Media Highlights – 19 August 2023
Children with disabilities in Victorian state schools have become the latest victims of the state government’s budget cuts.
Teachers delivering one-on-one support to children with disabilities through the Visiting Teacher Service are being made redundant by the state government, with 117 frontline specialist teaching jobs in regional Victoria employed under the scheme to be slashed to only 32.
Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers Tim Bull said
“The Labor government’s Disability Inclusion Policy that it’s spruiking as it’s magical answer will not be rolled out into Outer Gippsland until 2025, nor will it deliver one additional teacher into the classroom.”
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education Melina Bath said
“Children with disabilities should not be made to pay the price for the Labor government’s financial mismanagement.”
The Nationals have urged the Victorian Government to inject urgent funding into Lifeline Loddon Mallee to deal with increased demand for its life-saving services.
Shadow Mental Health Minister Emma Kealy and Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad last week visited Lifeline Loddon Mallee in Bendigo to hear about the ongoing mental health crisis first-hand from frontline workers.
Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad said
“The government previously provided top-up funding to help Lifeline during COVID. That funding has now been cut, but demand for their crisis support service has increased by 36 per cent since the start of the pandemic. Sadly, it is a relatively small amount that is needed – just $119,000.”
The Nationals have slammed the LVA and State Government over its transition plan, for failing to commit to one tangible or measurable action for the Latrobe Valley. Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron was scathing of the LVA’s transition plan, labelling it a wasted opportunity.
Member for Morwell Martin Cameron said
“Like my constituents I am deeply invested in a positive future for our region – it’s a pity that the LVA, with its abundance of funds and time has produced a plan without accountability that comes straight out of Labor’s playbook.”
St Joseph’s School Nagambie has been informed by the Department of Transport and Planning that their crossing supervisor will no longer be funded from next term.
Local Nationals MP Annabelle Cleeland says the funding is a small price to pay for the safety of local children.
Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said
“A lack of funding support from this state government has left our kids in a dangerous position.”
Ovens Valley MP Tim McCurdy has called on the State Government to further increase paramedic resourcing throughout the state’s North East, amid ballooning response times throughout the Ovens Valley electorate.
Ambulance Victoria performance data for the fourth quarter of 2022/23 was released late last week, indicating increases in the average response times for two of the Ovens Valley’s three local government areas (Wangaratta, Alpine and Moira shires).
Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said
“I have been hearing and reading about locals who have been told to drive loved ones to the hospital because an ambulance will take too long or is not there. This is a matter of life and death in some cases, and we cannot accept substandard results in regional Victoria.”