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Party Report Card

SACOSS is promoting its policy platform to all parties contesting the election and our aim is to get broad cross-party support for all the policies and initiatives we are proposing. Our analysis of the parties' positions is in two parts:

Parliamentary Party Responses to the SACOSS agenda

The tables below show the positions of the SA parliamentary parties in relation to each of the policies in the SACOSS policy platform. The assessment is based on published party policies, or responses directly to SACOSS. It largely does not take account of existing government policy as it is assumed (unless there are announcements to the contrary) that these will continue, and that the SACOSS agenda highlights particular gaps which need addressing.

The scoring system is simple:

Tick Party is supporting the policy and will implement it if in government
Half a tick Party supports some of the policy and will implement part of it if in government
Cross Party rejects or will not be implementing the policy
Half a cross Party has not explicitly rejected policy, but has other policies opposing direction
* Party supports a different initiative which equally addresses the same issue
  Party has made no response on this policy

Where possible, the source of the policy is stated or the symbols link to the relevant party policy document. Download the major party responses to the SACOSS platform.

Labor Liberal

 

Go to all parties policies on

Tax

Cost of Living

Housing

Health

Participation

Justice

Sector Support

Red Tape

 

A Fair and Sustainable Tax Base

  Labor  Liberal  Greens  Family First Xeno-
phon Group
Dignity
for
Disability
Restore state government revenue to pre-GFC levels (as a % of GSP) in the next term of government Half a cross Cross Tick Half a cross Half a cross

Half a tick

SACOSS has published a major report, Taxes and the South Australian State Election, which critiques the analysis that South Australia is a high tax state and outlines the extent of the revenue problem we face. It also provides a summary of the parliamentary parties' positions on state taxes and a fair and sustainable revenue base. This is the basis of the above assessments.

Cost of Living

  Labor  Liberal  Greens  Family First Xeno-
phon Group
Dignity for Disability
Implement at least half of the measures in the SACOSS Cost of Living Relief package in the first term of government Have identified 32 recent relief measures

Key focus is capping council rates and River Murray levy, which creates revenue issues & does not focus on most vulnerable households

TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
Establishment of a Housing Stress Emergency Payment Fund to prevent homelessness Housing SA currently pays emergency rent in arrears, but no promise for mortgage payments. Housing SA currently pays emergency rent in arrears, but no promise for mortgage payments. TickStatement to SACOSS      
Establishment of a moratorium on collection of rent arrears for people in public housing on recommendation from financial counsellors where debt cannot be paid Currently available in extenuating circumstances Currently available in extenuating circumstances TickStatement to SACOSS      
Change of Energy Concession to a percentage of bill (capped) rather than fixed amount Tick
Concession reform, inc flexibility, and significant $50 (30%) increase.
Tick
No move to %, but 6% increase in energy concession.
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS

  *
Cap prices to CPI

 
Third Party decision on any electricity disconnection     TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
Expansion of existing medical heating/cooling concession     TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
Establishment of an “EEPS-equivalent” scheme for telecommunications     TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
Increase and index payments under the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme Tick
$2.5m pa increase. Not indexed
Tick
$1m pa increase.
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement +advocacy history    
Free off-peak Public Transport between 9am and 3pm     TickStatement to SACOSS      
Increase and index the Access Cabs Subsidy     TickStatement at BINSA forum 20/2/14 TickStatement to SACOSS   Tick Statement + advocacy history
Establishment of a “Good Money” shopfront for integrated low-income support services Tick
Policy statement
  TickStatement to SACOSS      
Establishment of a “Debt Deduct” type scheme Tick
Debt consolidation to be  available through Good money program.
  TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
Implementation of the agreed funding of consumer credit legal services TickNow out for tender. Policy confirmed   TickStatement to SACOSS + advocacy history TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to Consumers SA, 19 Feb
 

Social Justice Policies

Housing

  Labor  Liberal  Greens  Family First Xeno-
phon Group
Dignity for Disability
Increase and improve the stock of affordable housing and of social housing in particular, including by: * Committed to build 5,200 new houses, plus Homes for Homes scheme.   TickStatement to SACOSS      
a. requiring new large housing developments to have 5% for affordable home ownership, 5% for affordable rental (under NRAS), and 5% for high needs rental clients Committed to the overall 15% quota, but without the sub-categories Believes 15% is achievable, but without the sub-categories TickStatement to SACOSS   Tick  
b. Transferring title (not just management) of stock from Housing SA to the community housing sector Tick
4000 titles to be transferred.
Half a tick
Will continue work within current framework

