NO BUDGET FOR THOSE IN NEED
Northern Territory Council of Social Service response to the 2021/22 NT Budget
The Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) said today’s NT Budget presents a worrying erosion of funding to already stretched services across the not for profit and community sector.
The 2021/22 NT Budget has been delivered in a time of economic uncertainty, and while the vaccine rollout has commenced, the Territory continues to feel the effects of the ongoing global health crisis.
As with the previous Budget, which was released just over 6 months ago, the 2021/22 Budget comes at a time when pressure on the NT Social and Community Sector to assist people experiencing disadvantage has never been greater.
While this is a time of challenge for the Territory, it should also be a time to build a safe, resilient and prosperous community for all Territorians.
This is an opportunity missed by the Government.
Once again the Budget has failed to recognise that the community sector is a fundamentally important industry that employs more people in the NT than mining, and provides services that enable people to access and participate in education, employment, economic development, health services, and family and community life.
Once again the Budget has failed to deliver significant initiatives or leadership that will make inroads into the Territory’s poverty or disadvantage.
“This was the Budget to deliver the long-awaited Aboriginal Justice Agreement,” said NTCOSS CEO Deborah Di Natale.
“Three years in development, 160 communities consulted, an agreement that offers solutions, but the Government has left it unfunded.
“It has also turned a blind eye to the deepening Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence crisis in the Territory. Whittling away funding will not address the fact that the NT has the highest rates of domestic, family and sexual violence in the country.
“The Budget is focussed on the pointy end and crisis response, when we know the greatest difference for the community can be made through early support and prevention.
“NTCOSS remains concerned about the Government’s lack of commitment to its own reforms across the sector.”
The Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) is the peak body for the Social and Community Sector in the NT and an advocate for social justice on behalf of people and communities in the NT, who may be affected by poverty and disadvantage.
The sector employs more than 10,000 people, and contributes more than $3 billion to the Territory’s economy. https://ntcoss.org.au/news/value-of-the-not-for-profit-sector-2020/
For media enquiries contact Kate Sieper: 0466 745 615