Targeted support for services welcome

As cost of living pressures continue to drive increasing community demand, TasCOSS has welcomed a raft of targeted announcements by both major parties made at this week’s 2024 Tasmanian State Election: Community Services Industry Forum.

TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone, said it was positive to see investments and recognition of the essential role of community services in building the resilience of Tasmanians and our communities.

“Commitments from the Liberal’s included the delivery of a Ticket to Wellbeing Program and digital inclusion initiatives for older Tasmanians, additional peak funding for Carers Tasmania, Volunteering Tasmania and Men’s Sheds, and the delivery of a new leadership program for women in the community services industry. 

“Also announced was a boost to operational funding for Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania (NHT), including continuation of the Community Connector program, along with welcome commitments for the development of a Tasmanian Volunteering Strategy and five year action plan, plus a whole-of-government Food Relief to Food Resilience Strategy and additional investment to increase the capacity of the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) Tasmania.

“While Tasmanian Labor committed to fund an expansion of the Community Connector program and the continuation of the ‘cost of living boost’ to operational funding for NHT for two years.

“This was in addition to funding promised for the Loaves and Fishes Tasmania Food Procurement and Social Wholesaler Project, additional funding for NILS Tasmania, as well as the development of a Tasmanian Volunteering Strategy and action plan.”

Ms Picone said while these announcements of targeted support were welcome, the election promises by both major parties to-date lacked a long-term vision, highlighted by the short-sighted decision to cut industry indexation rates placing services at risk.

“TasCOSS reiterates our call for the incoming government to adequately resource the community services industry to ensure Tasmanians can get the support they need, when they need it,” she said.

“We need an incoming government willing to tackle the entrenched drivers of poverty and disadvantage Tasmanians are grappling with, not just paper over the cracks.”

For more information, please refer to TasCOSS’s 2024 Tasmanian State Election Priorities (PDF, 3.24MB).