Canberra is a community that ensures those facing social, health and economic challenges do not fall behind. This Budget continues our strong investment in services and support for vulnerable Canberrans, including children and young people, those experiencing homelessness and those affected by family violence.
Better support for vulnerable families and young people
The ACT Government is already delivering the biggest upgrade to Canberra’s public housing since self-government. Our $608 million public housing renewal program has delivered new developments in both new and existing suburbs across the ACT. This Budget will continue that work by renewing and redeveloping 72 more properties. We will also deliver $1 million to strengthen and expand homelessness services delivered through our community partners.
Together with practitioners and service users, we will design a Family Safety Hub to link up services for those experiencing family violence and ensure they get the wrap-around support they need.
As Australia responds to the scourge of family violence, the ACT is seeing increased demand for child protection services. That’s why we will invest $10.1 million to strengthen frontline teams within the Child and Youth Protection Service, and $33.7 million to support children and young people who cannot live in their family homes.
Better support for diverse communities
To further our aim of making Canberra the most inclusive city in Australia, we are delivering more resources to the Office of LGBTIQ Affairs and A Gender Agenda. These organisations will work to increase the visibility of Canberra’s LGBTIQ communities and tackle the specific barriers they face when accessing services.
We will boost new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled organisations through seed funding grants, recognising the important role they play in delivering targeted and culturally-informed services to Canberra’s first nations people. We will also establish a job brokerage service to help refugees find jobs, and expand access to English language programs to help new Canberrans improve their language skills.
Better support for people with disability and their carers
The ACT Government has launched an Office for Disability to continue important policy and advocacy work on behalf of Canberrans with disability. The 2017-18 Budget will deliver more resources to this Office to better support the ACT’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
We will provide $200,000 in grants to fund training, increase awareness and provide infrastructure modifications for community organisations, helping to boost social inclusion in service delivery and community activities for people with disability.
Recognising the valuable contribution carers make to our community, we will also support the development and implementation of an ACT Carers’ Strategy.
Better emergency services
Keeping Canberrans safe in an emergency will always be a priority for this Government. This Budget will invest in police and emergency services to better protect our community.
We will enhance public safety by making Tasers available to more frontline police, and deliver six more police for additional patrols in nightlife precincts to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.
We will also recruit 16 fire fighters, help improve response times by upgrading the Ainslie fire station to house a second crew, and invest in better mental health support for paramedics and fire fighters.
Media Release: Better support when it matters for a more inclusive Canberra
Media Release: Better emergency and legal services for Canberra
Budget Statements D: Justice and Community Safety Directorate (pdf 1.6 MB)
Budget Statements D: Justice and Community Safety Directorate (word 1.6 MB)
Budget Statements G: Community Services Directorate (pdf 1.1 MB)
Budget Statements G: Community Services Directorate (word 141.0 KB)