Discussion paper

South Australia's strategic plan: what progress on poverty?

27 Sep 2010

This information paper uses the South Australian Government's own ratings to analyse progress in different areas of South Australia's ten year Strategic Plan.

South Australia’s Strategic Plan (SASP) sets out a path for South Australia for 10 years. The Plan was launched in 2004, and a public consultation is currently underway for a major update.

The SASP Audit Committee also recently published the latest Progress Report rating progress and achievability of each of the target in the Plan. This Information Paper adds further analysis to that Progress Report by tracking average progress and achievability ratings in different areas of the SASP.

Overall it would appear that, on average, progress and the likelihood of achievement on the range of indicators relating to social welfare and the immediate needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged lag behind the progress and achievement levels in the Plan overall. This is evident using both the SASP's own framework, and using the indicators that reflect the issues of most relevance to the vulnerable and disadvantaged in society (based on SACOSS's submission to the current SASP review).

In terms of the SASP framework:

  • The targets under Attaining Sustainability and Creativity & Innovation Objectives showed the best average progress rates.
  • Progress on the targets under the Building Communities and Expanding Opportunity Objectives showed less progress on average than the Plan as a whole, while targets under Improved Well-being were equal to the Plan average.
  • The targets under the Building Communities and Expanding Opportunity Objectives were also, on average, the least likely to be achieved – although with an average as rating as still “within reach”.

Tracking progress in relation to the social welfare targets which are closest to SACOSS‟s key concerns is difficult because the SASP targets do not necessarily reflect those concerns. Most notably, there is no explicit target in the Plan to decrease poverty.

However, in terms of the targets in the Plan that relate to SACOSS‟s broad areas of concern:

  • The average progress on all targets related to SACOSS' key concerns was 4.4% behind the Plan as a whole, while the average achievability rating of the SACOSS-relevant targets was closer to overall average – 1.6% behind the Plan as a whole.
  • The Housing targets were the worst performing indicators, with two key target areas of housing affordability and housing stress showing negative movement and unlikely to be achieved.
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