Queensland Labor fo cus must be on areas hit hardest
Published: 18 February 2015
The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) urges the newly elected Queensland Labor Party to make youth unemployment, education and homelessness key priorities.
“These are areas which were severely struck by the Newman government with core services cuts resulting in increased homelessness rates, increased disengagement from the education system and alarmingly high unemployment rates,” says AASW National President Karen Healy. “The government now needs to make these areas an urgent priority.
Keeping their promise to restore Labor's ‘Skilling Queenslanders for Work’ program would be a good start.”
In addition, AASW Queensland President Fotina Hardy urges for “a commitment to restoring frontline services, especially in health and welfare services, where there have been considerable job losses over the previous term.”
The AASW recommends the government focus on the following pressing social issues for all metropolitan, regional and rural areas:
- Child protection – ensuring that appropriate services are available to support children and families and in particular, address the over-representation of Indigenous children in the child protection system.
- Domestic and family violence – allowing the domestic and family violence taskforce to complete their work, with a commitment to resourcing and following through with a strategy to address the high rates of violence in our society.
- Mental health – The latest National Mental Health Report reports Queensland ranked the third lowest per capita mental health budget spend in Australia, despite increasing rates of mental illness. A commitment is needed to improve the mental health and well-being of mental health consumers, families and carers through appropriate funding for services and supporting the rights of citizens with lived experience of mental illness.
- Commitment to the NDIS
- Affordable housing and quality living environments – Many cities and towns in Queensland, especially along the coast line, have become unaffordable. High density living in the inner city has some potential, but we must ensure there is proper planning to make these spaces affordable and liveable for people across the age span.
- Support for social worker registration – The previous Queensland government failed to support the national registration of social workers. We will work hard to ensure the new government recognises the need for public protection and that this best achieved through a system of national regulation of social workers.
The AASW represents approximately 8,000 professionally trained social workers.