ECCV has released our 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission. The submission calls on the Victorian Government to learn from the experiences and systemic gaps exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure our communities rebuild and recover equally.
We make 12 recommendations for a range of measures over the next four years, including specific support for migrant and refugee communities to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, mental health support and anti-racism initiatives.
People born outside Australia were overrepresented among deaths from COVID-19 and many people from migrant and refugee backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by job losses, business closures, racism, health concerns, mental health deterioration, family violence, educational disruption and isolation.
Our under-served communities have stepped up to face these challenges but multicultural and ethnic ethno-specific organisations are exhausted and under-resourced to keep delivering the work that has been expected from them during the pandemic.
ECCV is calling on the Victorian Government to recognise the value of the multicultural sector by committing to increasing the capacity of the sector on a longer-term basis to enable community organisations to continue to support communities to thrive.
Our Pre-Budget Submission also outlines the solutions we need to recover from COVID-19 and thrive for years to come and improve equity and inclusion across Victorian society.
This submission is the result of an extensive consultation process that included a member survey, sector consultations, and input from our Policy Advisory Committees.
We encourage all our members and multicultural sector stakeholders to share our submission and use this resource to promote the needs of people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, so that the next State Budget includes a strong commitment to supporting our communities.
Summary of Recommendations
- Recognise the full value of the multicultural sector
• $80 million over four years to increase the capacity of the multicultural sector to match the growing diversity of the population, including supporting new and emerging communities
• $20 million over four years for regional ethnic communities’ councils
- Support migrant and refugee communities to continue re-building from the impacts of COVID-19
• $60 million over two years
- Commit to a sustained strategy to end racism
• $32 million over four years for the statewide Anti-Racism Strategy
• $6 million to implement improved anti-vilification protections
- Support better mental health for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds
• $40 million over four years to increase the capacity of the multicultural sector to deliver mental health services
• $8 million over four years to build capacity for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds with lived experience of the mental health system to contribute to decision-making
• $6 million over four years to establish an Office of Multicultural Mental Health and a Commissioner for Multicultural Mental Health
- Build the capacity of migrant and refugee communities to make informed health decision
• $60 million over four year
- Create a strong plan to facilitate employment and business recovery for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds
• $10 million in 2022-23
- Establish collaborative models to support new migrants to access vocational education and training
• $20 million over four years
- Increase the capacity to respond to abuse of older people from migrant and refugee backgrounds
• $16 million over four years for prevention, early intervention and response to elder abuse, including $150,000 per year for ECCV to increase community awareness and capacity building
- Address the gaps in access to disability supports for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds
• $12 million over four years for sector support and development
• $20 million over four years to increase the capacity of the Access and Support program
• $24 million over four years to support multicultural and ethno-specific HACC PYP providers to meet demand for community engagement
- Improve inclusion and equity for people with disability from migrant and refugee backgrounds
• $8 million over four years
- Promote gender equality and increase the capacity to support migrant and refugee women to stay safe from family violence
• $16 million over four years to increase the capacity of multicultural organisations to support people experiencing family violence
• $10 million over four years to increase access to public housing for women on temporary visas
• $10 million over two years for initiatives to promote equality and empowerment of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds
- Support the long-term wellbeing and development of recently arrived young people
• $8 million over four years