The great contest for Australia’s next government has begun. The peak body for Baptist Care community service organisations wants to see fairness and inclusion as key considerations in both the campaign and the next government.
“Do we want to be hearing and talking about our own self-interests, the accumulation of cash or the inclusion of everyone this election?” asks Marcia Balzer, Executive Director of Baptist Care Australia.
“Four key issues need to be at the heart of our discussions this election campaign – housing, domestic violence poverty, and aged care.
“Australia’s housing system is broken, with people on the lowest incomes in severe housing stress and at risk of homelessness. This problem has been allowed to grow unchecked, and is now a major crisis.
“Baptist Care Australia challenges all parties to deliver a national housing plan that will support 500,000 new affordable and social houses for people on lower incomes,” Ms Balzer said.
“This is particularly important for women and children escaping domestic violence – who often have no option but return to unsafe situations to access a roof over their heads.
“There are currently more than 700,000 Australian children living in poverty, and we know that this experience often affects kids over their lifetime. Increasing Newstart and Youth Allowance would be the single most important step to get serious about tackling poverty.
“Older Australians are also missing out on the aged care they need. Baptist Care Australia particularly wants to see strong commitments from all parties to providing sustainable, secure funding to meet the growing needs of older Australians, regardless of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety,” Ms Balzer said.
“The strength of our communities relies on respecting and valuing people regardless of their background, wealth, income, physical or mental capacities. Baptist Care Australia wants to help build stronger, more inclusive communities, and we ask that our next Government does too.”