Anglicare Australia regularly makes formal submissions to public inquiries, drawing on the work of its member organisations and advocating for their clients.
As a locally-based network with national reach, Anglicare Australia is already supporting those in need as our economy recovers from Covid-19. As frontline services, we have been closely watching the impact of the pandemic on our communities. While the current focus is rightly on the immediate impacts on individuals and communities, we know from our experiences of past crises that we must prepare for the longer-term social and economic impacts. Our submission offers insights on how to help people cope with the current crisis, explores the impact of current government measures, and makes recommendations on how to prepare for longer-term impacts.
This submission summarises the Anglicare Australia Network’s experience with pay-day lending and the harm the industry causes the people we work with. We have found that a combination of low income, lack of savings, and poor access to mainstream banking and financial services can lead people to use pay-day loans for short-term and sudden financial crises. It is unacceptable that these pay-day loans are, for some people, the only option they have to access emergency credit.
In this submission, Anglicare Australia welcomes measures that simplify reporting obligations and reduce payment errors. We also argue that the Government must act on the lessons learned from its failed robodebt scheme before embarking on a new system. We recommends that the reporting changes be passed, on the condition that the Government conducts user testing on these proposed changes. The Government must also show that it has considered any unintended consequences and risks of harm to those using the system.
In this submission, Anglicare Australia argues that mental health services have suffered from ad-hoc development and needless complexity. This stems from a lack of government leadership and investment over many years. We call on the Commission to reflect on policy settings that impact the social determinants of health, to offer additional support for community-based mental health services, and to ensure support regardless of diagnosis.
Participation and employment are crucial for building inclusive, thriving communities. Yet government programs are failing to help people find work, and are instead punishing them. In this submission, Anglicare Australia argues that harsh penalties are applied carelessly and arbitrarily, leading to wide-reaching deprivation. This is the reality facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in ParentsNext, CDP, and across employment services more broadly. Programs that push people into poverty are not fit to be considered employment support at all.