The Western Australian Council of Social Service welcomes key funding allocations in the State Government’s mid-year budget review, but maintains more should be done to support those who are struggling the most.
The State Government has today announced another surplus figure of $3.7 billion in the 2024 budget, with more funding to be provided for a range of services and programs.
One of WACOSS’ key recommendations in its 2024 State Budget Submission was for an immediate funding uplift for existing child sexual abuse therapeutic services (CSATs) and Indigenous healing services.
WACOSS was extremely pleased to see this recommendation reflected in today’s announcement, with a 15 per cent increase in funding.
Today’s budget allocations follow recent measures taken by the State Government to alleviate the cost of living crisis with five weeks’ free public transport, energy bill credits, the $24.4 million rent relief scheme and compensation for foster carers, all of which have been warmly welcomed by our sector.
WACOSS Chief Executive Officer Louise Giolitto said:
“We are thrilled to see the inclusion of a 15 per cent immediate funding uplift for our CSATs providers. This funding is sorely needed and has been called on by our sector since this year’s May budget.
“While these measures are very warmly welcomed by the communities sector, today’s surplus highlights that our State Government has the capacity to do more to help those doing it toughest in this cost of living crisis.
“Our Cost of Living Report, out today, highlights that between 30 and 40 per cent of household incomes are being decimated by rising rental costs alone.
“This presents a major challenge for many Western Australians. As such, we would like to see the State Government implement rent stabilisation measures to help stem the bleeding.
“With ongoing surpluses, this State Government has a choice of where to invest in our community. I believe that Western Australians want to live in a State that prioritises people. It’s absolutely urgent we invest in community wellbeing now.”