MEDIA RELEASE: Public housing, digital inclusion & fixing water supply in regional and remote communities headline SACOSS’ “Cover the Basics” state election policy platform
SACOSS is today releasing its ‘Cover the Basics’ policy platform document, which outlines a series of policy prescriptions for SA political parties in the lead-up to the next SA state election and beyond it.
The community service sector peak body’s list of calls reflects key areas of longstanding SACOSS advocacy, with some concrete measures for parties to commit to.
SACOSS is also providing a preview of the Report Card it will be issuing on SA political parties’ policies in these key areas, in the leadup to South Australia’s March 19 state election.
While there are many important areas that the SA State Government needs to address to ensure a fair, strong and vibrant South Australia in the coming years, SACOSS has identified a set of critical areas for action, as well as an additional set of measures to protect and support vulnerable and disadvantaged South Australians.
“I'm sure there isn’t a voter across South Australia who wouldn’t agree that every South Australian should be able to access life’s basics,” said SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley.
“Elections are typically a time for big shiny promises and reassurances that people’s interests will be looked after. What we are talking about isn’t fancy – it’s fundamental. It’s about covering the very basics. Whoever forms government post-March 19 needs to deliver on these key areas.
“We are a lucky state in an affluent country. There is no excuse for us not to ensure that all South Australians have access to things as basic as a home they can afford to live in; safe, affordable drinking water; and the basics of digital access and connection in a world where practically everything is online.
“We know that COVID-19 has amplified inequality and fed off some people’s existing vulnerabilities – low incomes, poorer health, and insecure work. That makes action in these critical areas even more important now.
“We also know that a fairer state is also a stronger state. By investing in public housing we would ease the pressures on a very hot rental market and also deliver benefits for jobs and the economy. By investing in the digital capacity of people who are currently excluded, or facing real digital barriers, we will improve health, education, job prospects and more.
“It’s not hard. It’s not complicated. It’s basic. Basic, and fair. To South Australians we would say, as election day approaches, pay attention to what the local candidates, and their political parties, say about the basics. What are they promising they’ll deliver?
“And to the parties and candidates we are saying – go ahead with your shiny promises, but just make sure, above all, that you cover these fundamentals. Cover the basics.”