PM's Community Business Partnership Take 2
21 May 2002 at 1:05 pm
The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership (PMCBP) was given funding in the Federal Budget for the next three years, but the partnership will operate in a much changed and expanded format.
The team, lead by Geraldine Skinner, will depart when contracts are up in June and the Department of Community Services will set up a new secretariat.
New funding arrangements provide $5.79 million over three years and includes the new secretariat.
When first set up the partnership, a pet project of John Howard, was initiated to recognise and appreciate excellence in community business partnerships and providing leadership in encouraging corporate social responsibility.
Consultation with community groups, particularly through Australians Working Together consultation (see our story in this edition) saw the need for change:
- better integration of the PMCBP with departmental initiatives being taken on triple bottom line reporting,
- the organisation of disability employer reforms,
- the re-examination of the Employer Incentive Strategies aimed at helping people with disabilities.
The Australian Working Together report says the community believes the engagement of business is essential to longer-term reform.
The report highlighted the need to focus on building stronger communities and partnerships with business that generated local employment opportunities, and on opening up broader opportunities through industry ¡X in terms that business would understand.
People thought the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership had a role in talking to larger businesses, but they wanted to see a far higher level of business engagement, particularly among smaller and medium-sized businesses. They said that these businesses needed to know how to become engaged, and to know what help and incentives were available to them.
As a response to this the Department of Family and Community Services will broaden the Government¡¦s business engagement strategy to include welfare reform.
This will add to the work already being undertaken by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership and the involvement of Department of Transport and Regional Services who have the responsibility for Area Consultative Committees and Regional Assistance Programs.
It found that businesses can provide significant opportunities by understanding and working closely with their local communities.
It concludes that the Prime Minister¡¦s Community Business Partnership has laid the foundations for creating a stronger social coalition and it will be continuing its role in engaging the support of business.
The new secretariat will be talking to business peak organisations and enterprises at the local level to encourage them to increase economic and social participation opportunities for all Australians.
If you would like the full report on Australians Working Together send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.