ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: Motion highlights serious shortage of ACT community facilities

9 February 2022

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has today welcomed a motion calling on the ACT Government to work with the ACT community sector to address the shortage of quality community facilities in the ACT.

Introduced by ACT Labor backbencher Suzanne Orr MLA, the motion includes calls to:

  • Assess the location, accessibility, quality, type, range and availability of community facilities across the ACT
  • Increase available land and floor space for community facilities and keep former school properties as community facilities
  • Engage in partnership with the community services sector to develop a community facilities strategy, and innovate new and improved use of community space for service providers
  • Address the difficulty community service organisations have in finding accessible accommodation in town centres, including growing regions like Gungahlin.

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “Over the past decade, the community sector has been campaigning for investment in community facilities. It is well and truly time for the ACT Government to invest in future-proofing the community sector.

“Community facilities play a significant role in providing affordable, accessible, fit for purpose spaces for community service providers, volunteers and community groups to safely gather.

“ACTCOSS has advocated for investment in a rolling program of improvements and maintenance to community hubs including upkeep, maintenance and building work.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have increased demand for community services. However, cramped spaces have meant that services have been cancelled due to an inability to meet physical distancing or ventilation requirements.

“Community organisations are being forced to deliver government-funded programs in inadequate and insecure spaces,” Dr Campbell said.

Ms Orr’s motion notes the review of community facilities underway by the ACT Property Group, and its intention to inform future planning and identify opportunities for renewal and growth in facilities.

Dr Campbell said: “We need significant investment in ACT community facilities including an urgent need for upgrades and repairs to ACT Government owned property. ACTCOSS welcomes the government's ongoing review of community facilities and the commitment made in today’s debate by all parties in the Legislative Assembly to consult with the community sector to find innovative solutions to the current challenges.”

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations. Follow us @ACTCOSS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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