• Make a difference – Federal Election 2016

    by Youthlaw on June 23, 2016

    Did you know
    • 10,000 Victorian young people drop out of school completely each year
    • 6,117 do not have a home on any given night.
    • Over 7,000 were removed from their families last year due to abuse and neglect.
    • Last year one youth homeless service in Melbourne CBD had 7,211 visits from young people seeking help

    Vote for candidates and parties that are for :

    1. Federal funding support to implement the recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.

    2. Restoring & substantially increasing funding of community programs and services that engage with vulnerable young people ( eg mental health, substance abuse and homeless support services)

    3. Significant Investment in public education & pathways, programs and supports for young people at risk of or disengaging with mainstream education.

    4. Funding of employment assistance programs that pay real wages and policy that paves the way to real jobs

    5. National spent convictions legislation to reduce life long impacts of having a criminal record.

    6. Adoption and implementation of a justice reinvestment approach to policy and programs by both federal and state governments and funding of Justice Reinvestment pilots with a focus on early investment in vulnerable children and young people.

    7. Reversal of funding cuts & increased funding to community legal centres (including Youthlaw) that assist the most vulnerable to protect & assert their legal rights.


    An investigation by IBAC of a police brutality and racism complaint by client Nassir Bare has resulted in IBAC deciding the complaint was unsubstantiated due to insufficient evidence.

    “While pleased this complaint was finally independently investigated, the decision by IBAC in regard to Mr Bare is disappointing. It highlights the flaws in a system that did not provide any initial independent investigation when the complaint was first made. Our client’s version of events, of being brutalised and racially abused by police officers has not changed in the 7 years it has taken to get it independently investigated,” said Director of Youthlaw, Ariel Couchman.

    “Mr Bare is a courageous young man who spoke out about his experience and continued to request investigation all these years, not only to bring the officers involved to account but to benefit other young people who are too afraid to make complaints.”

    The decision of the Court of Appeal still stands and calls into question the police complaints investigation system in Victoria.

    “We call on the state government to establish a victim-centred independent body, whether this be an expanded IBAC or a new body, to investigate complaints against police”.

    “Until this occurs the number of complaints against police will remain small, as most complaints are still referred back to Victoria Police to investigate. Police who abuse their powers will continue to undermine the good work and practice of their colleagues, and the community will not be confident that justice is being served.” said Ms Couchman.

    For further media comment please contact:
    Ariel Couchman, Youthlaw Director 0438812937
    Tiffany Overall, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer 0400903034

    { 1 comment }

    The Federal Budget has simultaneously allocated funding to a Government ad campaign while failing to undo cuts to essential services & supports.

    Victims of family violence will be left with a shiny Government ad campaign but nowhere to go to seek legal protection.

    Vulnerable young people will benefit from a youth employment package but this will be largely offset by cuts to essential services & supports

    Major youth items :
    • $840 million Youth Employment Package. We welcome this initiative. It is major shift from viewing youth as dole bludgers and a drain on the welfare system to a resource for the future

    • A cut to new recipients of Newstart Allowance due to removal of carbon pricing compensation. Currently it’s only $38 a day !
    • 75% cut in funding over two years for specialist youth mental health programs provided by Headspace and the Youth Psychosis program
    • $115 million cut to homelessness services including youth refuges from July next year by failing to renew the National Partnership on Homelessness.
    • $3 billion in cuts to payments and essential services such as Medicare &dental health and restrictive income support for people with disability.
    • Cuts to Centrelink staff adding to the current backlog of 80,000 Youth Allowance and 16,500 Austudy apps as a result of past Federal budget cuts
    • Reneging on Gonski leaving public schools significantly underfunded.
    • The majority of cuts to state public health to remain in place
    • Cuts from previous budgets carried over to the 2016-17 budget –a 1 month waiting period for young people to access income support and lower payments for many young unemployed people
    • No reversal to $240 million cuts to emergency relief and financial support to women and children leaving violence
    • No reversal of $40 million to be cut from community legal centres ( including Youthlaw) and Aboriginal legal services from next year