Community services need to be adequate to sustainably cope with growth and changing population needs; and social planning must become a core component of regional development, with regional community networks resourced to play an active role.
All community service organisations need to be engaged and supported through this current period of reform at both state and federal levels. There is a risk that smaller and regional community service providers will struggle to keep up with these parallel and diverging reforms, resulting in a reduction in the diversity of service provision within WA.
One of the largest emerging issues in the Council’s regional consultations this year was the scope and rate of social, demographic and economic change in regional communities affected by rapid development, rapid population growth, and a transient workforce. Regional centres affected by the rapid development and the resources boom (both those in the northwest now hosting a fly-in fly-out workforce, and those in the southwest that have become the home base for the FIFO workforce) are facing a host of issues including housing affordability, infrastructure stress, cost of living pressures, and social cohesion.
The need to ensure the sustainability of community services remains a common concern across the whole state. We need to ensure that the planning and resourcing of community services responds to changing population size, demographics and need (including the changing cost of delivering services especially outreach in regional areas). There is also a great opportunity to secure better outcomes through better service delivery coordination, planning and cross-referral by increasing the capacity of regional community service networks.
• Support to build the capacity and sustainability of community services;
• A model that ensures community services can respond to population need;
• Well-resourced regional community services networks; and
• Research addressing the social impact of mining on regional towns.
Printed and Authorised by Irina Cattalini. 2 Delhi Street, West Perth. WA 6005