The next government must put Greater Shepparton first

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
The next state government must ensure that families and children in the Greater Shepparton Region have early access to education assistance and family support services
The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and Berry Street are calling on all political parties to put children at the centre at this upcoming state election. 
Situated on the banks of the Goulburn River, Greater Shepparton boasts a thriving and diverse community with a strong tradition of excellence in agriculture and a growing cultural scene. 
Greater Shepparton comprises of three main urban centres: Shepparton City, Mooroopna and Tatura, and serves as a major service centre for the Goulburn Valley. 
While, Greater Shepparton has many favourable economic conditions, families in the region are still under increasing cost of living pressure and require ongoing and stable family support to ensure that they are able to thrive. 
Currently, Greater Shepparton had the sixth highest unemployment rate among the regional cities (6.9%). Unemployment is a particular challenge in Mooroopna (10.0%), the high-growth urban areas of Shepparton-South (8.9%) and Shepparton-North (8.9%). This means that families in certain areas of Greater Shepparton are under unprecedented pressure. As a community rally we must rally behind these families to ensure they remain connected and that their children are given the necessary assistance to remain engaged in education. 
Centre chief executive Deb Tsorbaris is calling on the state government, or any incoming government, to commit to $100 million a year to integrated family services to prevent families from going into crisis.
We believe that our next Government must ensure that young people and children in Greater Shepparton are provided with individualised and targeted support, so that no one is left behind. 
‘Young people in Shepparton are more likely than their metropolitan counterparts to not be studying, and we think that this is directly a result of the lack of educational support services in the area’ Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare CEO Deb Tsorbaris 
Our political leaders must also ensure that families and children in the region are supported to access vital services. 
‘We hear stories of families travelling long distances in order to receive basic services. We want to ensure that children who grow up in the Greater Shepparton Region have the same opportunities as everyone else – to achieve this we must make services accessible.’ Ms Tsorbaris said 
Victoria needs a Government that will commit resources so that families in regional Victoria have the same opportunities to thrive as those living in Melbourne.