ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: Mid-Year Budget Update - Welcome investments in difficult times

13 February 2020

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has welcomed the direction of the ACT Government’s 2019-20 mid-year Budget Review that includes new investments in our community despite tough economic circumstances. 

Dr Emma Campbell, ACTCOSS CEO said: “Like the rest of Australia, the ACT is facing a challenging economic environment including the effects of the bushfire crisis.

“However, budgets are about choices and we are pleased that the Government has chosen to invest in health, housing, justice and youth and family services despite difficult economic headwinds.”

Dr Campbell said: “In health we welcome the nearly $60 million that will cover the costs of high levels of demand including growth in emergency department presentations and emergency surgeries.

“However, ACTCOSS remains keen to see a long-term and proactive plan for an ACT health service that can meet Canberra’s growing population and expanding health needs.”

ACTCOSS also welcomed announcements in the Budget Review including a $4.9 million investment over four years in the Disability Justice Strategy and $4.1 million for other justice and community safety investments including: family liaison; support for victims of crime; restorative justice; and increasing opportunities for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people involved with the justice system. 

The Government has also committed additional funding for services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people, increased support for the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre, the Out of Home Care system and the reportable conduct scheme. 

Dr Campbell said: “ACTCOSS welcomes the focus and investment in our children and young people. ACTCOSS will work with our partners to ensure these investments reduce the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community members engaged with the justice and child protection systems. 

“We are also pleased to see that the Government has responded to calls from the housing and community sector for investment in improving the energy efficiency of rental housing as well as broader climate change initiatives.”

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.

For more information or comment, please contact
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.