COAG Moves on Major Not for Profit Issues
17 April 2012 at 12:24 pm
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has moved on a number of major issues affecting the Not for Profit sector in the areas of Sector reform as well as a national approach to mental health care.
In the area of reform, COAG has agreed to the terms of reference, work plan and initial milestones for a new Not for Profit Reform Working Group.
Prime Minister Gillard said in a statement that the working group will develop and recommend options for reform of the sector and help progress the Government’s Not for Profit reform agenda.
She said the Government has also committed to working with the States and Territories on an effective national approach to Not for Profit regulation.
The Gillard Government says it has already taken steps to strengthen the sector including the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and the development of a statutory definition of charity.
In February the Federal Government announced the membership and terms of reference of a new working group to consider the support currently provided through tax concessions to the Not for Profit sector. These included concessions for income tax, fringe benefits tax and goods and services tax, and also deductible gift recipient status.
The COAG also agreed to a National Partnership Agreement to help improve the care and support provided to people living with severe and persistent mental illness and complex care needs.
The Gillard Government told the States it will provide $200 million to help address gaps in state and territory mental health systems.
The Federal Government says this funding is in addition $2.2 billion mental health package announced in this year’s Federal Budget.
It says the signing of the National Partnership will mean more services and better support for people with a mental illness who frequently present at emergency departments.
Under the National Partnership, Commonwealth funding is being provided for the following projects:
- Australian Capital Territory will be provided with $2.8 million for the adult mental health step-up step-down early intervention support program and the supported accommodation outreach project targeting men with serious mental illness and recent experience of involuntary institutional care.
- New South Wales will be provided with $57.6 million for three projects: the housing and accommodation support initiative plus; in-reach support boarding house residents with mental health issues; and, the mothers with mental illness and their children: mental health community support program which includes intensive, family focussed support to mothers with mental illness and their children.
- Northern Territory will be provided with $3.6 million to increase accommodation and support for people with severe and persistent mental illness in Alice Springs and Darwin.
- Queensland will be provided with $51.5 million for the supported recovery – coordinated accommodation and support project which includes long-term social housing and support services
- South Australia will be provided with $14.2 million to expand the assessment and crisis intervention service teams and develop a community walk in centre, which will enable people to present to a mental health clinician in a community location, rather than a GP or emergency department.
- Tasmania will be provided with $6.6 million to provide packages of care for people with severe and persistent mental illness, including individualised and intensive support to access and maintain accommodation, education and employment support.
- Victoria will be provided with $37.3 million for four projects: mental health outreach support and care coordination to people experiencing homelessness as a result of enduring mental illness; mental health support for secure tenancies enabling people with severe mental illness to maintain accommodation; psychiatric assessment and planning units; and a mental health hospital admission risk program pilot which will focus on providing short term coordination of mental health services.
- Western Australia will be provided with $26.1 million for individualised community living packages and the expansion of community intervention services that respond to the needs of children and their families.