19/12/2019 - 14:34

State government pledges $60m for community services

19/12/2019 - 14:34

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Treasurer Ben Wyatt and Community Services Minister Simone McGurk have said the state government will spend up to $60 million in the next four years to ensure community service providers can pay for higher wages now mandated under the Equal Remuneration Order.

State government pledges $60m for community services
Ben Wyatt (left) and Simone McGurk said the government was addressing the impact of the ERO. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Treasurer Ben Wyatt and Community Services Minister Simone McGurk have said the state government will spend up to $60 million in the next four years to ensure community service providers can pay for higher wages now mandated under the Equal Remuneration Order.

The ERO, legislated in 2012, provided for wage increases every year to 2020 as a way to address the sector’s gender pay gap.

Yesterday’s mid-year review already committed $15 million to the sector for that purpose, with further work ongoing to respond to its impact.

The state government had already provided $1.9 million to the sector in the 2019-20 financial year, as well as changing indexing for the sector so as to deliver an extra $30 million to the sector over the next four years.

“The community services sector is a valued partner in the delivery of services for vulnerable Western Australians, as well as a significant contributor to economic growth, employment and community wellbeing,” said Ms McGurk.

“Immediate relief is in sight, with additional funding available to flow quickly to community service providers that continue to work with us.”

Mr Wyatt said the government had listened to the sector and is committed to supporting organisations by addressing the impact of the ERO.

“This is the next step in the government’s ongoing work to address issues associated with the 2012 Fair Work Australia Equal Remuneration Order,” he said.

“It will meet the immediate wage costs of the community service organisations most severely impacted by the ERO - those with Government contracts that predate the ERO.”

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