Vital community workers stood down as key services left out of COVID-19 response

Posted on
March 30, 2020
in
Media Releases

Following stand-downs in crucial community services, the Health and Community Services Union is calling on the State and Federal Governments to work together to fast-track newly announced funding to the state’s community organisations.

Domestic violence, shelters, youth, job-seeker and training programs in Tasmania now exist under an air of uncertainty that threatens these organisations’ viability.

Organisations are now standing down workers as funding dries up.

These not-for-profit organisations have been left struggling to fund services due to COVID-19, leading to vital community services potentially being suspended across the state.

Many of the State and Federal Governments’ community functions have been funneled into the non-government sector over the last decade. Now they feel they are being left in the cold.

A number of these services are being put under significant financial pressure after they have been left unable to provide face-to-face assistance to members of the community due to COVID-19, or in some cases, been forced to remove services altogether. This has left many vulnerable Tasmanians without support.

Due to delays from both levels of Government, these organisations are now being asked to provide services without any additional funding.

This arrangement cannot last for long.

Crucial residential and accommodation support are now in jeopardy. It seems to be a case of too little, too late as organisations begin to stand-down staff.

Quotes attributable to HACSU Assistant State Secretary Robbie Moore:

“The Health and Community Services Union is calling on the Government to step up and inject some additional funding to organisations that provide these vital services to the community. Services like Magnolia Place, Karinya Young Women’s Shelter and Youth Futures are vital to vulnerable people, people escaping domestic violence, people trying to recover from homelessness and people who need additional support for a range of reasons.”

“Residential and accommodation support providers cannot be left out in the cold because other services are able to make decisions to withdraw or reduce their output in response to the pandemic. These services should be supported to take steps to both protect and support their clients as well as their workers.”

“Communities Tasmania, as the lead agency in this area, needs to do more to ensure that services which are funded directly by the State Government are provided the support and, if necessary, the additional funding to continue the absolutely vital work they do.”

For comment or further information contact Robbie Moore on 0427 471 031.

ENDS

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email assist@hacsu.org.au or complete our online contact form