The McGowan Government will extend expiring community services contracts by one year and provide a $15 million boost to eligible providers to ensure the continuation of important community services through the COVID-19 recovery.
Eligible contracts include family and domestic violence, homelessness, mental health and out-of-home care services.
Contracts will be extended to June 30, 2022 to ensure critical and in demand community services continue to support vulnerable Western Australians through the State’s COVID-19 recovery and support jobs in the female-dominated sector.
The $15 million boost comes in addition to $82 million in supplementation funding the McGowan Government commenced rolling out in 2019-20 to support the sustainability of contracts awarded prior to the 2012 Fair Work Australia Equal Remuneration Order (ERO).
In line with the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy (DCSP), government agencies will continue to engage and collaborate with service providers during the extension period to ensure the delivery of effective services to support vulnerable Western Australians.
In light of a broad range of community services contracts that are due to expire in coming years, under the DCSP, agencies will also be required to develop strategic commissioning plans for contracted services. This includes the Departments of Health, Justice and Communities, and the Mental Health Commission
These plans will be subject to an independent review that will be led and administered by the Department of Finance.
As stated by Treasurer and Finance Minister Ben Wyatt:
“The McGowan Government is committed to supporting vulnerable Western Australians by supporting critical community service organisations.
“Now, more than ever, during the COVID-19 recovery, it is essential that these services continue to support Western Australians.
“The $15 million funding boost and one-year contract extension will provide certainty for the sector while agencies and the Department of Finance work to develop longer-term plans under the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy.”
As stated by Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
“These new funds are a significant expansion of the support funding delivered to the sector as part of last year’s Mid-year Review, and recognise the impact of the 2012 Fair Work Australia Equal Remuneration Order on services that signed contracts soon after the order was made.
“The sector is a valued partner in the delivery of services for vulnerable Western Australians, and we are listening to service providers about wage pressures resulting from the Fair Work Australia order.
“During the COVID-19 recovery, it is crucial that community service providers are in a position to assist Western Australians in need, so this funding boost will support eligible organisations in meeting their obligations under the ERO.”