A stronger, more diverse and independent community sector

The Albanese Labor Government is inviting submissions seeking innovative approaches to community sector grant funding.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Government is working closely with stakeholders on options to create a stronger, more diverse and independent community sector.

“The Government is committed to supporting and strengthening the sustainability of the community sector,” Minister Rishworth said.

“The sector is facing significant challenges, with a greater demand on services while facing rising costs of living, falling volunteer numbers and the impact of COVID-19 and natural disasters.”

“Creating a way forward together we will ensure we can deliver services that improve the wellbeing of individuals and families in Australian communities.”

The submissions will explore alternative methods to provide grants that reflect the real cost of delivering quality services, providing longer agreement terms, ensuring funding flows to a greater diversity of organisations with strong local links.

The Government is collaborating with the Community Services Advisory Group (CSAG), the key community sector stakeholder engagement group for the Department of Social Services, which is made up of 27 member organisations.

An Issues Paper has been released for public consultation to ensure the package of recommendations considers the views of the community sector.

In the May 2023 Budget the Government adjusted the indexation framework across a range of programs for the community sector. This was in addition to $560 million provided in the October 2022 Budget over four years to support Community Sector Organisations.

Feedback received through submissions and CSAG consultations will help shape reform options for consideration by Government.

To access the Issues Paper or make a submission, visit the Department of Social Services website or DSS engage.

Public comment on the Issues Paper is open until November 7.