Neighbourhood houses (28.11.2017)

Written on the 28 November 2017

28 November 2017

COUNCIL 

Adjournment 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

 

Neighbourhood houses provide a range of extremely worthy programs and activities which assist thousands of Victorians each week. Those activities and programs may include child care or assistance with family violence or mental health issues, or programs to do with literacy or isolation, especially in regional and rural Victoria, where some of the most disadvantaged Victorians reside, some of whom do not have the same access to services as people who live in metropolitan Melbourne or the larger regional centres.

Mr Dalidakis Which minister?

Ms CROZIER For Minister Mikakos, I beg your pardon.

Neighbourhood houses are situated in every electorate and every local government area across the state, and they have not received any funding since funding was provided by the former Liberal-Nationals government. I have been approached over the past few weeks by a number of concerned community members who are completely exasperated in relation to what they can do regarding the failure of the Andrews government to deliver on this very important election promise.

What is at risk if this funding is not delivered is that some neighbourhood houses may in fact close. The 2014 ALP policy platform headed 'Neighbourhood houses and community enrichment' states:

Feeling connected to the community is critical to wellbeing. Labor recognises the investment required to provide opportunities for social and economic participation, education, recreation and social inclusion. Labor recognises the important role facilities like neighbourhood houses and men's sheds play in being places of inclusion for many people, as well as assisting in social cohesion, the provision of education and the opportunity to volunteer in local communities.

Whilst I acknowledge government activity in the men's shed area I know that the minister has been out there providing funding for men's sheds, and I commend that the neighbourhood houses really are at a loss, as I said, in relation to what they require. For them to remain open, to remain viable and to provide those services to thousands of Victorians, they need that funding that was promised.

The action I seek is for the minister to urgently provide the funding that was promised in 2014 to those neighbourhood houses across the state so that they can continue with the very good work that they undertake every single day in providing support and assistance to so many vulnerable Victorians.


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