As I announced at the WACOSS Conference earlier this year, WA Labor remains committed to continuing the roll- out of the $600 million sustainable funding and to
partnership with the sector and the respective peak bodies.
We are committed to community services across the whole sector including the regions. The Royalties for Regions program, while delivering some benefits to
regional communities, has focussed largely on infrastructure and less on the social welfare of regional people. WA Labor will keep the Royalties for Regions funding and
improve it by focussing on the priorities of the people living in the regions, including the provision of housing.
WA Labor will be releasing policies for individual regions closer to the election. We have already released a Royalties for Regions policy and two policies committing to moving two State Government departments to regional centres. WA Labor policies can be found here.
Through the Department for Communities, the Government currently provides $19 million in base line funding to the not-for-profit community sector for the provision of 177 services. This government has ensured that service agreement development with the not-for-profit community sector is conducted in a manner that supports sustainable service delivery and recognises the importance of ongoing organisational viability. All eligible community based organisations received the Component 1 (15 per cent increase) funding and will benefit from the remainder of the $604 million announced by the State Government in the 2011-12 Budget. The Social Innovation Grants program which provides a total of $14 million over four years is another part of the suite of initiatives to help community organisations deliver better social services.
The Greens (WA) believe that the community service sector plays a vital role in sustaining our economy, and protecting and supporting many of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged community members across the state. We recognise the importance of WA having viable and sustainable community services throughout WA. It is crucial that funding for community services is reliable, adequate to address the pay equity gap, and to attract and sustain a quality workforce, and that funding is provided on a longer term basis. Work must continue on enabling the sector to play a central role in policy formulation and decision making about service delivery. It is important that new regional approaches to governance and decision making are developed including through the establishment of a stronger regional governance framework, stronger regional networks
| The response from the National Party did not address the individual priorities. Please refer to their letter for more details of their response, please click here. |
The following paragraphs from their letter appears to be of relevance to this partricular priority:
The Nationals WA believe that strong and vibrant communities underpin the future of Western Australia. To that end, since 2008 we have invested over $4 billion into regional communities, providing essential services and infrastructure and supporting community groups and programs to make regional WA a better place to live, work and invest. I have outlined below some of the initiatives we are implementing through Royalties for Regions which are improving the diversity and vitality of regional communities.
The Nationals WA have introduced the Country Pension Fuel Card which provides country people on a range of pensions with $500 a year towards the cost of fuel and taxi fares. Country pensioners have limited access to public transport and rely on private transport to maintain their independence, attend medical appointments and remain connected to their community. We are incredibly proud that the fuel card is now helping close to 50,000 country pensioners.
The Nationals WA want to ensure that all West Australians have equal access to opportunities to learn and succeed in life. We commit to continuing this in 2013 by ensuring communities have the appropriate resources and support to ensure essential social services reach all our regional remote communities.