New evidence out today from University of Western Australia (UWA) has revealed the state’s charities are facing increasing financial pressure resulting in fewer services and lower quality jobs in the sector.
The Western Australian Council of Social Service CEO Louise Giolitto says the state of WA’s NFP community services sector is alarming.
“This report from the Not-for-Profits UWA Research Team confirms what we have been hearing from community service organisations over a number of years,” said Louise Giolitto, Chief Executive Officer.
“The evidence is clear that the funding for community services is simply not covering the costs of the crucial services provided by charities.
“This evidence pre-dates the impacts of COVID-19, demonstrating that community services were already struggling to meet demand even before the largest health and economic crisis in our lifetimes.
“The funding shortfall is meaning that community organisations are having to reduce the types of services they are able to deliver and are providing them to fewer people.
Ms Giolitto says the mix of services provided by the sector contracted by a staggering 53% between 2015 and 2018. This is extremely worrying for regional WA where there is often only one provider.
“The reality is Western Australians are unable to access the services they need to address hardships and challenges in their lives.
“It also deeply concerning that job quality in the sector has gone backwards. Full-time jobs have fallen by 6.12%, while casual jobs are up 21.4%,” Ms Giolitto said.
“Health care and social assistance employs the second largest number of people in WA, after retail, and is projected to grow faster than any other area of the economy over the next five years.
“We should all be alarmed that the jobs growth in our predominantly female sector is happening in the form of precarious and insecure jobs.
“With women having suffered the greatest loss of jobs, hours and income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we need a focus on public investment that will best support quality employment for women in an industry which works towards improving community wellbeing.
“We must remember that an investment into care work is an investment in the capability and resilience of our most precious asset – our people,” Ms Giolitto said.
Download the WA Not-for-profit Landscape Report: bit.ly/LandscapeReport2020
Media contact: Laurene Coller, Communications Officer, [email protected], 0419 316 557.