The Albanese Labor Government is committed to a strong community sector and will today begin the process of rolling out the first increased indexation and supplementation payments to more than 700 Community Sector Organisations.
An additional $315.7 million over four years – including $25 million this financial year – will be paid to organisations providing essential community supports to help with higher costs due to inflation pressures. This is in addition to $257.7 million provided in the 2022-23 October Budget to directly assist with the increased costs of wages due to the Fair Work Commission’s decision regarding the minimum wage.
Funding will support these organisations to continue providing services including for people with disability, carer support services, initiatives to reduce violence against women and children, and other family and community supports.
The services provided by Community Sector Organisations touch the lives of many people around the country – particularly those experiencing poverty, disadvantage and hardship – and it is essential the Government continues to support their work in the community.
The indexation payments from the Social Services portfolio are among the first of $4 billion that the Government has provided over four years from 2023-24, as a result of updating the methodology for calculating indexation factors to better align with changes in economic conditions.
Indexation is applied each financial year to eligible grant programs ensuring financial estimates reflect projected economic conditions.
This additional indexation funding for Community Sector Organisations is on top of the indexation increase which would otherwise have been delivered in the 2023-24 Budget.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Government acknowledges the dedication and tireless work of Australia’s community sector.
“The impact of increasing costs is being felt across the nation,” Minister Rishworth said.
“During the election campaign, we committed to supporting a stronger, more diverse and more independent community sector. These commitments are a hallmark of Labor.
“We want to ensure those organisations supporting the Australian community – particularly those experiencing poverty, disadvantage and hardship – can continue to do so into the future.”
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten said this additional funding will ultimately mean better outcomes for NDIS participants across the nation.
“These organisations are on the front line and touch the lives of so many Australians with disability day in, day out,” Minister Shorten said.
“Addressing existing service delivery challenges will mean that they can do more of the good stuff.”
The Government is commencing the roll-out of the $25 million in additional indexation funding for 2023-24, as well as more than $65 million in supplementation funding to eligible Community Sector Organisations.
Funding is not application based and will be automatically applied to eligible Community Sector Organisations over the coming months.
Last month the Government released an issues paper seeking innovative approaches to future community sector grant funding.
The community sector and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to have their say about what they need to support them, including changes to indexation processes and greater transparency.
Submissions are open until 7 November 2023. Further information on the consultation process and to make a submission is available on the Department of Social Services’ Engage website.