Victoria performs high on personal safety, health and wellness, but COVID-19 response shows inequities in personal freedom and choice - new research

Victoria is faring best in the nation in terms of community mental health, teen pregnancy, physical assaults and youth crime according to the Centre for Social Impact’s (CSI) Australian Social Progress Index (ASPI), as discussed in a webinar today.

The webinar also showed, for the first time, how each jurisdiction is faring in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using the ASPI tool as a proxy measure.

Key findings:

  • Victoria is largely performing within expected ranges for overall social progress and Foundations of Wellbeing. The state is performing better than expected in personal safety, and health and wellness, but worse than expected for personal freedom and choice
  • Victoria’s social policy responses to COVID-19 have covered a wide range of social progress components, and demonstrates a holistic approach to social support during times of crisis. However, Victoria was also one of the worst performing jurisdictions in Personal Freedom and Choice; actions such as fines and restrictions of movement should be considered through a justice lens to ensure that already marginalised groups are not disproportionately targeted or impacted by measures intended to ensure public safety
  • Based on ASPI scores, VIC is making good progress towards achieving Goal 2 (Zero Hunger), but should prioritise goals that are focused on environmental quality (Goals 14 and 15)

ASPI researchers and webinar presenters:

  • Dr Megan Weier: Research Fellow & ASPI Lead Researcher, Centre for Social Impact UNSW
  • Isabella Saunders: Research Assistant, Centre for Social Impact UNSW