Census population data highlights need for major investment in ACT community sector

Media Release

The ACT Council of Social service (ACTCOSS) has called for major investment from the ACT Government and Federal Government in community services and infrastructure in light of a 20,000 person undercount of the ACT’s population.

The new population figure, revealed in the release of the 2021 census results, has significant implications for the delivery of services by the ACT’s community sector organisations.

ACTCOSS Chief Executive Officer, Dr Emma Campbell said: “This population count increase highlights the need for major investment in community sector supports and infrastructure by the ACT and Federal Governments.

“This growth in population – which we witness every day in rapidly increasing demand for our services – means that we need improved and expanded social and physical community infrastructure to support this.

“The community services sector is the backbone of the Canberra community – supporting people from all walks of life: children and young people, carers, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people living with disability and the LGBTIQ+ community.

“As our community changes, we must reflect those changes through diversity in the services we deliver. Canberrans are facing unprecedented challenges in the housing and cost of living crisis, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging economic instability abroad.

“The impacts of these challenges are multiplied for vulnerable people.

Dr Campbell concluded: “ABS statistics continue to highlight that the ACT community sector is under resourced to appropriately support vulnerable Canberrans doing it tough under these conditions.”

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