The Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch submits recommendations to government on key issues that affect our members and the oral health of Victorians.
Victorian State Pre-Budget Submission 2024–25
22 January 2024
As part of the pre-budget submission process, the ADAVB has submitted a proposal, outlining our priorities for the upcoming 2024-2045 Victorian state budget. We believe that placing a stronger emphasis on dental and oral health in policymaking is vital for the overall well-being of the Victorian public. In our submission we have identified five key issues in need of immediate attention from the state government, along with associated recommendations that could be implemented to effectively work towards achieving these objectives:
This submission was produced by the ADAVB to represent the collective interests of our members and the broader field of oral health. We want to continue supporting these initiatives where possible and welcome any feedback to ensure they accurately reflect your professional interests and concerns.
We highlight the ongoing issue of inadequate and uncompetitive pay for Victorian public sector dentists, a crucial equity concern impacting recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction. Increasing the pay for dentists benefits not only the individual practitioners but also has a significant positive impact for patients engaging with the public sector. We contend that the current level of remuneration for practitioners in the public sector and specialists-in-training is unacceptable and should, at the minimum, match what is offered in other states.
We aim to prioritise discussions on the current Payroll Tax Act's wording and policies, which have led to uncertainty and concerns among dental clinics about the possibility of backdated tax liabilities stemming from policies that were communicated unclearly. We have recommended that the state government revise its payroll tax act for medical centres to incorporate clear guidelines similar to those in Queensland, including the implementation of an amnesty period and the cessation of retrospective tax assessments.
We emphasise the importance of also offering non-financial incentives to public sector practitioners and dental students, which is both crucial to attract and retain staff as well as beneficial to the oral health outcomes of the public. We place particular importance on developing greater incentives for practitioners working in rural and remote regions, such as greater support for rural and remote dental students as well as mentorship and clinical development opportunities for practitioners.
We advocate for a re-evaluation of the values and scope of treatment options under the VEDS, VGDS, and VDS voucher systems, aiming for a more equitable approach that benefits both private dental clinics and eligible public sector patients.
We argue that although dentistry is an invaluable health discipline, it has historically been neglected in Australia, especially in terms of research capacity. We posit a generous funding contribution into this area is not only greatly overdue but could also position Victoria as a leading innovator in oral health research.
Looking for an earlier submission? Contact us to request a copy.