This week the Victorian budget was handed down. Members may have missed it given the attention and focus on the federal election.
This year’s state budget is primarily focused on health and healthcare. It’s easy to see why with the significant and large investments across Victoria’s health sector have been decided.
Disappointingly though, the Premier made no mention of healthcare workers beyond doctors, nurses and paramedics for their work in protecting and caring for Victorians during the pandemic, which is still very much on-going.
The Union is very happy to see increases in funding to mental health again in this year’s budget which demonstrates a significant investment in mental health care over the last few budgets with dedicated funding for increasing the psychologist workforce.
The budget allocates an additional $1.3 billion for the mental health system to continue expanding mental health services across Victoria and upgrading facilities.
It is great to see the Victorian Government deliver $250 million to fund a two-year Australian-first pilot scheme that would give paid sick leave to casual and contract workers in selected industries.
Unfortunately, there is no new funding allocated to hospital pharmacists or the pharmacy workforce beyond what was included in last year’s state budget.
However, without plans to address climate change and the structural changes needed in our state’s economy, the Victorian Government has missed an opportunity to address this front-of-mind issue in this year’s budget.
Meanwhile, after delivering a federal budget that does nothing to help Australians during a difficult time in Australia and globally, there is a federal election campaign raging.
The Morrison Government has been missing in action when it comes to the important issues challenging our nation and our futures. Morrison’s government has overseen cuts to healthcare and aged care over the past 3 years, despite claims otherwise.
No-one can forget the terrible response to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Morrison Government.
The complete failure to deal with quarantine which is entirely a federal government responsibility. The Morrison Government also failed elderly Australians living in aged care facilities and the people working in those facilities.
The Morrison Government failed to secure vaccines leaving us behind compared to other western liberal democracies. Scott Morrison had the temerity to claim it wasn’t a race when in fact it was as other nations raced to secure vaccines to protect their citizens.
They even failed to roll out personal protective equipment relying on state governments to scramble for essential equipment to keep health workers safe during the pandemic.
Addressing climate change is clearly not a priority for the Morrison Government, which relies on sneaky accounting tricks to claim Australia is ‘on track’ to reduce emissions, while at the same time attempting to lock in fossil fuels.
The Morrison Government refuses to ensure that there is a holistic approach to addressing healthcare issues arising from the impacts of climate change. These are impacts that Australians are already experiencing, with record flooding and bushfires so bad the smoke from it was seen in countries around the world; and it’s only going to get worse as the window for action rapidly closes.
Instead of supporting Australian families, the Morrison Government keeps looking after their rich mates to ensure they get richer.
Just think back to the millions of dollars that large companies, like Harvey Norman, got through the pandemic without having to pay it back when they recorded surging profits; and the incredible rorts of a range of government programs.
We can’t afford another 3 years of a Morrison Coalition Government. It’s time for a change – this election the Union encourages member to put the Liberals last – it’s where they put you.