Third Sector in Continuing Discussions with Feds on Economic Downturn
2 February 2009 at 1:54 pm
Third Sector representatives lead by welfare groups have been assured of continuing discussions with the Federal Government and in particular, the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard over the impact of the global financial crisis in Australia.
A meeting in Sydney last week offered sector leaders the opportunity to give a frontline perspective on the effects of the current economic climate and to identify key areas that need to be examined and addressed.
Acting Prime Minister Gillard said after the meeting that she wants to make sure there is a continuing body of discussion so that what is being learned on the ground by the Not for Profit sector can come straight to the ears of government.
ACOSS CEO Clare Martin says the meeting was able to give genuine feedback to government especially since the pressures of 18 months ago, which were about rising interests rates, have changed considerably to the impact of unemployment, emergency relief and the need for financial counseling.
Martin says the meting highlighted the increased pressure on welfare and service organisations with many Not for Profits being asked for financial advise that they just don’t have any expertise in.
She says one of things discussed with Julia Gillard was using the resources of the banks and people leaving the financial services industry to assist Not for Profits in providing this type of advice.
Given that banks were given such strong support from the Federal Government in the first days of the collapse of the US financial markets, Clare Martin says one idea put on the table was that banks be required to be more sympathetic to individuals and families now in mortgage stress due to unemployment.
Martin says the Deputy Prime Minister has agreed to sit down with the sector for a discussion every month in the spirit of ‘what can we all do’ to help and resolve these financial crisis issues.