Greens spokesperson for Community Services and Mental Health Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today called on the Government to ensure financial support for the community sector is central to its response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Hon Xamon said it was crucial not-for-profit organisations could continue their work uninterrupted, particularly as demand for services was likely to grow as people’s level of need continued to grow.
She said it was crucial organisations were not only able to offer mental health and crisis support, but also early intervention services which ensured people were afforded the help they need before they reach crisis levels.
“We have already seen in the stock-piling of goods and panic buying of household items and food that people are feeling worried and they are feeling scared,” Hon Xamon said.
“We need to be looking after the organisations which are looking after the community.”
Hon Xamon acknowledged the Government had announced stimulus measures to minimise the financial impact of COVID-19 in Western Australia, including increased leave for public servants and benefits for small and medium businesses.
But, she said, the financial cost of the crisis was just one aspect which needed to be considered as part of the Government’s response.
“The cost to the community is likely to be far broader than just the cost to the economy – we have to have capacity to meet that increased need,” Hon Xamon said.
“People will face increasing social isolation and some will become very unwell, both physically but also mentally - we need to ensure the support that they need is in place before things get worse.
“It is absolutely crucial that we see additional funding for frontline organisations which are assisting people through the Coronavirus pandemic.”