ACOSS Backs Community-Business Relationships
18 April 2013 at 10:49 am
Welfare peak body, ACOSS has welcomed a call by the Business Council of Australia for a long term plan and strong relationship between business and the community sector.
The Australian Council of Social Service says the BCA has called for long term policy and planning, and the clear recognition of the role of the community sector working with business in the interests of strong economic as well as social policy in Australia.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie, speaking from the National Press Club in Canberra following the speech by Business Council of Australia President Tony Shepherd, acknowledged BCA’s recognition of the importance of the compact between government, the non-government sector and business, alongside the wider community, to support social and economic progress.
“Equally important is the recognition that we need to do more as a country to ensure the benefits of that social progress are felt by all. With 2.2 million people, including 1 in 6 children living below the poverty line, we are particularly pleased to hear the strong statement from Mr Shepherd that that income support allowances need to ensure people without paid work are able to ‘live in dignity’.
“We also agree that we need an ‘employment services that get them back to work quickly so they don’t fall into long-term, entrenched unemployment’.
“It is critical that we ensure the revenue base to support these objectives, and a fair, sustainable tax base must be the first order for this priority. For this reason we have viewed the Henry Tax review as the best blueprint and have consistently called for many of the recommendations to be acted on.
“We share many of the objectives outlined today, including the call for a long-term plan on population and urban and regional infrastructure, ‘that fully integrate land use, transport, social infrastructure and access to natural resources',” Dr Goldie said.
“We also want to see improved gender representation in senior leadership and Board roles, an issue ACOSS has been working to address in the community sector. Similarly, we are working towards appropriate and effective regulation to ensure accountability for our activities and that they are effective in supporting the communities who rely upon them.
‘We agree that we must commit with courage to having the key debates, however difficult, so that we can progress our efforts to lift our social and economic outcomes.
“Whilst we don’t agree with all of the proposals outlined in their entirety, ACOSS is firmly committed to building a strong relationship with the business community to form a consensus on important issues in the national interest,” Dr Goldie said.