FUNDING certainty for HIV rapid testing in Victoria has come as part of a suite of LGBTI-related budget announcements made today by the Victorian Government.

The future of community-based rapid testing service PRONTO! has been up in the air until this budget announcement, which promises $2.24 million over four years to run the clinic based in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

Funding for the extensive list of LGBTI-related election commitments made by Daniel Andrews’ Labor government was also announced, with Equality Minister Martin Foley also outlining a $10 million funding package for “equality initiatives”:

  • $3.2 million for the newly-created equality portfolio, which will sit within the Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • A new Gender and Sexuality Commissioner funded as part of the equality portfolio
  • An “LGBTI Taskforce” as part of the equality portfolio funding, with a Health and Human Services Working Group and a Justice Working Group, to serve as a whole-of-government community advisory group
  • $5.9 million for programs supporting LGBTI mental health and wellbeing
  • $1 million for the expansion of the Safe Schools Coalition to all public secondary schools in Victoria

“This isn’t just words and gestures, it’s action,” Foley said in a statement.

“The Andrews Labor Government is funding programs that will improve people’s lives and help them achieve the happiness and respect to which they’re entitled.”

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