PRESS RELEASE: 12 May 2021
The Morrison government has announced a substantial boost in funding to address Australia’s social as well as economic needs, with more funding being directed towards mental health and wellbeing, aged care services, child care, low income earners, single parents, skill development, the digital divide and support for domestic and family violence.
Centacare FNQ considers this budget to be a positive step forward for improved access to social support services and economic recovery in our community. Centacare FNQ Executive Director, Anita Veivers said, “it’s fantastic to see a budget which is focussing so clearly on both social and economic recovery and growth post covid.”
In relation to aged care, "additional aged care funds allocated in the budget will allow more of our older Australians to stay in their own homes, and therefore more closely connected to their families and community.” “Programs such as the Centacare Social Wellbeing Hub at Holloways Beach offer a great opportunity for older people to stay connected socially, as well as providing access to much needed respite, which has also been recognised and valued in the budget.”
In relation to Mental Health, “Mental Health is another winner in this budget, however we are keen to see the Federal government make sure that local, place based responses, and local organisations are funded to keep supporting local people at a local level.” “It is clear that Covid and the subsequent disruption to our usual lives has had significant impact and disruption, it’s disappointing that the budget seems to focus on clinical approaches, rather than meeting the needs of people needing support to address lower intensity anxiety and depression.” “It’s pleasing to see the specific mental health needs of migrants and refugees being addressed with targeted funding.” “With limited access to clinical services due to demand, we would like to see more support for non-clinical approaches which can be so successfully provided by community mental health responses.”
In relation to Women, “it’s great to see support for women taking various avenues, with improvements to the superannuation contribution for low-income earners, support for women’s’ leadership and an important improvement in support for people experiencing family and domestic violence.” Additional support for childcare has been included as a positive measure for women, however we recognise that childcare is a shared family responsibility which will benefit all caregivers who are working parents.
In relation to Housing, “we are disappointed that although there has been support to address the housing needs of first-time homeowners with increased incentives, as well as support for single parents, unfortunately we are still not addressing the needs of those who are most vulnerable in our community, with limited additional funding made available for social housing”.
In relation to skills, “it’s fantastic to see a focus on building skills for our current and future needs, especially in aged care and community services. We hope that programs are locally targeted to meet local needs, rather than just adding to the generic employment services which don’t meet the needs of people facing additional barriers to employment, such as people experiencing mental ill health, refugees and migrants.”
As a local provider of quality services making a real difference in our community, Centacare FNQ is hopeful that the announced measures will make their way to small local services, to meet the needs of local communities, having more and direct impact on health, wellbeing and connectivity at a local level.
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