With Victorian State Budget due to be handed down in just over a week, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has called on the Andrews Government to guarantee full funding for Neighbourhood Houses in state parliament.
Ms Bath said Neighbourhood Houses in Eastern Victoria region provide invaluable support to community members, often at a time of crisis.
“They offer invaluable and innovative support, regularly caring for our most vulnerable community members.
“Our Neighbourhood Houses are a safe and supportive environment, and each centre is unique – tailoring its services to the specific needs of the community they serve.
“They also deliver educational programs to upskill individuals and groups to enhance life skills and future employment and volunteering opportunities.
“Operating at the grassroots, our Neighbourhood Houses understand what is relevant and are best placed to support and respond to the needs of locals.
“Any cut to their funding in the upcoming state budget will hurt those individuals who can least afford it.”
Ms Bath said Gippsland is home to many incredible Neighbourhood House organisations, but the reality is many of their budgets are running very fine to the line – the increase in cost of living pressure has amplified demand for support.
“The strain of keeping communities connected and supporting vulnerable people when demand is regularly outstripping supply is extremely concerning.
“The number of people experiencing food insecurity or requiring assistance with cooking and nutrition, finance, personal care, literacy, and skill development has compounded.
“The Andrews Government must guarantee full funding to all Neighbourhood House’s across eastern Victoria to ensure locals can receive support when they need it.”