ACOSS welcomes Ministerial announcement of longer funding contracts trial and recommitment to proper indexation

ACOSS has today welcomed the announcement by Minister Rishworth of a trial of longer-term funding contracts for contracts expiring in 2022-23. This is an important step towards the implementation of the ALP’s Election commitment to longer-term, stable funding for ongoing community services more broadly.

In her speech today to ASU delegates, Minister Rishworth also reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to deliver proper indexation to community services funding grants. The Minister confirmed that action is underway across Government to understand and address current cost pressures on services and that more information would be provided soon. This will come as a relief to service providers around the country who are facing acute budgetary pressures.

Acting CEO Edwina MacDonald said:

“Concerns about indexation and funding are acute across the sector as organisations struggle to meet rising costs and to fund long-overdue increases to staff wages. Today’s assurance from the Minister that the Government is actively working to address these issues and to deliver proper indexation is very welcome. We look forward to continuing our active dialogue with the Government in the lead up to the October Budget to ensure that it delivers the necessary funding levels and security for services on the ground.

“Community sector workers, 80% of whom are women, provide complex services to people in need. Without stable and adequate funding, organisations are struggling to meet demands and concerned about further cuts they may need to make to essential services that we all rely on.

“ACOSS has long advocated for a move to longer-term, more stable funding for community services to enable services to plan, innovate and retain and attract staff. The announcement today that the Government will begin trialling longer term contracts for those expiring in this financial year is an important first step towards a more fundamental overhaul of funding arrangements.”