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Federal budget asks flood in

16 February 2023 at 4:53 pm
Ruby Kraner-Tucci
With Albo’s next budget just months away, what matters most to the for-purpose sector?

Ruby Kraner-Tucci | 16 February 2023 at 4:53 pm


Federal budget asks flood in
16 February 2023 at 4:53 pm

With Albo’s next budget just months away, what matters most to the for-purpose sector?

The first Tuesday in May is quickly approaching and organisations across the sector are readily making their case for the Labor government’s first “full-sized” federal budget.

From developing a national social enterprise strategy to better funding long COVID responses and closing the gap between the cost of housing and wages, Pro Bono News brings you our second round-up of key budget asks.

It follows on from our initial coverage, which saw pre-budget submissions from Anglicare Australia, CCA, SNAICC and National Shelter. Do you want to be included? Email your submission to

Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)

AAMRI’s pre-budget submission has addressed two key issues facing the security of Australia’s health and medical research sector – the “mass exodus” of early and mid-career researchers to other countries and sectors, and the “chronic underfunding” of research costs.

“We can’t keep ignoring these problems and assuming research institutes will keep thriving, we need strategic solutions like those proposed by AAMRI to ensure Australia’s long term health and economy,” said president Professor Kathryn North AC.

The national peak body has proposed two parallel, cost-effective solutions, which if implemented, will help Australia attract and retain the best talent, create new industry partnerships and better invest in technology to deliver improved health outcomes.

Australian Association for Adolescent Health (AAAH)

The peak body, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young adults in Australia, is calling on the government to address two key priorities:

  1. Recognise the developmental phase between adolescence and young adulthood within all aspects of health policy, service delivery and data collection.
  2. Increase funding for 12 to 25 year olds in the federal health budget.

AAAH says doing so will save the budget billions of dollars in the future; circumvent preventable and treatable conditions that first present in adolescence, and as a result, reduce the adult burden of disease later in life; and create positive impacts on education, productivity and welfare.

Emerge Australia

Emerge Australia provides support to Australians living with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and more recently, long COVID, due to strong overlaps between the two diseases. 

The not-for-profit organisation is advocating for a systemic approach to the management of post-infection fatigue disease, in partnership with its key stakeholders. It is seeking just over $3.8 million to collaborate and deliver the following objectives over the next three years:

  1. Educate Australia’s healthcare practitioners to provide appropriate, evidence-based and timely diagnosis and management of people with ME/CFS and long COVID.
  2. Support people with ME/CFS and long COVID with a national multi-disciplinary telehealth team of allied health professionals to coordinate patient care and provide support for health system navigation.
  3. Partner with NHMRC and other stakeholders to update Australia’s outdated clinical guidelines to reflect internationally agreed safe and best practice care for people with ME/CFS.
  4. Partner with La Trobe University to research links between ME/CFS and long COVID by expanding the existing ME/CFS biobank.

Homelessness Australia

The national peak body for homelessness is calling on the government to increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 50 per cent; support the annual construction of 25,000 social housing properties by expanding the Housing Australia Future Fund; and approve a $2 billion Rapid-Rehousing Fund for vulnerable people, among other asks.

It comes as the gap between the cost of housing and income widens, with new analysis by the organisation finding that the average rent across Australia has increased by 28 per cent over the past two years, outstripping wages which have grown just five per cent in the same time period.

“With an extremely tight vacancy rate, the market for rentals is simply galloping away, especially for people on low and middle incomes… In a wealthy, developed nation, this is simply unfathomable,” CEO Kate Colvin said.

No to Violence

The not-for-profit organisation, which represents organisations and individuals working with men to end family violence, has made seven key recommendations to the treasury:

  1. Sustainable funding through a National Partnership Agreement to meet the ambitious objective to end violence against women and children in a generation.
  2. Peak body funding for No to Violence’s national specialist advisory and advocacy functions to ensure all states and territories are adequately serviced to affect change.
  3. A multi-year, high level public awareness campaign for the Men’s Referral Service (MRS), which should be listed alongside 1800 Respect to shift the burden of response onto men who use violence.
  4. Workforce capability building for the specialist men’s family violence sector.
  5. Automatic police referrals to be extended to all jurisdictions to reduce the risk of men’s use of family violence.
  6. National compliance standards to ensure high quality, best practice and measurable outcomes for men’s family violence interventions.
  7. Developing the evidence base for perpetrator interventions, by undertaking a national perpetrator study.

“No to Violence knows that ending family and domestic violence must be seen as core business for government,” wrote CEO Jacqui Watt in the organisation’s pre-budget submission.

“Each year, the estimated cost to the economy of gender-based violence is $22 billion and the majority of that is borne by victim survivors.

“No to Violence believes that it is time to shift that burden onto the men who choose to use family and domestic violence and ensure that our systems and services can get that job done… Investment in change is urgent.”

Social Enterprise Australia

The peak body is seeking federal government partnership and targeted investment to create a national strategy that unlocks the potential of social enterprise.

After public consultation, Social Enterprise Australia is recommending the strategy is co-designed and powered by a partnership between the sector and government; underpinned by data and certification; and inclusive of social procurement, access to finance, outcome payments, and capability building.

“Australia faces social, environmental and economic challenges that demand new responses. The social enterprise sector can help,” reads the pre-budget submission’s executive summary.

“However, the sector is currently held back due to fragmentation, under-representation, and being underserved. As a result, it is not realising its latent potential. Because social enterprise sits between traditional business and charity, many fall through the gaps in the support infrastructures that exist for the two sectors. 

“It does the job of both without the enablers of either. We seek a social enterprise national strategy to change this; one informed and powered by a partnership between the sector and government.”

Ruby Kraner-Tucci  |  @ProBonoNews

Ruby Kraner-Tucci is a journalist, with a special interest in culture, community and social affairs. Reach her at


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