The Victorian Government is boosting funding to support the wellbeing of Victoria’s LGBTI community as the Turnbull Government still threatens a damaging plebiscite. The Government has acted quickly to ensure increased services are available to members of the LGBTI community, after last month’s Federal Budget revealed $170 million is still allocated for a harmful plebiscite.
“Malcolm Turnbull needs to rule out this Liberal Party opinion poll that is nothing but damaging and divisive,” said Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley. “We’re ensuring our hard working mental health organisations have additional funds to ensure those who need support get it. We’re supporting online resources because we know the fight for equality is beyond the tram lines.”
The Government will allocate $500,000, with a particular focus on projects for vulnerable groups including young people, Aboriginal people, people in regional communities part of the LGBTI community. The additional funds will go to key agencies to provide increased support, expand capacity and organise forums for people seeking information or help.
Switchboard Victoria, which provides peer-based telephone counselling services to LGBTI people and their families, will receive $100,000 to update telecommunications infrastructure and provide training for volunteer counsellors, while Drummond Street counselling service will receive $50,000 to provide counselling to more LGBTI Victorians and reduce its waiting list.
Headspace will receive $100,000 to increase capacity in Mildura for projects to support young rural and regional LGBTI Victorians with learnings and resources to be shared across the state. Kunghah – an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gathering of the LGBTI community – will receive $100,000 to support projects that promote inclusion and respond to their specific health, wellbeing and safety needs and aspirations.
The new Victorian Pride Centre will receive $100,000 to establish a virtual platform of mental health resources and information for socially or geographically isolated young LGBTI people – enabling them to connect to information and advice around the clock. A further $50,000 has been set aside to support other services experiencing increased demand.