State Budget Versus Federal Budget: A Tale of Two Cities
16 May 2017 at 4:07 pm
The level of disconnect between federal and state governments’ priorities when it comes to the social sector means the most vulnerable are falling through the gaps, a spokesperson for a peak body for children and family welfare has said.
Speaking at Tuesday’s UCA Funds post-budget breakfast in Melbourne, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare CEO Deb Tsorbaris said the discrepancy between the Victorian budget and the Commonwealth budget was “much like a tale of two cities.”
Starting with the federal government, Tsorbaris said the outcome for clients from social disadvantaged communities “was extremely disappointing.”
“Nothing is being done to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in out of home care. We also have seen the further extension of the cashless cards on welfare recipients,” she said.
When asked by an audience member whether she thought the cashless cards would soon receive bipartisan support, Tsorbaris said the future of bipartisan support was unknown.
In comparison to her critique of the federal budget, Tsorbaris welcomed the Victorian government’s $1.9 billion investment into family violence, noting that all 227 recommendations from the Royal Commission had been adopted.
In addition to calling for more collaboration between state and federal governments for a more cohesive strategy, when it came to addressing societal issues for the most vulnerable Tsorbaris said the revolution of social media was causing reactionary policies.
“We know politicians are tied to the election cycle and with the advent of social media we have seen certain issues explode on Twitter and as a consequence we are seeing the rise of populous politics,” she said.
Tsorbaris said instead of taking time to form long-term strategies and well-thought out policies politicians were more “reactionary”.
She called for the social sector’s peak bodies to advocate for long-term, preventative measures above the quick fix.
“When Scott Morrison or Tim Pallas choose to support families – be it in funding towards employment, mental illness, poor health, disability, substance abuse, poor housing, a lack of educational opportunities or family violence – we applaud. When politicians choose not to fund these areas – we condemn,” Tsorbaris said.
“But rarely do we step back and address, more systematically and much earlier, the broader issues that create a breeding ground for family violence or lead to abuse and neglect of children and young people.”