Budget Commitment to Children Needs a Boost
A group of Australia’s leading children’s organisations has expressed disappointment that the Australian Government’s announcement two weeks ago of the establishment of a National Children’s Commissioner has not been backed up with adequate resources.
The Government announced in late April that a National Children’s Commissioner will be established within the Australian Human Rights Commission as a key action under the Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.
The Budget last night has allocated only $3.5 million over 4 years to this important initiative. This represents less than a million dollars a year for an office that will be seeking to monitor the many issues facing children in Australia today.
Dr Norman Gillespie, Chief Executive from UNICEF Australia said “We need proper resourcing for this key role to ensure that the outcomes of government actions for children are effective. We call on all politicians to support a properly resourced Commission.”
Andrew Cummings, Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition said “a National Commissioner for Children and Young People must be resourced to monitor the varied circumstances that children find themselves in. Youth homelessness and health outcomes for indigenous children are two obvious examples.”