Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

Family And Community Development Program

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the minister, representing the Minister for Families and Communities, a question about major budget cuts to the Family and Community Development Program.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: My office was recently contacted by SACOSS, the Child & Family Welfare Association of South Australia, Community Centres SA and the Youth Affairs Council of South Australia, all of whom raised grave concerns about the 23 per cent or $2 million per annum funding cut to the government’s Family and Community Development Program.

It is not surprising that these organisations are concerned as the Family and Community Development Program provides core funding to 81 agencies to deliver programs which, among other things, assist families where children have been harmed, abused, neglected or exploited; people with disabilities to live more independent lives; people on low incomes; and young people who are at risk, disengaged or disadvantaged, just to name a few.

It seems that the government made this decision, which will impact on some of the most disadvantaged in our community, without consulting with stakeholders or even considering the real impact that these cuts will have on the programs and the people that they support. As such, the abovementioned groups have called on the minister to overturn her decision to cut funding and to immediately establish an independent review of the fund. My questions to the minister are:

  1. What thinking, or lack of thinking, was behind the decision to slash 23 per cent of the Family and Community Development Program’s funding?
  2. Given the significant impact of the cuts on many existing community services, will the minister reconsider this decision?
  3. Will the minister agree to undertake an independent, open and transparent assessment of the program before any cuts are made?