First wellbeing framework an important step forward: ACOSS

ACOSS has welcomed the release of the inaugural national wellbeing framework, while urging the government to expand its scope to examine poverty.

The community sector peak body says the release of 50 national wellbeing measures is a good starting point for measuring societal progress in non-economic terms.

“This framework will help shift the national conversation about ‘what matters’ in society, with the inclusion of indicators like household financial security, income and wealth inequality as well as equitable access to healthcare, disability and aged care services,” ACOSS Acting CEO Edwina MacDonald said.

“This vital data will spotlight where further support is needed to ensure individual and community wellbeing.

“It is concerning to see a deterioration in measures including the proportion of people able to make ends meet, as well as reduced access to health, care and support services for households receiving disability or aged care services.

”These findings are a call to action to the government to lift the incomes of those with the least and improve access to vital services.

“We welcome the government’s openness to further developing the indicators to ensure future iterations of the framework are as robust as possible. Our highest priority is to ensure the addition of a poverty measure, as a litmus test of equity and inclusion, in future iterations.

“The next task is for the government to use these indicators when assessing and deciding on policy, particularly around the federal budget, to ensure the framework works to improve community wellbeing.”