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Exclusive Budget Update for ASU Social & Community Services Members

13 May 2021 By ASU

Exclusive Budget Update for ASU Social & Community Services Members


The Morrison Government has just announced the 2021 Federal Budget. So what does it all mean for you?

Your union has had our experts locked away in the Budget lock up so that we can bring you our exclusive early insight and analysis about what the budget means for ASU members.

The Government hopes this will be a popular budget – a budget for an election that is due in the next year.

But this is not a Budget for genuine recovery from the pandemic or a Budget that provides any long term changes to fix the problems we know exist for women, job security and our communities. 

For too many ASU members and workers - the Morrison Government has failed to make the real changes needed to rebuild our workplace, our communities and our economy.

While we’ve had some big wins, they are only because of the hard work by ASU members campaigning. 

ASU members campaign and WIN! We saved Housing and Homelessness Services!

Tonight the Federal Government has committed to paying their share of housing and homelessness funding.

Without it, hundreds of jobs and critical services were on the line – making it harder for women and children fleeing family and domestic violence to get the support they need.

ASU members have signed petitions, made phone calls, sent emails, lobbied politicians and as a result the Federal Government have committed to fund $56 million - protecting jobs and services.

But, there is nothing in the budget to deal with long term problems like poverty and homelessness.

Scott Morrison has not committed any additional funding of affordable or public housing. 

Budget night 1

Superannuation- ASU members win! But the fight for a secure and decent retirement is not over. 

1 million workers, and over 500,000 women will be able to start saving for their retirement.

After years of campaigning by ASU members, the Federal Government has today finally announced that the $450 minimum earning threshold for superannuation has been scrapped!

This is a HUGE win for thousands of part-time workers who are primarily women. Well done ASU members!

However, women still retire on average with 47% less super than men.

One simple way to address this is to pay super on paid and unpaid parental leave and carer payments.

Scott Morrison’s budget missed this opportunity to take action to close the superannuation gender gap

Budget night 8

NDIS & Disability Services

The budget allows additional funding for NDIS places, as the NDIS continues to grow. But it does nothing for Skills and Training, nothing for Job security and includes job cuts at the NDIS and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

The NDIS sector needs 120,000 new NDIS workers - but there is no money, no strategy and no plan for career development or training.

10 Days Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

This Budget was meant to deliver for women and ASU members have been calling on the Federal Government to introduce lifesaving legislation.

This Federal Government decided not to introduce 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave for all workers. But We Won’t Wait. We need 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence leave NOW.

Women’s services and support for women

Scott Morrison’s budget provides one-off funding injections with no detail about the new national partnership with states for women’s services funding.

There is money for apprenticeships in some industries but nothing for community and disability sector workers to get access to accredited training at public TAFEs to develop their skills and careers.

Mental Health

This budget does not set out a long-term plan or funding for mental health despite the fact the COVID pandemic has made it clear there needs to be a long term strategy.

There is a 12 month extension of community mental health programs, which ASU members have been calling for.  

But instead of acting on the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s Report into Mental Health and committing to long term mental health funding, this Government have only committed to short term band-aid funding which does nothing to improve job security for workers or secure funding for community mental health and mental health services into the future.

The Morrison Government needs to commit to a workforce strategy and implement the recommendations of the Mental Health Productivity Commission Report now.

Aged Care

Aged care should have been the centerpiece of the Budget, but the Morrison Government allocated nothing to give aged care workers a pay rise, nothing allocated to establish staff ratios in aged care services and nothing allocated to provide better TAFE training for aged care workers.

The Budget has increased funding for additional home care packages, but the funding is short-term and lacks the long-term planning needed to increase home care into the future.

Employment Services

To start recovery we need more funding and support for job seekers. Instead in this Budget, the Government is shifting away from face to face support in this budget with even less funding.

Secure jobs and fair pay rises

Scott Morrison has overlooked and undervalued essential workers.

This Budget is filled with short term funding and band-aid solutions, not real solutions to complex problems.

The best way for our economy to recover is to deliver workers a pay increase – this budget does nothing to do that. In fact the Budget predicts that wage growth will not overtake inflation until 2024-2025 – another 3 years without a pay rise.

That would mark over a decade of stagnant wages for many working Australians.

Scott Morrison has decided that essential workers don’t deserve a pay rise or a secure job.

This Budget does not deliver enough support for ASU members or your families.

While we’ve Saved Homelessness Services and won some big changes to superannuation, it’s only because ASU members campaigned together to win.

Too many people have been left out of a Budget that should deliver for everyone, not just a lucky few.



But the ASU will not stop fighting for our members.

We will continue to campaign for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave.

We will continue to push for long-term planning and funding for community services and for ASU members skills to be recognised and rewarded.

We will continue to work together to achieve for a fairer society with secure jobs and a decent safety net for all.

Because we are by your side.


Download this Exclusive Budget Update for ASU Members in Social and Community Services here

Contact Details
Name: National Office
Telephone: (03) 9342 1400