In New South Wales, disadvantage and marginalisation is disproportionately felt by a small number of communities. Particular postcodes experience poorer outcomes across health, education, and employment, and experience disproportionate contact with the justice system. For some communities, there is also limited or compromised access to basic necessities like transport and early childhood care and education. This disadvantage is concentrated and entrenched, impacting communities across generations.

At this election, we call on the future NSW Government to foster thriving and resilient communities, including through further investment in: place-based approaches, essential infrastructure such as housing, transport and digital solutions, child and family wellbeing, education, training and employment, and suicide prevention and postvention support.

Summary of our recommendations:

Jesuit Social Services calls on the incoming NSW Government to:

  • Identify locations of complex disadvantage and resource long-term, place-based approaches to centre community decision-making and address the factors that lead to inequity and disadvantage.
  • Build broader community resilience to climate change by resourcing place-based, cross-sector resilience coalitions working in partnership with local governments and the community sector to inform adaptation planning and policies.
  • Increase bus service levels to communities in Western Sydney, and subsidise affordable access to home internet, data and associated technology for low-income households.
  • Increase in community-led, environmentally sustainable food security initiatives such as Jesuit Social Services’ Ignite Food Store and Currawong Community Kitchens to strengthen access to healthy and affordable food in communities experiencing disadvantage.
  • Provide a system of high-quality, universally accessible and affordable early learning by investing in sustainable infrastructure and appropriately skilled and qualified educators.
  • Raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years and partner with key stakeholders to develop therapeutic, restorative responses for this age group.
  • Partner with sector representatives and victim/survivors to develop and implement a plan for the primary prevention of sexual, domestic, and family violence in NSW.
  • Develop a NSW Youth Employment Strategy to ensure all young people in NSW are able to engage in education and training and have opportunities to pursue further education and employment.
  • Provide long-term funding for a comprehensive and evidence-based model of specialist suicide postvention support such as Support After Suicide.

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