The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Andrews Labor Government to establish Education First Youth Foyers in Wodonga and Wangaratta, to provide great housing and educational opportunities for the youth in both cities.
As the former Minister for Housing responsible for funding and building the current three Youth Foyers in Broadmeadows, Glen Waverley and Shepparton, Ms Lovell knows well the positive difference the facilities can make in a young person’s life.
Speaking during the adjournment debate in State Parliament, Ms Lovell sought a commitment from Housing Minister Richard Wynne that the 2021-22 State Budget will include funding to construct Education First Youth Foyers in Wodonga and Wangaratta as well as recurrent funding to meet the ongoing operational costs of both facilities. Comprehensive business cases have been completed by the responsible TAFE colleges, Wodonga TAFE and GO TAFE, to construct 40 bed facilities on each of the respective campuses.
As well as opening educational pathways for young people, Ms Lovell said Youth Foyers also help to address homelessness rates, which have risen sharply in both Wodonga and Wangaratta since the election of the Andrews Labor government in 2014. In that time, the priority waiting list for social housing in Wodonga has increased by 85% and in Wangaratta by over 218%.
Ms Lovell said it was unfortunate the three Foyers constructed during her time as Minister remain the sole Education First Youth Foyers in Victoria.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“Education First Youth Foyers change lives for the better and would provide safe accommodation and open up greater educational pathways for many at-risk youths in both Wodonga and Wangaratta.
“It is poor form that Labor has not established more Youth Foyers throughout Victoria and I call on the Minister to fund new foyers in both cities in the upcoming State Budget.”
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