Most vulnerable in community left behind as Premier's priorities fail to improve wellbeing

The NSW Greens have called for a rethink of how the State Government sets priorities as the state continues to fall behind in terms of protecting some of the most vulnerable in our community, including women and children.

The call follows the release today of the Auditor General’s review of the Progress and Measurement of the Premier’s Priorities that was critical of the lack of transparency and detail in the data provided to support assessment of the Government’s 12 priorities.

The Auditor General’s report found that:

  • Agencies and the Premier’s Implementation Unit are aware of the potential for performance targets to deliver unintended consequences such as reduced performance in areas not being monitored, or misuse of data to make performance look better than it is.
  • Some of the data used to report progress has inherent limitations that was not made clear on the Government’s priorities website

Greens Treasury Spokesperson Justin Field said the NSW Government’s outdated approach  to setting state  priorities and budgets failed to measure and address the things that really matter to people and left many in our community disadvantaged.

Setting a target for housing completions that ignores the thousands of homeless in NSW and defining the environment by a litter reduction target is the wrong approach,” he said.

“The Government has cherry picked priorities to make it look like they are achieving things but they provide no explanation or evidence about how these targets will improve things for people and communities in NSW,” Mr Field said today.

“Even with an approach of spin over substance,, the Government’s is failing to meet its own targets on reducing youth homelessness, tackling childhood obesity, reducing domestic violence, reoffending and protecting our kids.

“The NSW Government continues to don the hard hat and crow about building new infrastructure, but what kind of society and community is it building for our future?

“NSW must  move to a wellbeing approach of setting priorities that measures the things that really make a difference in people’s lives.

“The Greens have put forward a Wellbeing Indicators Bill that will create a framework to develop and measure the performance of Government in growing the wellbeing of the community alongside the economic performance of the state.

“New Zealand has recently established its Living Standards Framework and has announced its 2019 budget will be a “Wellbeing Budget”, for the first time. The UK, Scotland and Canada are also moving towards alternative indicators to guide decision making. 

“A set of Wellbeing Indicators will provide a richer picture of community life and happiness across the state.

“We have an opportunity to chart a different course, to make politics relevant to people and ensure the economy is serving the needs of the public.” Mr Field said.

Audit Office of NSW report Progress and measurement of the Premier's Priorities available here:
https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/news/progress-and-measurement-of-the-premiers-priorities


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: City of Sydney


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