Our CEO recently joined a state-wide panel discussion hosted by NCOSS.
Thank you to Joanna Quilty and NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) for inviting our CEO, Jenni Beetson-Mortimer to participate as a panelist last week in the NCOSS post-budget panel discussion at NSW Parliament House.
This was a great opportunity to hear the state budget response from NSW economic leaders, peak bodies and community organisations. Jenni spoke alongside other panelists Belinda Field, Andrew McAnulty and Esta Paschalidis-Chilas. Also speaking were the NSW Treasurer, Shadow Treasurer and Angela Jackson, who responded to budget questions from the sector.
Jenni highlighted that:
“Whilst we acknowledge and appreciate the 5.5% indexation to DCJ-funded services and the fixed-term funding boost for flood affected community organisations, there is a critical need for increased base funding for place-based services, such as Neighbourhood and community centres.”
“Neighbourhood and community centres are embedded in communities. It is this grass-roots nature that means we are responsive to community needs and are often amongst the first responders in a crisis. We are providing significant responses to local natural disasters in Lismore, and yet are expected to provide increasingly higher levels of services with no real increase in funding since 1985.”
“With increasing cost of living pressures, we commend our government on the increase to EAPA vouchers for vulnerable people. Yet, neighbourhood centres and community organisations are delivering this program without funding.”
“There are currently high numbers of people in Lismore living in homes without internal walls or cladding, so it’s expected that their heating costs costs will soar and services such as Northern Rivers Community Gateway will be inundated with requests for EAPA vouchers. We call on the NSW Government to adequately fund organisations for staff and administration costs.”
“We further urge government to invest in places based service delivery for greater return on investment and better social and financial outcomes for our communities.”
Image courtesy of Joanna Quilty / NCOSS.