 
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
c. Mandating universal aged-appropriate design standards for new developments Cross
Current practices ensure adequate supply.
  TickStatement to SACOSS      

Health

  Labor  Liberal  Greens  Family First Xeno-
phon Group
Dignity for Disabilty
Recommit to population health and preventative approaches, evidenced by:   *
Supports greater emphasis on primary healthcare as budget allows
TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
  Tick
Key policy platform

 
a. Resourcing for local councils to implement Regional Public Health Plans     TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
b. Restoring funding to all primary health programs cut since the McCann Report unless there is evidence of Commonwealth funding Half a cross
Committed to McCann report.

*
Support for Menandue Report framework.

Statement to SACOSS meeting 13/12/14

TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
Develop and implement a new five year plan for Mental Health in South Australia Tick
Plus other mental health initiatives.
*
$0.5m for community approaches to suicide prevention, but no overall MH Plan.
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement + advocacy history    

Social and Economic Participation

  Labor   Liberal  Greens  Family First Xeno-
phon Group
Dignity for Disability
Implement a package of measures to assist in transition out of child support for those in the child protection system, including by:   *
Will work with community sector to improve system, inc having a stronger  Commissioner for Children
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
a. Ensuring availability of programs around being a successful young person (eg. life skills, building community connection, navigating adult support system)

*
No new funding, but statement to SACOSS identifies range of existing programs

*
No new funding, but  range of existing programs
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
b. Establishing an end point for child protection and support based on individual readiness, not an arbitrary age, including:     TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
i. Maintaining financial support for foster parents after age of 18 Cross
Other financial supports already exist.
  TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
ii. Maintaining financial support for NGO services after age of 18     TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
Support asylum seekers currently in our community, including through:     TickStatement to SACOSS      
a. Seeking an exemption from the Federal Government to allow asylum seekers in SA to work     TickStatement to SACOSS      
b. Funding for fully supported volunteer work programs for those unable to find work     TickStatement to SACOSS      
c. Allowing asylum seekers to get assistance from Housing SA and other state agencies where the Federal government is not providing support Half a tick Granted public transport concessions *
Will ensure applicants get fair treatment
TickStatement to SACOSS      

Law and Justice

  Labor  Liberal  Greens  Family First Xeno-
phon Group
Dignity for Disability
Set a target to reduce the prison population by 10% of sentenced prisoners and 20% of remandees, including by Half a cross
Police & punish policy, inc some tougher sentences
Rejected targets, but recognise problem and agree focus on reducing remand imprisonment TickStatement to SACOSS      
a. Increasing funding and use of diversionary courts and processes, especially in the youth area *
Boot camp trial for youth, 2 justice reinvestment projects
*
Would look positively at justice reinvestment strategies
TickStatement to SACOSS      
b. Implementing bail accommodation services for the general population promised in the last budget, and developing parallel youth-specific bail accommodation services Half a tick 
Budget commitment for general prison population, but no youth promise
Tick
Would implement budgeted service, and open to similar youth service
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement to SACOSS    
c. Reviewing criminal legislation to reduce the number of crimes with custodial sentences and to reduce length of sentences where appropriate     TickStatement to SACOSS      
Establish an independent or court-based auditing system to ensure that the government is providing the diversionary and support programs ordered by the court or parole boards Half a tick 
Investigate requirement that results of programs are presented in court.
Half a tick
Govt audit of compliance & enforcement
TickStatement to SACOSS TickStatement + advocacy for transparency    

