In 2020-21, we worked with 150,000 people to support them with a range of challenges they are facing. We continue to see too many people in need living precariously, unable to afford the basic necessities, and inadequately supported by our political systems on the social, economic and environmental measures that are needed to ensure they can thrive.

Cost of living pressures are increasing. Rental affordability remains low, and affordability for low-income households has worsened in many of the capital cities and in the regional areas of every state, driven by out-ward migrating city residents as a result of COVID. Climate change is having real impacts, particularly on our most vulnerable. We still do not have constitutional recognition of our First Nations peoples.

This sustained disruption and vulnerability for people is taking a toll on their lives and the service system designed to support them.

Ahead of the 2022 Federal election, we need leaders who will take urgent action to tend to immediate needs as well as safeguard our communities against future crises.

Here are some of the changes we want to see addressed:

1. Housing and homelessness

  • Develop and implement a national plan to address housing affordability and homelessness, including targets for at-risk groups. 
  • Invest in 10,000 social housing units over a two-year period under the proposed Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program at a cost of approximately $3.5 billion. 
  • Create a housing capital aggregator to leverage government co-investment and attract private sector investment into social and affordable housing. 

2. Aged Care

  • Allocate funding for measures to address workforce shortages in the aged care sector. 
  • Fund the expansion or construction of new specialist homelessness residential aged care facilities, based on an assessment of need. 

3. Income support

  • Permanently increase the base rate of income support payments to ensure that they are adequate and keep people out of poverty. 
  • Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 50% 

4. Strengthening communities

  • Initiate and fund place-based approaches to entrenched locational disadvantage, targeted to areas of concentrated inter-generational welfare dependency. 

5. Young Australians

  • Provide funding for a national voice and advocate for young people. 
  • Address system gaps where young people seeking support to overcome ice, other drug or alcohol dependency cannot receive treatment, by funding new youth-specific AOD residential services in metro and non-metro areas of need, including tailored services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. 

6. Self Determination

  • Respond to the Calls of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and commit to a referendum on a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament. 

7. Climate Change

  • Recognise the impacts of climate change impact acutely on the most vulnerable in our society, by committing to a fair and inclusive plan to rapidly cut emissions this decade and build greater community resilience to the effects of climate change. 

Photo of Jacquelin Plummer


Jacquelin Plummer
Head of Policy & Advocacy


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