NSW Community-Based Services Report
2 April 2003 at 1:04 pm
A new report by the NSW Council of Social Services calls for the re-elected State Labor Government to commit to additional funding to prevent cuts in essential community services in that state.
The report “Alive & Well? Ensuring the Viability of Community-based Organisations” in NSW draws upon a survey of over 500 Not for Profit organisations.
Key findings show that:
· there was a 14% increase in the number of people assisted between
2000-01 and 2001-02;
· there was an 18% increase in the number of people turned away;
· the costs of insurance had risen by 34%, with no corresponding
increase in government funding.
Alan Kirkland, the Director of the NSW Council of Social Service says the organisations reflected in this report are essential components of healthy communities.
Kirkland says they are dependent on government funding to do their work.
Without increases in funding to meet increased costs, they are now being forced to cut services to clients.
Cost pressures: The report says a number of changes in the environment in which community-based organisations operate are driving significant increases in costs.
Rising insurance costs: Respondents to the survey indicated a 34% increase in the total costs of insurance, with an average increase in premiums of $4,543.
Costs of compliance with occupational health and safety legislation: New occupational health and safety legislation imposes significant compliance costs. Activities such as the tagging of electrical appliances can cost thousands of dollars, even for small organisations. In addition, many organisations face the difficulty of managing the safety of people working with clients with challenging behaviours. Although the Government’s Workplace Safety Summit in 2002 recommended an increase in funding for small organisations this has not yet occurred.
Rising fuel costs: The rising costs of fuel are a significant burden for organisations that are dependent on use of vehicles to provide services. This is particularly important in rural and remote areas.
If you would like an electronic version of the report “Alive and Well” in WORD format just send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to comment on the report and its findings why not join our on-line Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au. Just click on FORUM in the menu across the top of the home page.