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Darwin Community Legal Service

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It’s that time of the year when attention turns to funding and keeping our services going for another year.  Key issues impacting the sustainability of community services include the issue of NT Budget Repair and uncertainty around the newly elected Coalition Government’s policies and priorities.

Of great concern is the application of the Northern Territory Government’s efficiency dividend to an already lean community sector, ultimately impacting on support to those who are most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community.   The sector is one of the largest employers in the NT but consistently faces challenges in recruitment and retention and attracting skilled staff because of low wages and inability to compete with government and the private sector. As our workforce is our primary resource, cuts to grants will result in wage stagnation/cuts and further challenge our viability.  We are hopeful that this decision will be reviewed.

At the Federal level we welcome the appointment of a Minister to focus on NDIS and we are hopeful that more emphasis will be placed on dealing with implementation issues and in allocating all available NDIS funds to supporting access to the scheme for those most in need, rather than monies being repurposed because of the lack of availability of services.

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