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Compact Consultations Wind Up

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Earlier in the year, the Government – as part of its social inclusion agenda – began investigating the establishment of a National Compact in order to strengthen its working relationship with the not-for-profit sector.

As a first step, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) was commissioned to conduct the initial consultations with the sector on the viability of creating such a compact, the structure it might take and what its content would be. Consultations were held in major capital cities across the country with a variety of industry participants.

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, attended a majority of the sessions, speaking with the workers and organisers of the not-for-profit sector about the compact and its possible evolution.

“The participants I have spoken with expressed that it was important that the compact acted as a vehicle for change and that the development was a unique opportunity to redefine the relationship between the sector and the Government. There was a high level of optimism and a strong indication that a compact must be about not just words but real action.

“The Government will now consider the feedback from the consultations as we decide on the steps forward. This initial exploratory phase will be followed by more in-depth consultation, including seeking the views of service users,” Senator Stephens said.

The Senator previously engaged a panel 12 experts from the sector, who will advise on what the next steps could be and how the Government can ensure it engages important groups such as volunteers and organisations in rural communities.

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