Community Partnerships continue to grow

The Albanese Labor Government has today announced a specialist community partnership between Services Australia and non-government organisations (NGOs) is set to be expanded to help more people with significant barriers to access essential government services.
Minister for Government Services, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, today announced the service – which has been trialled in 18 locations in every state and territory across Australia – will transition from a pilot to an ongoing service in 2024. It will also be expanded to additional locations.
“After a highly successful pilot I am pleased to announce Community Partnerships will continue as an ongoing part of Services Australia’s specialist and outreach services, securing this valuable support for Australian communities into the future,” Minister Shorten said.
Minister Shorten said a recent evaluation showed that Services Australia’s Community Partnership Specialist Officers (CPSO) had become invaluable at their NGO locations over the past 18 months.
“From Darwin to Hobart, we’ve seen the significance of providing a wrap-around service embedded in the community for people who are facing the most barriers to support,” Minister Shorten said.
“Barriers such as homelessness, mental health and substance abuse issues can pose a significant challenge to accessing government services through our regular service channels.
“Dedicated CPSOs have helped bridge this gap with over 17,700 customer interactions in a setting that people feel comfortable in.
“For example, at Project 614 in the heart of Melbourne city, the CPSO had over 2600 customer contacts, helping with things such as getting a Medicare card or claiming an income support payment.
“These are people who may have otherwise continued to fall through the cracks.”
Services Australia will continue to work with current NGO partners to deliver tailored services to individuals. New locations and partnerships will be announced in the new year.