We must ensure COVID-19 recovery doesn’t leave people behind, says ACT Greens


The ACT Greens have today launched a major Social Inclusion package, to address the gaps and shortfalls in our social security system. 

This package recognises that poverty is a lived reality in Canberra, and that in key areas, including caring, disability and elderly support, we are failing some of our most vulnerable. 

The ACTCOSS Cost of Living report, released in September 2020 tells us that approximately 30,000 Canberrans live below the poverty line, and many more will as federal COVID supports are reduced. Our systems are built on an assumption that everyone begins life from the same starting point, and can access and rely on the same support networks. We know that is not so - not all children get a good start in life and some families need more help than others.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing inequities, with more people reliant on government assistance, struggling with mental health issues, experiencing isolation and being impacted by reduced services.

Social inclusion has never been more important than in COVID recovery, and the Greens want to use this moment to remove the barriers many Canberrans face to fully participating in our society. 

The package includes

  • Recognising the critical work carers provide for thousands of Canberans by fully funding the ACT Carers Strategy. This will ensure Canberrans living with disability, a physical or mental health condition, or who are frail or aged, have the support they deserve

  • Providing a more flexible transport mix for those with limited mobility, by:

    • Funding a review of and investment in flexible, community and on-demand bus services 

    • Reviewing and increasing funding for the ACT Taxi Subsidy Scheme - increasing the trip limit and the monetary cap to keep pace with increases in taxi fares. 

  • Ensuring all Care and Protection interventions implement whole of family restorative approaches. 

  • Ensuring greater transparency in the care and protection system by implementing an external merits review system to make sure that all decisions are in the best interests of children.

  • Providing extended care for 18-21 year olds in the care and protection system, following on from our move to raise the age of criminal responsibility 

  • Developing a therapeutic place for young people leaving Bimberi to better support young people as they transition to independence.

Comments attributable to Emma Davidson, ACT Greens Community Services Spokesperson: 

“The Greens are committed to including our whole community in our COVID economic recovery. We can’t afford to leave anyone behind.

A fair recovery means that people with disability, older people, people looking for work or on low incomes, and people who need additional support and care are supported by our community.

The investments we make now in our social capital will provide savings and security long after temporary tax-cuts run out”

“While the Federal Budget has favoured the millionaires over the millions, the ACT Greens Social Inclusion plan is focused on making everyday life easier for ordinary Canberrans, their kids and families”

The full package is at: greens.org.au/act/promoting-social-inclusion

Statement ends

Media contact

Clancy Barnard        M    0438 869 332 E    clancy.barnard@act.greens.org.au