Funding cuts leave federally-funded programs high and dry

  • Women supporting each other
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People in communities across Australia rely on community services, yet they will be hardest hit by projected funding cuts by the federal government.

Programs currently receiving the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation have been told that this funding will cease in 2021/2022. If the base grant for programs currently receiving ERO supplementation does not rise to incorporate the ERO payments, it will result in significant funding cuts for community service organisations delivering federally-funded programs.

Who will be affected?

Some federally-funded services will be affected, include Housing Assistance and Homelessness Prevention, Drug Strategy and Humanitarian settlement services. For a full list, please read Schedule 1 and 2 of Programs in this document.

What are we doing?

QCOSS is working closely with ACOSS and the COSS network but we need to hear from you. Please contact Cassie Paton with stories of how these changes will affect your organisation and community.


In 2012, the Fair Work Commission made a landmark decision addressing the gendered undervaluation of work performed in much of the community services sector. As a result, wages increased by up to 45 per cent over 10 years. Most governments across Australia, including the federal government, provided additional funding to ensure that community service organisations could pay fair wages and maintain essential services to our communities.

However, the federal supplementation for this has not been included in the Budget Forward Estimates, meaning the federal funding will cease in 2021/2022.

Not only will these cuts mean less community services, people working in the community sector will also face job cuts. This is a sector that is predominantly female, meaning the gender equity achieved by the ERO will be diminished.

29 January 2020 |Focus area: |Location: