sex Work Safety Team to develop guidance, industry support and awareness campaigns.

This work will improve the understanding among workers and employers of rights and obligations under workplace health and safety and workers compensation laws.

The funding will also support the development of specialist training for inspectors to effectively regulate and support the industry.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will receive more than $1 million to educate accommodation providers and other businesses on their rights and duties under anti-discrimination laws.

These investments build on the introduction of anti-discrimination laws for sex workers, put in place to help address stigma and remove barriers to sex work taking place in safe locations.

A $1.9 million boost will help digital improvements in consumer call centre services that provide essential support to the whole Victorian community. More modern technology will result in better services to meet growing demand.

The investment will streamline processes to reduce call wait times and ensure Victorian consumers and businesses can contact the services they need when they need them.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne

“We’re sending a clear message to the casino operator and the wider gambling industry: to operate in this state, you’ve got to uphold the highest standards of integrity.”

“We’ve decriminalised sex work to ensure that those in the industry will be treated like any other worker in the state. This investment is another step in regulating this industry safely and fairly.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt

"Every Victorian deserves to feel safe at work. With a dedicated Sex Work Safety Team within WorkSafe, we’ll make sure sex work is regulated appropriately and fairly, with the best guidance and procedures in place to keep workers safe.”

Reviewed 03 May 2022

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