The Opposition is calling on the McGowan Labor Government to undertake a proper evaluation of the Supporting Communities Forum in line with its own terms of reference.
Shadow Minister for Community Services Donna Faragher said an evaluation of the Forum, which is a partnership between the community services sector and Western Australian government agencies, was needed and should coincide with the completion of the Forum’s current membership which ends on 31 December 2022.
“The Forum’s own terms of reference states an evaluation of the Forum will be conducted after two years of operation to coincide with the renewal of Forum membership, yet nothing is planned,” Mrs Faragher said.
“The response from the Premier to my questions in State Parliament on whether an evaluation or review will be undertaken to determine the impact and effectiveness of the Forum within the community services sector has been the same.
“On two occasions in October and November this year, the Premier has repeatedly stated that no formal review is intended or currently planned to be undertaken.
“This is a very disappointing response from the Premier and he needs to explain why he does not think it is necessary.
“An evaluation of the Forum does need to be undertaken given some of the concerns that have been raised with me within the community services sector about its impact and effectiveness.
“The Forum should be providing a valuable opportunity for greater collaboration and engagement between government agencies and the non-government sector, but it is clear there is certainly room for improvement,” Mrs Faragher said.
Mrs Faragher said the community services sector should be given the opportunity to formally express its views and perspectives on the Forum, whether it is meeting its objectives and what improvements could be made going forward.
“The McGowan Labor Government should instigate a proper evaluation of the Supporting Communities Forum to enable this valuable sector, which delivers services and supports to thousands of Western Australians every day, to have their say,” Mrs Faragher said.