It’s no secret that I am a vocal supporter of the Not for Profit sector in the Bunbury Geographe region.
Through the Chamber we have created the Geographe for Purpose (GFP) organisation which is dedicated to the promotion of the local NFP sector providers.
We are planning to hold a Symposium on August the 26th to highlight to the business community and the wider community on the economic benefit the NFP sector brings to our region. The local NFP sector injects over $55 Million annually into our local economy and employs many thousands of people.
The symposium is also being held to invoke a wider discussion with the community and with Government on the funding arrangements with the sector.
The GFP organisations are advocating that the sector should be fairly and equitably funded so that the organisations can continue to survive as a regional providers and for the benefit of the recipients of these service who are often the most vulnerable in our community.
It is also critical that we maintain and support these organisations that are based in our regions as it provides many employment opportunities across the whole organisation.
If consolidation continues in the NFP sector we will lose many of the talented and committed staff who make a difference in our community and we will only have service delivery hubs for the national and multinational service providers.
We are not against competition, as the recipients of these services need to have a choice of providers, what we are advocating for is for Governments to understand the additional benefits adequately funding and encouraging local service provides brings to our community and to level the funding playing field or in some cases weight the selection criteria in favour of local providers.
Unfortunately the need for social services is only growing in our region with an increasing number of families having fallen below the poverty line due to the prolonged economic downturn, this has increased the pressure on local service providers in a time when their funding has been decreasing in real terms.
A collapse of local independent service providers would have a negative impact on the state and federal budgets as Governments would have to scramble to find the resources to provide these services. There is a reason that the State and Federal Governments fund the NFP sector to deliver these services it is because local NFP service providers can deliver the services more cost effectively than governments can.
The symposium will include local and national high calibre speakers to provoke discussion amongst the sector delegates, government representatives and local business on the way forward for the NFP sector in the South West.
We hope to see you at the symposium