The Andrews Labor Government is providing more support for the Victorians who need it most, upgrading aged care facilities, boosting the community services workforce and expanding help available to at-risk families in the Victorian Budget 2022/23.
The Budget provides $146 million to replace and refurbish beds at Public Sector Regional Aged Care Services (PSRACS) campuses, including 36 beds at Camperdown Hospital, 72 beds at Mansfield District Hospital and 38 beds at Orbost Regional Health, and to plan for upgrades at facilities in Bright and Heywood.
Funding of $800,000 will plan for a new 60-bed PSRACS facility at the Mornington Centre – including 30 beds dedicated to a specialist dementia unit and 30 mental health beds.
PSRACS will receive $29.9 million to continue providing high-quality care to senior Victorians, including those with mental health issues.
Importantly, this investment will ensure we continue to meet nurse-to-patient ratios in public sector residential aged care – while addressing Commonwealth service gaps.
The Budget invests $271.6 million across child protection and family services, building on last year’s massive $1.2 billion boost for at-risk children, their families and carers.
Since 2014, the Labor Government has funded an additional 1,180 child protection practitioners to keep Victorian children safe. To support Victoria’s child protection workforce, the Labor Government will invest $5.7 million across a range of initiatives designed to attract, retain and support workers.
More support staff will be employed to ease the administrative burden on frontline child protection practitioners – so they can focus on delivering the services children at-risk rely on to keep them safe.
Workforce shortages in the broader community services sector will be addressed with $5 million for scholarships to increase the pipeline of graduates.
More than $71 million will support existing demand for residential care, including $19 million to improve support for our most vulnerable children.
Nearly $13 million will continue the Care Hub trial, which provides wrap-around support to children who have entered care for the first time – bringing families back together earlier and giving them a greater sense of stability.
The Government will meet growing demand for family services with $57.6 million – including a $40.7 million boost to critical early intervention services for up to 1,000 additional families each year – ensuring help is available before problems escalate. An additional $21.4 million will assist up to 1,600 families with disability.
Kinship and foster carers will be supported by an additional $5.8 million for a new help-desk service, providing better support to carers navigating the array of support available to them.
As part of Wungurilwil Gapgapduir – the landmark partnership between government, the community service sector and Aboriginal communities – Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations will receive $3.1 million to build evidence-based programs to support Aboriginal children in out of home care.
A further $4.1 million will expand the number of dedicated cultural planning advisors to support self‑determination and self-management for Aboriginal communities involved in family services – an approach that is seeing more Aboriginal children returned home sooner or being placed in stable, culturally safe alternative care.
The Government is investing in Victorians living with disability, seniors and vulnerable communities – ensuring no one is left behind as we recover from the pandemic.
The recently launched State Disability Plan 2022-2026 – designed to make Victoria more inclusive and accessible for more than 1.1 million Victorians living with disability – will be backed with an investment of $15.1 million.
Travelling to places like the Great Ocean Road will be made easier for people with disability, with the expansion of Victoria’s network of fully accessible restrooms, while the Change Your Reactions public education campaign will continue promoting better attitudes towards Victorians with autism.
As we continue to recover from the pandemic, $16.3 million will support Neighbourhood Houses and community food relief efforts, including the Food Relief Taskforce and the expansion of regional food hubs.
The community services sector has worked tirelessly to support Victorians who needed it the most throughout the pandemic. The sector’s funding will be increased by $90.4 million over four years to support increasing wages across its workforce and other operating costs.
The Government is committed to working with unions and the social and community services sector to introduce a Fair Jobs Code for the sector to improve issues with workforce shortages and job insecurity, while continuing to discuss issues such as indexation and funding.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Anthony Carbines
“We all deserve to be looked after in our later years. That’s why we’re upgrading aged care centres to ensure older Victorians have the quality facilities – and the dignity and respect – they’re entitled to.”
“Our community services sector workers go above and beyond for Victorians, and we can’t thank them enough for what they do to support those who need it most.”
“Additional Cultural Support Advisers and support for Aboriginal organisations will help embed self-determination in family services – because Aboriginal communities are best-placed to understand the needs of Aboriginal children.”
Reviewed 03 May 2022