A recent study, led by Victoria University and West Justice Youth Office, has revealed that students from low socioeconomic families cannot afford to travel on public transport, or pay the fines they incur for travelling without a valid myki card. West Justice chief executive Denis Nelthorpe said: “Up to 80,000 Victorian students a year were unable to pay fines, resulting in many of them skipping school.”
On February 18, a delegation of Victoria University staff and students delivered a letter to the office of Tim Watts, Labor MP for the federal seat of Gellibrand. The letter, signed by 125 students and teachers — in only two days and before most students were back at university — pleaded with Watts to follow Premier Daniel Andrews' example and advocate that the 267 vulnerable asylum seekers, including 36 babies, not be sent back to Nauru.
The Victorian government has turned its back on a major commitment to not contract out disability services to the private sector. The Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) has been left feeling “absolutely betrayed” by the Daniel Andrews' government's decision to break an election promise that declared, “Disability is not for sale”. News of this proposal wasn't so much announced, as discovered in the closing paragraph of an unrelated document.