Treasurer Tim Pallas handed down the Victorian budget on May 23 amid concerns that hundreds of programs were set to be slashed. Victorian Council of Social Service CEO Emma King described the budget as “lean and challenging.” Some positive measures for social sector organisations, according to Ms King, included funding for Aboriginal out-of-home care services, housing, flood recovery, supports for young people, and disability advocacy.
Funding highlights for community groups and social sector services also included:
- $677 million for flood-affected communities, including:
- support to councils for flood recovery programs and secondary impact assessments
- flood recovery support programs that are yet to be agreed with the Commonwealth
- $201 million for community sport and active recreation infrastructure, including the Local Sports Infrastructure fund, and $2.5 million for the Country Football and Netball program
- $40 million for the Metropolitan Health Infrastructure fund, providing infrastructure grants to metropolitan health services
- $40 million to continue the Multicultural Community Infrastructure fund to upgrade and build multicultural and multifaith community facilities
- $35 million to support live music and community broadcasting, including grants for musicians and music festivals
- $31 million in continued grant programs to support food and beverage producers
- $21 million to establish a Manufacturing and Industry Sovereignty fund, with grants to support Victoria’s manufacturing capability
- $17 million to revitalise business and cultural hubs in Victoria’s multicultural precincts, including grants to trader associations and scholarships for staff training
- $10 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program for employment and social and economic development opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians
- $10 million for a new Tiny Towns fund to provide grants to local organisations and councils in towns with fewer than 5,000 people
- $10 million for the Inclusive Schools fund to meet the educational and social needs of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs
- $10 million to establish a Green Links fund for local councils and community groups to revegetate creeks and waterways and protect wildlife
- $9.3 million for not-for-profit and community veterinary clinics, pet shelters, and animal rescue and rehoming organisations
- $8 million for an LGBTIQ+ Community Grants Program to help community organisations celebrate and connect LGBTIQ+ communities
- $4.5 million to pilot a Pride in Ageing program to better support older LGBTIQ+ Victorians and strengthen their connections to community.
It's still unclear when or how this money will trickle down to not-for-profits and community groups, but we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for grant updates relevant to Funding Centre members.
In the meantime, log in to your Funding Centre account and sign up for alerts to be among the first to know where the money is flowing, and to search for and manage your grant applications using the dashboard tool.