DROPPING OFF THE EDGE REPORT SHOWS NEED TO ACT ON LOCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE

July 21, 2015


The latest report from the Jesuit Social Services and Catholic Social Services Australia shows the problem of entrenched locational disadvantage is getting worse and that government must do more to address the problem.

 

The Dropping off the Edge Report argues a new approach is needed, particularly in the 3 per cent of communities that bear the greatest burden of disadvantage within each state and territory.

 

High levels of disengaged youth, long-term unemployment and criminal convictions are dominant features of many disadvantaged communities across Australia.

 

It is unacceptable that after more than two decades of uninterrupted economic growth there are communities around Australia that have missed out on the benefits of our growing economy.

 

Australians should not be locked out of opportunity simply because of the postcode they live in.

 

Governments at all levels must do more to help people break the cycle of poverty and hardship that afflict these disadvantaged communities.

 

The former Labor Government trialled a number of initiatives aimed at dealing with complex and entrenched locational issues. These included expansion of the Communities for Children Program and the Building Australia’s Future Workforce - Better Futures Local Solutions Programme.

 

Unfortunately the Abbott Government cut funding to the Building Australia’s Future Workforce - Better Futures Local Solutions Programme in last year’s Budget including funding for the program’s evaluation.

 

Labor’s programs to assist teenage parents, jobless families and the long-term unemployed have all been cut.

 

Finding new ways of tackling locational disadvantage is a priority for Labor.

 

Labor’s social policy review has been closely examining policy responses to locational disadvantage.

 

The review is due to be completed by the end of the year.

 

TUESDAY, 21JULY 2015

 

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