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Community suffers from economic disconnect, report says

A report released from economics research centre CEDA has found community expectations are rising as economic connectedness plummets

A research report has found the health and aged care services sector are top priority as the Australian community reports suffering from economic disconnect.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), the not-for-profit specialising in economics research, released polling results from almost 3,000 people on the nation’s attitudes to the community and the economy.

CEDA Chief Executive, Melinda Cilento, said the expectations of the government is high with fundamental services being delivered to Australia exceedingly important.

“Over recent decades there has been a narrative that growth equals prosperity but the results suggest that many Australians do not feel like they are getting ahead.

“If the community feels removed from the benefits or have lost trust that the benefits from growth will be broadly shared, then gaining traction on economic reform becomes more difficult,” Cilento said. “The poll results support this.”

The report found the top five most important issues to the community included basic health care, low cost essential services, access to stable and affordable housing, affordable chronic disease services and reduced violence in communities and homes.

The polls suggest businesses need to better connect their actions and activities to meet the expectations of the community, adding: “Business matters to the community, but community must also genuinely matter to business.”

In the reports foreword, Cilento said the results show there is an ongoing disconnect between Australia’s strong economic track record and the community’s sense for sharing in this growth, with a clear division between policy priorities.

“The first step to Australia regaining momentum for broad-based economic reform is better understanding what the community really cares about,” Cilento said.

The report added the challenge for governments is meeting community expectations across the healthcare sector against the backdrop of fiscal complaints, the escalating and unachievable costs and rising expectations of quality.

“There will be significant additional demands for aged care workers with workforce shortages predicted in the decades ahead,” the report said.

The report also analysed the lower expectations of the community, including the intake of refugees and restrictions on the usage of national, natural resources.

“At the same time, community expectations regarding the quality and responsiveness of care is rising. Collaborating and new approaches across all levels of government, business and the community sector will be required to deliver outcomes in line with community expectations and value for money.”

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