Welfare group calls for action

THE PEAK community sector group has called for "dramatic and immediate action'' on community welfare from the next government, as election campaign wish-lists come out from major stakeholders.

Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Tony Reidy launched the election campaign for the community sector yesterday, identifying education and employment as key issues.

Mr Reidy said 14 to 24 per cent of Tasmanians lived in poverty or were on the cusp of it.

``We hope that all three political parties will understand the seriousness of the situation we're dealing with here,'' Mr Reidy said.

While yesterday's mid-year financial report confirmed Tasmania's budget woes, Mr Reidy said there were those in the community who would need continued support.

``Even in the bad times we must make sure that those Tasmanians who are least able to help themselves are the ones provided with support,'' he said.

Colony 47 chief executive Therese Taylor said there needed to be fresh thinking around a social policy framework, and no parties had outlined one.

``Unless social policy framework moves with economic framework, it will work against growth and prosperity in the state,'' Ms Taylor said.

She  said there was an assumption that boosting the economy would automatically solve the state's social welfare problems, but   that wasn't necessarily the case. 

Mission Australia state director Noel Mundy said housing was a key issue, and  homelessness had risen   to 40 per cent in the past four years.

``There are lots more people coming through our doors asking for relief,'' Mr Mundy said.

Tony Reidy

Tony Reidy


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