Impact Investing Australia welcomes Victoria’s social impact bonds announcement

Impact Investing Australia welcomes Victoria’s social impact bonds announcement

Impact Investing Australia has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement that it is launching the State’s first two social impact bonds, saying that impact investing holds significant potential to help government deliver better outcomes for society through collaborations with the community and private sectors.

The Victorian Government has announced two social impact bonds to help reduce disadvantage: one focused on the treatment of people with drug and alcohol problems, and another working with adolescents who are leaving out of home care. On Wednesday Victoria also became the first government in Australia to issue a green bond, raising $300 million to finance projects delivering various environmental benefits.

“We are pleased that Victoria is harnessing the potential of impact investing to deliver improved outcomes for individuals, communities and the environment, as well as provide better value for taxpayers,” said Daniel Madhavan, CEO of Impact Investing Australia.

“As we have seen in NSW and in other countries, social impact bonds are providing governments with an additional tool for tackling complex social issues that have persisted despite repeat interventions”, added Madhavan.

Since the first social impact bond was launched in London 2010, over 60 projects have commenced in 15 countries, with over 21 of these already reporting positive social outcomes and 4 projects that have fully repaid investor capital. The NSW Government announced its third social impact bond, focused on tackling prisoner reoffending last week.

Impact investing is a growing field where investments are made into organisations, projects or funds with the intention of generating measurable social and environmental outcomes, alongside a financial return. It is helping generate positive results across a broad range of areas including housing, employment, disability, aged care, health, education, arts and culture, agriculture and the environment.

“Government has a critical role to play in growing the opportunities to harness private capital for positive social impact. We encourage a more active role for governments at all levels to enable and participate in impact investing. Without stronger support from government, the potential for impact investment in Australia will not be realised,” said Madhavan.

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