ted baillieu
​New Premier Ted Baillieu. “The over-arching
challenge facing the next government is to
ensure the Victorian economy grows strongly
and that all Victorians have the opportunity to
participate in it,” says Tony Nicholson.
 

The Brotherhood of St Laurence says the new Victorian Government must ensure that the economy grows strongly and that everyone can participate in and benefit from it.

Mr Tony Nicholson, the Brotherhood’s Executive Director, said two priority areas must be the lack of social services infrastructure in rapidly growing areas and the difficulties many young people faced  making the transition from child to adulthood and from school to work.

“The over-arching challenge facing the next government is to ensure the Victorian economy grows strongly and that all Victorians have the capacity and opportunity to participate in it and to benefit from it,” Mr Nicholson said. “In terms of ‘fairness’, Victoria has done better than most. Victoria’s social programs, even within troubled areas such as child protection, are the envy of my colleagues in most other states and territories. But there are still big challenges.”

Mr Nicholson said the incoming government’s social policies should be framed by two guiding principles.

“Firstly, that in the decade ahead there is a need for much greater integration of economic and social policy in a way that is mutually reinforcing,” he said. “And secondly, that a focus on the prevention of social ills, and on early intervention when they occur, is beneficial to our society and to the public purse. Consequently, two matters for priority attention must be the lack of social services infrastructure in our rapidly growing growth corridors, and the difficulties so many of our young people are facing in making the transition from child to adulthood and from school to work.”

Bishop Philip Huggins, the Chair of the Melbourne Diocese’s Social Responsibilities Committee, said Victorians were blessed to live in such a healthy, robust democracy. The election had been conducted without the kind of violence or corruption seen in other places.

“Of course, there are issues of continuing concern, but the major parties are both responding with policies and resources aimed to address these issues,” he said.

“As Church people, we will keep praying for our political leaders, co-operating where we can, advocating for those who may be less powerful, more marginal.”

In the last week of the election campaign, the Australian Christian Lobby called on Labor leader John Brumby to assure Victorians that he would not enter into a deal with the Greens to hold on to government in the event of a hung Parliament.

Victoria’s Roman Catholic bishops distributed a statement, Your Vote, Your Values, to parishes on the weekend of 30-31 October. It raised questions on issues including human life, families, religious freedom, housing, education, health and aged care, criminal justice and drugs and alcohol.

 

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