Victorian Election Priorities 2010

Elections are a key way for voices of citizens to be heard on the issues that affect them. Governments are held to account for the laws and policies they have implemented. But many Victorians struggle to have their voices heard. At PILCH, we work with many of these Victorians. We help them access the legal system, and support the community organisations that assist them. They tell us their stories. And from their stories, we come to understand the ways that unjust laws, policies, and systems disempower them. This document summaries the law reform calls that PILCH makes on all parties in the lead up to the Victorian election on 27 November 2010. They are drawn from the experiences of the more than 3000 individuals and community organisations that PILCH has worked with in the last year.

In 2010, PILCH challenges political parties in Victoria to:

  • Improve access to the justice system
    • Extend the provision of free interpreter services
    • Improve access to free legal assistance by removing regulatory barriers to pro bono work
    • Reduce costs associated with accessing the courts in public interest and pro bono cases
  • Take steps to assist people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to assert their legal rights
    • Improve housing options and services
    • Improve the infringements system
    • Repeal public space offences
  • Support better regulated community organisations
    • Support compliance and best practice governance by funding PilchConnect
    • Simplify the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Vic)
    • Reduce red tape and modernise and harmonise the charitable fundraising, governance and taxation regime by supporting nationally cohesive, federal regulation
  • Strengthen frameworks for the protection of human rights in Victoria
    • Strengthen the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
    • Expand protections against discrimination
    • Strengthen the protection of rights of people with diminished capacity

The Australian Labor Party and the Greens have provided written responses to these priorities.  You can read the Labor response here and the Greens' response here.