About 79 per cent of investigations into child protection concerns took 29 days or more to begin in Tasmania last year, a new report has shown, as it reveals the state government's report card across all public sectors.
The first section of the Productivity Commission's annual Report on Government Services 2021 has been released to provide a public report card on how each state is delivering important services to the community.
It looked at aged care services, disability services, child protection services, youth justice services, housing and homelessness up until the 2019/20 financial year.
Tasmania's first blemish was its response time to begin investigations into child protection concerns. It had dropped, but still remained one of the worst in Australia with about 79 per cent of cases taking 29 days or more to begin.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The state's time required to finish investigations into child protection concerns rose, with about 75 per cent of investigations taking more than 90 days to complete.
Human Services and Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said the government remained committed to the strong families, safe kids reforms, and were already seeing the benefits.
"Tasmania's data remained stable or improved across the majority of indicators, despite the operational challenges that presented in the second half of the reporting period as a result of COVID-19," he said.
"That said, we recognise that there is more to be done for Tasmanians in need, which is why the recent 2020-21 State Budget includes a record $300 million investment to deliver more social and affordable housing and homelessness services across Tasmania."
Another fail on the state report card, and the nation's, was the Indigenous youth incarceration rates remaining disproportionately high for youth aged 10-17 years in 2019/20.
The report noted 26 youth in custody in Tasmania had incidents of self-harm or attempted suicide not requiring hospitalisation, which was made up of 13 Indigenous youth and 13 non-Indigenous youth.
The number of unmet demands for homeless accommodation services dropped from 23 per cent in 2018/19 to 20.6 per cent in 2019/20 in the state.
Mr Jaensch said the government's investment in specialist homelessness services went up by 7.2 per cent, reflecting their effort to deliver new services and expand the capacity of emergency accommodation providers.
"Tasmania's public housing occupancy rates are above the national rates and there has been a reduction in under-utilisation," he said.
The report revealed people living with a disability in the state, between the ages of 15-64, who experienced discrimination or avoided/had difficulty using services doubled from about 5 per cent in 2015 to 10 per cent in 2018.
Similarly the same age group for people living with a disability who avoided using services rose to about 45 per cent in 2018.
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor: