ASU1Micah Projects has joined the Australian Services Union in calling for increased funding for essential community services.

CEO of local not for profit group Micah Projects, Ms Karyn Walsh, will join representatives of other community groups and members of the Australian Services Union in a public rally this Thursday, 9th June, as part of a national Week of Action highlighting the impact of funding cuts to local services.

The rally will take place at 10 am at the “Brisbane” sign at Southbank Parklands.

“Since taking office in 2013 the Coalition Federal Government has cut over $1 billion from essential community services,” said Linda White, Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Services Union (ASU), the community and disability support workers’ union.

“That’s cuts to women’s refuges for women and families leaving violence, along with other support services like legal and financial counselling. That’s cuts to homelessness funding, mental health programs for young people, aboriginal legal services and targeted indigenous programs.

The ASU is calling on all parties to commit to increased funding for community services and a fairer funding model that provides greater certainty for services.

The ASU will take these demands directly to Prime Minister Turnbull, with a rally at his electoral office in Edgecliff at 12 noon on Friday 10 June.

Over $1 billion in cuts since September 2013 via three successive Federal Budgets:

$240 million from community services funding through the Department of Social Services, big hits to support services like financial counselling for women leaving violence and targeted early intervention youth programs;

$165 million from the freeze on the indexation of DSS grants payments to 2017;

$500 million from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander programs through consolidation of 150 diverse programmes into 5, the defunding of targeted health services and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples;

$230 million from National Partnerships on Homelessness with no funding certainty beyond June 2017, impacting on refuges for women and young people;

$45 million from community legal services and Aboriginal legal services;

Cuts to mental health services including a 75% cut in funding over two years for specialist youth mental health programs provided by Headspace and the Youth Psychosis program; and

Abolished the successful Youth Connections Program that helped young people stay on track.

Key events during the ASU Week of Action:

Rally at the Brisbane sign, Southbank Parklands, 10 am Thursday 9 June

Week of Action Monday 6 June – Friday 10 June: various locations and dates – community stalls, leafletting at public transport locations, meetings with candidates, rallies

Rally at PM’s Office on Friday 10 June: rally at electorate office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, 287-289 New South Head Road, Edgecliff, NSW