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Our hopes for future Stimulus Packages

April 8, 2020

The Stimulus Packages passed recently have a strong focus on supporting business, something which is very important at a time of falling demand. But community service organisations are struggling with the opposite problem, for many, demand is on the rise. While we are pleased to note the extension of the Business Continuity funding to community organisations, what we really need is long term increases to program level funding.

For many community organisations, demand has been steadily increasing over recent years, as people living on low incomes fall further into poverty and despair. The recent bushfire and flood disasters have placed further pressure on their already strained resources, and demand is already escalating as the impacts of the coronavirus are experienced. As a major employment sector across the region, increasing funding for community service organisations will increase employment and also stimulate the economy.

The other initiative which we would have liked to have seen included in the package is an increase in social housing. With waiting lists for social housing exceeding 10 years in the Illawarra, there is no doubt that substantial increases in social housing stock are required. Building more social housing is a sound way to stimulate the economy as it not only moves people out of homelessness, but also provides jobs during the construction phase.

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