UnitingCare Australia agrees with the points made in the Report around stewardship arrangements including greater coordination, more transparency and smoother transitions. However, we believe there is a need to more clearly emphasise the real need for greater coordination between both Commonwealth and state governments before any changes are made to increase competition in human services.
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Productivity Commission’s Preliminary Findings Report covering the topic of Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Identifying Sectors for Reform.
UnitingCare Australia has long believed that reforms increasing user choice are positive as stated in our submission to the Competition Policy Review Panel in December 20141. There is demand from consumers their families and our providers for more flexibility and a greater degree of user direction. We continue to support reforms enabling the market to increase supply to better meet demand. These reforms should include increased transparency around cost of delivery and freedom to recover costs according to capacity of consumers to pay.
Thank you for meeting UnitingCare representatives to discuss the Competition Policy Review Draft Report. We appreciate the opportunity to provide the panel with our feedback on some of the critical elements of the report, in particular around the various challenges in developing and promoting consumer choice and competition in human services.
“UnitingCare Australia welcomes competition if it improves quality and leads to increased choice, control and diversity for people using community services,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia, in response to the final report of the Competition Policy Review.
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the Federal Government's response to Professor Ian Harper's Competition Policy Review which aims to provide Australians with the means to adjust to the coming transformation of our economy.