The 2021-22 Federal Budget makes some vital investments in mental health and the prevention of
family violence, but leaves many vulnerable Australians behind particularly at a time when the
impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt, says Jesuit Social Services.
“This Federal Budget is a mixed bag that provides increased funding in key areas such as mental
health, aged care reform and training and jobs but fails to improve the lives of people receiving
income support, people in need of social housing and newly arrived communities,” says Jesuit Social
Services CEO Julie Edwards.
“As Australia continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, our political leaders must be
doing all they can to ensure that nobody is left behind.”
Federal funding will support state and territory governments to deliver aftercare services for people
who have attempted suicide. Jesuit Social Services’ Support After Suicide program provides support
including counselling, group support and online resources for people left behind after a loved one
has taken their own life.
“We welcome these substantial announcements which, if implemented effectively, will save lives.
We are also pleased to see that support to families, friends and communities impacted by suicide
will be increased. We hope these investments can create much-needed positive change,” says Ms
Jesuit Social Services also welcomes the funding boost to addressing family violence, including funds
for financial and legal support services for victims.
“Through our Men’s Project, we work closely with community leaders including teachers and sports
coaches to give them the language and skills they need to work effectively with boys and men. This
grassroots work is vital in the prevention of harmful attitudes and behaviours, and we hope to see it
recognised as an important part of the service mix.
“We will continue to advocate for a greater increase to the JobSeeker payment. Our program
participants told us that the previous temporary Coronavirus supplement allowed them to purchase
suitable winter clothes for the first time, and pay for essential medication.
“Newly arrived communities have also been subjected to cruel cuts to income support which should
be immediately reversed, and this Budget does not help the plight of those detained in inhumane
circumstances both onshore and offshore.
“This is a Budget that works for some Australians, but will prove harmful to others in a number of
way. A fairer Budget will create a fairer Australia – and this Budget falls short in creating that”.
Media enquiries – Kathryn Kernohan, 0409 901 248 or firstname.lastname@example.org