The ACT Council of Social Service has today welcomed the 2018-19 ACT Budget, saying it delivers in substantial areas marked out for investment by the ACT community sector.
The Budget shows government recognises investment in community services is as important as health and education and that the community services sector is a significant employer; it drives economic activity as a purchaser of goods and services, and grows human capital.
Susan Helyar, ACTCOSS Director said, “When our ambitions align, the community, business and government can work together. In some areas of the 2018-19 ACT Budget, the ambitions of the ACT Government and the community are aligned. These include:
- Increasing funding in mental health, including in key areas of early intervention across the lifespan and for specialist services
- Funding for improving education attainment for students not reaching benchmarks, especially students with disabilities
- Ensuring the territory continues to meet its obligation to ensure better services and strong advocacy for people with disability and their carers
- Investing in infrastructure at the neighbourhood level, including playgrounds and sports fields, and funding for Canberra to become a restorative community
- More funding for inpatient and outpatient services, hospital in the home, patient navigation and upgrades to hospitals
- Funding for improved access to justice for disadvantaged groups and the Disability Justice Strategy
- Investments in a diverse Canberra through grants and policy work around LGBTIQ, multicultural affairs and veterans
- Establishment of a Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund to increase investment in priorities set by the community.
“There is some funding to respond better to unmet demand in homelessness services, improve energy efficiency in low cost housing, and to grow supported accommodation options.
“In affordable housing, the combined ambitions of community housing providers, peaks, property developers and the ACT community for actions are being understood by government but not yet realised. Community and business have come to agreement that we need more affordable housing in this city for the lowest income groups. We will continue to bring data, ideas and partners to the decision-making table and we look forward to the ACT Government bringing money to the table so we can build housing at a scale to address the problems we face.”
For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987 or 02 6202 7200.