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Concessions relief in state budget a welcome beginning

Today's state budget will provide meaningful support to those South Australians who need it most, according to the South Australian Council of Social Service.

"We welcome the strong emphasis on concessions and other measures by the state government to support the lowest income households," SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley says.

"There’s more work to do in transport and health concessions but this is a really significant package of improvements.

"We would have liked to have seen a similar investment in other areas that are having a real impact on South Australians, including funding for mental health and digital inclusion, and even more investment in social housing.”

"We were pleased to see generational investments in early childhood services and programs, and workforce skills and trainings - these are strategic, long-term investments that should benefit the entire community.

"And we also welcome other targeted initiatives such as the extra $18.4m available for further support for NGOs, which we believe will supplement indexation payments, and $20m for 8000 not-for-profit and small business NFP organisations to co-invest in energy efficiency equipment or improvements that reduce energy usage and costs."

For a fuller picture of SACOSS's response to the budget, please download the SACOSS State Budget Snapshot which will be available soon.


SACOSS welcomes:

  • Once-off additional $243.90 payment expected by end of current financial year
  • Doubling of payment for tenants and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card Holders (matching that of homeowners)
  • Access to public transport fare concession for all Health Card holders
  • Expansion of eligibility measures for people living in sharehouses, such as access to concessions and increasing support for the Emergency Electricity Payment Scheme
  • Expansion of access to concessions for asylum seekers
  • Extension of access to Glasses SA concessions

"We look forward to further working with the government to continue this progress in concessions, including ensuring people on JobSeeker and Youth Allowance, or on very low incomes, get access to concessions for ambulance cover, motor registrations and drivers licenses."  


SACOSS notes investments in housing, including a $30m regional housing program.

"We have argued consistently that to make a genuine impact on the current housing crisis, the government needs to be building at least 1000 public and community houses a year," Mr Womersley says.

"Today's budget goes nowhere near the level of investment in social housing we believe is required.

"The decision to give away stamp duty for first-time new home buyers is poorly targeted. We believe better assistance could have been provided by adopting our proposal for an opt-in land tax alternative."


SACOSS notes the government's small investment in youth mental health services - but remains deeply concerned about 19,000 South Australians identified in the government's own report whose unmet mental health needs were not addressed in today's budget


SACOSS has long recognised the problem of an increasingly digital world for citizens struggling with access, affordability and digital capability.

Today's budget has a focus on digital or virtual services for police and health system, but no complementary investments to ensure all South Australians can receive the benefits of digital technologies.

Published Date: 
Thursday, 6 June 2024