MEDIA RELEASE: Resetting access to essential services must be the priority for government

23 January 2020

Reports[1] released on government services, housing and health show that providing essential services to Tasmanians that improve outcomes is about more than continuing to add dollars to budgets.

TasCOSS spokesperson Ms Simone Zell said the reports pinpoint the lack of investment in services that would support Tasmanians before they need emergency help.

“Of the 1,064 Tasmanian children who are required to have a current documented case plan, more than a third (374) are under state care with no care plan in place according to the Productivity Commission report released today,” Ms Zell said.[2]

“Care plans take into account fundamental decisions such as where a child will live, how long they’ll spend time with family and the activities they like to do outside of school.

“Just as the problems that are overloading our hospital system won’t be solved completely by investing more money in hospitals, our child protection service is overburdened at the pointy end.

“While emergency services must still be adequately resourced, the solution lies in reducing demand for these services in the first place. That means investing in the right services in the right place to enable Tasmanians to access the care they need before that need becomes extreme.

“The rising cost of living pressures on families is an immense barrier to accessing essential services and should be a major concern for all levels of government.

“Thousands of Tasmanians are living each day with poor and deteriorating health and without a roof over their head. Until we decide to reset our housing, health and child protection systems we will continue to get the same or worsening outcomes.”

Ends

For more information or to arrange an interview with TasCOSS spokesperson Simone Zell:

[1] Report on Government Services (ROGS), Productivity Commission. [2] Data as of June 2019.