The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) wants the Commonwealth to adequately fund services provided by the community sector, including aged care, disability, homelessness and domestic violence services, and remunerate appropriately community sector labor at rates indexed regularly and adequately to keep up with the cost of living.
The nonprofit sector was one of the two fastest growing industries in Australia, but it was undervalued. ACTCOSS, Dr. Emma Campbell, CEO of ACTCOSS, said at a recent forum for federal election candidates, that he represents one of the largest workforces – but also one of the most underpaid and undervalued – of ACT, which supported some of the world’s most vulnerable people. community.
“It is not easy to provide services to people with disabilities, to the elderly, to people with complex needs. It takes incredible talent. And we want to be respected.
Similarly, ACTCOSS also wanted “the freedom to say what you see on the ground and [to] share [it] with governments, so you can develop the right policies to care for the people we support and represent.”
Labor has pledged to raise wages for older workers and 24/7 nurses in aged care centres. Dr Andrew Leigh, MP for Fenner, acknowledged there had been ‘enormous neglect’ in the sector:
“People at the end of life suffer from malnutrition and undertreatment.”
Dr Leigh also said the Labor Party would make sure funding was adequate, end short-term funding, remove gag clauses and restore freedom of defense for community sector workers.
The Greens promised increased, guaranteed, long-term funding for the community sector, and to set up a committee to advise ministers.
“The community sector has never been adequately funded,” said Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng, Senate candidate for the Greens. C.W.. “It does most of the work of taking care of people in the community, and the Commonwealth should provide a lot more funding.”
Dr Goreng Goreng, a former community development worker, said the lack of funding for the community sector was shocking. She had witnessed severe cuts over the past 20 years, including in disability services like the NDIS and women’s shelters.
“It was really an attack on feminism…and really destroyed our ability to deal with family violence and domestic violence,” she said. C.W..
The system needed to be better funded and adequately resourced to focus on early intervention, argued independent Senate candidate David Pocock; better resources for mental health, housing, women’s health, and the NDIS would have huge community ripple effects.
Labor and Independent Senate candidate Kim Rubenstein has also pledged to support the NDIS.