Act now to restore $1 billion in Government funding cuts to community services!
How can you help?
- A template letter to MPs.
- A Briefing Paper that you can distribute to explain these cuts and their impacts to MPs and local media.
- A set of instructions to help you adapt this letter with your organisation’s logo and update it with information about the impact of these cuts in your community.
Help our sector work with communities to best meet their needs.
Since 2013, the Federal Government has announced up to $1b in savings measures that are cutting community services for the people in greatest need in Australia:
- $500 million over five years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under The Hon Tony Abbott and Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion)
- $270 million over four years from social services and a freeze on indexation of sector funding (Department of Social Services under The Hon Scott Morrison)
- $15 million from the community legal sector, which remains in place for sector support and capacity, including legal aid, community legal centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services, and women’s family violence legal and prevention services (Attorney General’s Department under Senator the Hon George Brandis)
- Foreshadowed cuts of $197 million over three years from health (Department of Health under The Hon Sussan Ley)
The impact of these cuts is already being felt right across the country: by those on the lowest incomes, people experiencing financial crisis or family breakdown, children at risk, vulnerable young people, new mothers and babies, people facing eviction and homelessness, carers in need of respite, those struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, and those with mental health issues or other serious health concerns in the community. The reduction of support or complete defunding of policy advice and advocacy work in the areas of housing, homelessness, disability, support for frontline financial counselling services and for community legal services has simultaneously reduced the opportunity for local communities to be involved in the decisions made about them by policy-makers and governments.
ACOSS has developed $billions of savings and revenue proposals to help the Federal Government manage its Budget. But we cannot support decisions that hurt the people in our communities who need the most support.
It is not to late to reverse these cuts! On Thursday 25 March the Attorney-General made the welcome announcement that cuts to legal services would be reversed. This is the first step; we need to support the Government in the next and equally important steps to reverse the rest of these cuts.
We are just over one year into cuts that will continue right through to 2018.
The next Federal Budget will be released 12 May. Contact your MP today to show your support for the Government to make the right Budget decisions this year.
Stay in touch! This webpage will be updated with related link to media and other action communities are taking to reverse these devastating cuts.
Funding cuts in the Media
- Drug rehabilitation centres win last-minute reprieve from Federal Government cuts
Sophie Scott, ABC TV, Tuesday March 31 2015
- Health workers on front line in fight against drugs ‘shocked’ by $200m funding cut
Sophie Scott, ABC TV, Monday March 30 2015
- Family support programs to close in June following funding cuts, prompting fears for children’s safety
Josie Taylor, ABC TV, Sunday March 29, 2015
- Legal services for vulnerable groups spared cuts amid growing pressure
Daniel Hurst, The Guardian, Thursday March 26, 2015
- George Brandis makes turn-around over legal aid cuts
Katie Walsh, Australian Financial Review, Thursday March 26, 2015
- Tony Abbott kills $25m legal aid cut
Stefanie Balogh, Nicola Berkovic, The Australian, Friday March 27, 2015
- Aboriginal legal services call on Federal Government to reverse funding cuts
Miki Perkins and Jane Lee, The Age, Wednesday March 25, 2015
- Indigenous sector outrage at funding for government departments and sport
Helen Davidson, The Guardian, Wednesday March 25, 2015
- Federal funding cuts ‘a recipe for injustice’ in NT courts
Nicola Berkovic, The Australian, Wednesday March 25, 2015
- Mental health groups plead with Tony Abbott amid funding uncertainty crisis
Lenore Taylor, The Guardian, Tuesday March 24, 2015
- Mental health groups seek clarity on funding
Sean Parnell, The Australian, Tuesday March 24, 2015
- Aboriginal legal services warn clients will face court unrepresented if funding cuts go ahead
Norman Hermant and Sam Clark, ABC Lateline, Monday March 23, 2015
- Homelessness funding extended for two years under National Partnership Agreement
Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday March 22, 2015
- New funding for homelessness: women and children first
David Crowe, Rick Morton, The Australian, Monday March 23, 2015
- Government will sign off on $230 million to help curb domestic violence
Daniel Meers, Daily Telegraph, Monday March 23, 2015
- Homeless mother, victim of domestic violence says she feels ‘safest and most secure’ in rooming house
Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline ABC TV, March 17 2015