During late 2023, the South Australian Council of Social Services convened a Community Panel to provide advice on who they think should be prioritised for support through the SA Government’s Concessions system.
The South Australian Government currently provides some groups in our community with assistance with essential costs through targeted discounts or rebates on things like energy bills and water bills, motor registration, ambulance attendance and public transport.
The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) is contributing to a review by the SA Government of these subsidies and rebates– and they convened a Community Panel to understand South Australian’s views on these subsidies and who they think should be eligible for support.
The Community Panel on State Government discounts and rebates completed its work, reflecting on what they want from the system of rebates and subsidies (known as concessions), and making recommendations about how they should be targeted. Their report was launched in January 2024.
A panel of 33 citizens from diverse backgrounds came together for a day and a half in September to consider the below.
The South Australian Government currently provides some groups in our community with assistance with costs of living through targeted concessions (discounts & rebates) on things like power bills, motor registration, ambulance attendance and public transport. The South Australian Council of Social Services (SACOSS) is currently contributing to a review by the SA Government on these concessions – and they want to understand who you think should be eligible for support.
The Panel worked together for a day face to face and then for 2.5hrs online. Their deliberations included hearing evidence from multiple sources, participative activities, world café conversations and consensus activities, facilitated by DemocracyCo.
The Panel heard from the Minister for Human Services, The Hon. Nat Cook at their first session. They also heard from Ruth Ambler – Executive Director Community Investment and Support, and Olga Laparidis, Director Concessions and Support Services, both from Department of Human Services, about the reform underway and the purpose of the concessions system.
Panel members also heard from Dr Rebecca Tooher, Director of Policy and Advocacy and Dr. Greg Ogle, Senior Policy and Research Analyst from SACOSS, to understand their view as an advocacy organisation. Further to this, the panel considered evidence in the form of videos from three stakeholder groups: Veterans SA, The Commissioner for Children and Young People and The Council on the Ageing. This evidence supported their deliberations.