The ACT Government’s Budget for 2012-13 provides no clear skies ahead, leaving the community sector tackling a growing storm of demand and reform.
Director of the ACT Council of Social Service, Roslyn Dundas commented: “The community sector was looking for some recognition on the underpinning issues hurting our community - unfortunately, despite some tinkering around the edges we are looking at more young people in out of home care, continuing high levels of incarceration rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and potential increases in social isolation due to rising transport costs with no increase in community transport support.”
“The significant reform of taxation is welcome and necessary and we look forward to working with Government on ensuring taxes are well targeted and appropriate concessions are in place. However the need for reform in service delivery remains - shifting from increasing acute services to supporting early intervention,” Ms Dundas continued.
“The land tax reforms may result in cheaper rental, but only if landlords choose to reduce their rates of rent. We hope the Affordable Housing Action Plan – Phase 3, will be able to target the small funding allocated for its implementation ($600,000 over two years) to ensure a real increase in rental affordability.”
“However, housing affordability is not about the cost of the dwelling alone – liveability and transport are also significant cost contributors. The increasing cost of public transport and utilities need to be met with accessible and balanced concessions or we will see more families in housing stress, increased social isolation and preventable health problems,” Ms Dundas concluded.
ACTCOSS will be hosting the annual ACT Community Sector Budget Forum on Wednesday 6 June, allowing community sector representatives to discuss the ACT Budget with Treasurer Andrew Barr, and Minister for Community Services Joy Burch. This is the opportunity for discussion on how the ACT Budget will affect Canberra’s most vulnerable residents in the community sector.
EVENT DETAILS – ACTCOSS Budget Forum
When: 12.15 pm – 1.30 pm, Wednesday 6 June 2012
Where: Function Room, level 2, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, Civic Square
For more information or comment please contact
ACTCOSS on 6202 7200.