Monday 30 April 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering record new funding to neighbourhood houses across Victoria to support their staff, their volunteers and the local communities they serve.

As part of the Victorian Budget 2018/2019, the Labor Government will invest $21.8 million across the neighbourhood house network so that more families can access the activities and services they need and want, closer to home.

Twenty-three Neighbourhood Houses in smaller regional communities across Gippsland are eligible for an increase, which would take their total of funded hours from between 10 and 20 hours to 25 hours per week.

The Budget investment includes the biggest ever boost to coordination hours, with an extra 76,700 hours to be delivered each year to more houses across the state. Many existing houses will get additional hours.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos made the announcement on Monday, 30 April, to mark the start of Neighbourhood House Week, which runs until 6 May.

The funding boost will also allow mobile neighbourhood house networkers to spend more time with individual houses to improve access to key services and activities across the system.

As a result, they’ll get an additional 4,500 hours working with individual houses.

An estimated 188,000 people visit a neighbourhood house or use their services every week.

The Labor Government’s record investment in extra coordination hours is almost eight times more than what was delivered under the previous Liberal Government.

It will ensure neighbourhood houses can continue to provide the vital childcare, employment, training and volunteering services people need.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos:

“We said we’d deliver for neighbourhood houses and this Budget provides the biggest increase to coordination hours ever.”

“In one Budget we’re investing almost eight times what the former Liberal Government spent during their entire term.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:

“It has been a privilege to support the work of our neighbourhood houses and to get involved in what they do – they’re right at the heart of so many communities across Gippsland and their staff and volunteers make a huge and positive difference to people’s lives every day.”

“This funding will provide a valuable boost for many neighbourhood houses throughout our region and enable them to provide more services, engagement and connection within local communities, in all sorts of ways.”

Quotes attributable to Neighbourhood Houses Victoria CEO Nicole Battle:

“Each week almost 200,000 Victorians visit a neighbourhood house – they’re about communities not buildings.”

“This is a much-needed investment that will ensure we support even more locals, whether it’s with a warm meal, life skills and advice or just a friendly space for them to relax.” 

List of Gippsland Neighbourhood houses eligible for additional funding

• Bass Valley Community Group Inc
• Corinella & District Community Centre Inc
• Inverloch Community House Inc
• Lang Lang Community Centre Inc
• Wonthaggi Neighbourhood Centre At Mitchell House Inc
• Dargo and District Community Group Inc
• The Bemm River Community Recreation Centre Inc.
• Bendoc Progress Association Inc.
• Benambra Neighbourhood House Inc
• Briagolong Community House Inc
• Buchan District Outreach Inc
• Cann River Community Centre Inc
• Community Centre Swifts Creek Inc
• Deddick Valley Isolated Community Group Inc
• Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House Inc.
• Maffra Neighbourhood House Inc.
• Mallacoota District Health & Support Service Inc
• Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre Inc
• East Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House
• Loch Sport Community House Inc.
• Venus Bay Community Centre Inc
• Wurruk Community House Inc
• Bunyip And District Community House Inc