30 March 2015 | General Interest
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and all eight state and territory councils of social services have joined forces to call on the Federal Government to urgently reverse the damaging cuts to community services so that they can continue to support the country’s most vulnerable.
The Federal Government has identified up to $1 billion in “savings measures” from community services that include:
- $270 million over four years to Department of Social Services;
- foreshadowed cut of $197 million to Department of Health;
- $500 million in cuts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services;
- additional cuts to legal services including Legal Aid and community legal services.
“We recognise that we face a Budget challenge. That’s why ACOSS has made a series of fair and responsible proposals to the Federal Budget. But these cuts hit essential community services, during an economic downturn and rising unemployment,” the councils said in a joint statement.
The Councils of Social Service across Australia are calling on the Federal Government to:
- Stop these funding cuts and determine, in partnership with the community service sector, adequate funding levels to meet community need and maximise social and economic participation for everyone.
- Extend current funding for organisations that have not yet been able to finalise new Government funding offers.
- Adopt the recommendations of the Productivity Commission to improve government contracting with community organisations.
To read the joint statement in full visit the ACOSS website.