Tasmanian Community Services Industry Peaks Network Joint Statement of 2024 Tasmanian State Election Priorities

Ensuring Tasmanians have the support they need, when they need it.

The incoming Tasmanian Government has a responsibility to build a strong community services industry that will serve the next generations of Tasmanians to keep them safe and well. This is all the more important in times of great uncertainty and challenge, as we are in now.

The community services industry is central to building the resilience of Tasmanians and our communities to withstand various kinds of disruptions and crises. Its approximately 28,000 workers and 46,900 (formal) volunteers work hard to make sure that when Tasmanians call on them, they can provide appropriate, timely and effective support.

In recent years, the cost of living crisis has taken its toll on Tasmanians, with greater numbers and new cohorts of people reaching out to community service organisations seeking a broad range of assistance, including food to feed their family, help to pay energy bills, emergency accommodation after fleeing family violence, assistance with alcohol and other drugs, and mental health support.

The increased demand has challenged the ability of community service organisations to respond, partly due to funding that has not kept pace with rising costs for over two decades.

In 2024, we are seeking commitments from all political leaders to resource Tasmania’s community services system so it can support Tasmanians with the basics, as well as their participation in work, education and training, and social and caring activities across the course of their lives.

To do this, our industry needs to grow its workforce (volunteer and paid) and ensure the workforce is well-supported with training and contemporary leadership. Greater investment and resourcing is also required in order to: meet the actual costs of delivering services; enable organisations to meet increasing demand; and invest in productivity improvements, including staff development and technological upgrades — all of which will result in more timely and higher quality services for Tasmanians.

Tasmanian Community Services Industry Peaks Network election priorities:

  1. Introduce an indexation formula of 70% WPI:30% CPI, plus the superannuation guarantee, on all government-contracted projects commencing in 2024/25 Financial Year.
  2. Commit to and implement five year contracts for community service organisations by 2025.
  3. Support the strategic priorities of the Community Services Industry Plan (2021-31) over the Forward Estimates.1

(1) Current priority is workforce. TasCOSS proposes to recruit a Workforce Convenor to work with all industry sectors to design targeted demand, supply and/or bridging interventions to address critical workforce needs.