On April 11, NSW Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward justified the decision by stating that the funding of this sort of service is the Federal Government’s responsibility, not the State Government’s.
The Welfare Rights Centre delivers a valuable service to thousands of NSW families and individuals. The centre is often required to challenge Centrelink decisions, so there is a legitimate and necessary role for both levels of government to support society’s most vulnerable people and those disadvantaged in their dealings with Centrelink due to age, disability, literacy, homelessness, or migrant or Indigenous status.
The 30th anniversary of the Welfare Rights Centre’s launch was marked with a well-attended rally on May 3 outside the Premier’s Office in Farrer Place, Sydney to protest the State Government’s decision to withdraw its funding. Supporters from Federation, a range of community and welfare groups, pensioners and advocacy organisations attended.
Speakers at the rally included Welfare Rights Centre chairperson Terry Mason, Australian Council of Social Service chief executive officer Dr Cassandra Goldie, NSW Deputy Opposition Leader Linda Burney, Single Parents’ Action Group representative Kristie Rue, Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW senior policy officer Charmaine Crowe, Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann and Australian Services Union Secretary Sally McManus.
Visit www.welfarerights.org.au to find out how you can help campaign against the NSW Government’s withdrawal of funding.
Carol Howard is a Welfare Officer at Federation and Company Secretary/Public Officer of Welfare Rights Centre.