The Opposition has labelled the release of the WA Council of Social Service (WACOSS) State Budget Submission 2024-25 as a wake-up call for Premier Roger Cook and the Labor Government.
Mr Love said the report highlighted challenges related to the cost-of-living crisis, the housing crisis, youth justice, and access to services in regional WA.
“Our electorate offices across WA are contacted on a daily basis by West Australians who feel they have been pushed to the brink – cutting back on spending for medication, skipping meals, and struggling to keep a roof over their head,” Mr Love said.
“These are everyday families who are struggling to pay bills, access health and mental health services, or who have been impacted by family and domestic violence and have nowhere to turn due to service cuts and staffing shortages.
“In a State as profitable as Western Australia, there is no good reason why these challenges cannot be addressed, if only we had the political will to do so.”
Mr Love said several of the recommendations put forward by WACOSS aligned with issues the Opposition had been calling for action on for several years.
“We’ve long advocated for greater investment in specialist healthcare services, increased funding for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme to enhance healthcare access in our regions and increasing housing stock,” Mr Love said.
“The Opposition has consistently championed a whole-of-government approach to youth justice which works with local communities to develop on-country solutions which can end the vicious cycle of incarcerating children in notorious facilities like Banksia Hill and Unit 18, which does nothing to enhance community safety.”
Mr Love praised the work of WACOSS in developing their pre-budget submission and putting it out for consideration well in advance of the 2024-25 State Budget.
“This report adds further proof that the issues we are seeing each day are not isolated incidents but are symptoms of a State Government who are not prioritising the needs of West Australians,” Mr Love said.
“Isolated power bill relief and housing industry roundtables offer scant support to families living in their cars or finding themselves in ever-increasing financial difficulty.”