Community Services Sector Support

  Labor  Liberal  Greens  Family First

Xeno-
phon Group

Dignity for Disability
Pass the proposed Statutes Amendment (Commonwealth Registered Entities) Bill 2013 to recognise the ACNC and remove duplication of reporting Half a tick
Committed to reducing duplicate reporting, & passing bill if relevant.
  TickStatement to SACOSS      
Mandate 3 + 3 + 3 years as the default funding model for all programs addressing long term needs and implement at least 50% of SACOSS’ Better Contracting and Red Tape Reduction Plan (as below) in the first term of government Half a tick
Specific commitment on key issues of 3+3+3 and low risk contracts. Willing to work through remainder in  Human Services Partnership Forum
*
Major commitment and target for red tape reduction for business, but statement to SACOSS did not address detail of community sector agenda
TickStatement to SACOSS      
Adoption of a 3 years + 3 yrs + 3 yrs as the default length of contract unless the issue being addressed by the service will be dealt with and/or the need disappears in a shorter period. Tick Recognition of need for stability of funding TickStatement to SACOSS Half a tickSupport with conditions. Statement to SACOSS    
Ensuring all contracts specify Department responsibilities and obligations as well as those of the service providers and should include Departmental obligations around communication and timelines and penalties for non-compliance.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Ensuring payments are made on-time with penalty rates applying for late payment Half a tick
Legislated penalties (not commenced) for late payment of small orgs.

Policy similar to legislation, but applying to all business, but for contracts up to $1m.
TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Automatic indexation in all contracts, including CPI adjustments and payments for meeting the Equal Remuneration Order (Fair Pay) case outcomes. Half a tick
Commitment to funding for ERO
  TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Implementation of simple low risk grants processes for contracts under $100,000 per year. Tick
Process underway through Partnership Forum
  TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Providing a minimum 6 months’ notice regarding whether long term contracts are going to be renewed to prevent loss of staff and ensure continuity of service and care for program users. Tick   TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   

Using Master Agreements and standards accreditation (eg. Australian Service Excellence Standards) to streamline tender application and assessment, including recognising the capacities and benchmarks evident in these agreements and accreditation and therefore allowing for:

  • Skipping questions on applications which are already covered in accreditations;
  • No replication in service contracts of information already provided in relation to the Master Agreement; and
  • Organisations with Master Agreements to be able bring innovative ideas to government for funding without tender and subsequent loss of intellectual property.
    TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Increasing use of a two-step process with an initial, brief expression of interest with full tenders only required from the short-list of applicants.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Mandating a six week minimum period for tenders to be lodged, and establishing a benchmark for government to decide and announce successful tender applications of not more than the time allocated for putting in tender applications (and in any case a maximum of 3 months).     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Making online submissions available for all tender applications with ease-to-use forms that have full MS Word functionality.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Providing longer lead-in time for contract negotiations with the timetable to be agreed by the government and the successful applicant.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Establishing proper performance reporting and performance management processes that are agreed on by funding bodies and organisations as appropriate measures of outcomes and, where relevant, outputs.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Ceasing quarterly and six-monthly financial acquittals (except in extraordinary circumstances) and utilise annual audit of accounts to confirm expenditure in line with contracts.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Establishing a Community Sector Commissioner parallel to the Small Business Commissioner to audit government compliance with contracting guidelines and contract terms. *
Small Business Commissioner has coverage of c'ty sector.
*
Small Business Commissioner has coverage of c'ty sector.
TickStatement to SACOSS      
Establishing whole-of-government grant guidelines along the lines of the Commonwealth Grants Guidelines to drive red-tape reduction, including by requiring that departments not ask for information already in the possession of government. Tick   TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Adopting of consistent reporting templates across all State Government departments.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Extending the role of electronic centralised data to underpin the “report once, use often” system.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Supporting and funding a trial of the consolidation of service agreements for larger organisations that have multiple service agreements in order to determine how difficult this would be and what savings might be available from consolidation.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Establishing Program/Project Officers as the primary point of contact and authority of a contract over the life of a contracted service (rather than the Procurement Department) as Project Officers have the relevant expertise in the service area.     TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   
Funding a “tender-ready” program for small to medium and Aboriginal-run organisations similar to the $60K program funded through Business SA for the commercial sector to allow small-medium and Aboriginal run organisations to better compete in tender processes. Tick   TickStatement to SACOSS Tick
Statement to SACOSS
   

 

All Parties' Positions on a Sustainable Tax Base

SACOSS has written to all parties and groups contesting the Legislative Council election asking them if they support SACOSS' call to restore state government revenue to pre-GFC levels (as a % of Gross State Product) in the next term of government.

The responses of the parliamentary parties are as above. The other parties/groups supporting a sustainable tax base are:

Joseph Masika Group

Powerful Communities

The fact that only two parties responded positively is a measure of both the busy-ness of under-resourced micro-parties in election times, as well as the fact that few candidates are prepared to say that we need taxes to fund vital services. As a community, we still have a long way to go before we can have the tax conversations we need to have.

Published Date: 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014