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Australia's community sector and COVID-19

Impact of increased income support on community services
COVID-19 Community-based social services Income distribution Wage inequality Social inequality Australia

This snapshot uses information from the forthcoming publication Australia’s community sector and COVID-19: supporting communities through the crisis. This research was conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney, in collaboration with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and the network of Councils of Social Service of Australia (COSS Network), supported by Community Sector Banking.

The Australian community sector survey on which this publication is based was conducted during July 2020, at a time during which the sector was grappling with significant health, social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated changes in policy and service delivery.

Key findings:

  • The Coronavirus Supplement, which has increased JobSeeker and other income support payments, was overwhelmingly viewed (by 81% of respondents) as having a positive effect on community sector clients.
  • A majority of all service types reported the Coronavirus Supplement as having a positive effect on clients and communities, with nearly all respondents reporting a positive effect from organisations classified as multiple service types (other); Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services; financial support and counselling services; and legal, advocacy, and peaks.
  • Respondents outlined the negative impacts of excluding certain groups – such as people seeking asylum and temporary visa-holders – from the payments and the follow-on effects for community services providing help to these groups.
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978 0 85871 037 5
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