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NCOSS sent a survey to all candidates in the Upper Hunter by-election to ask what they will do to address homelessness, barriers to mental health support, domestic violence services, unemployment and a resourced constrained community service sector if successfully elected.

Six candidates responded to the NCOSS survey - their responses can be found here:

Upper Hunter By-election: Survey Responses from Candidates

Candidates had varied solutions to the issue of housing and homelessness, from capital gains tax and immigration reform to investing mining royalties back into community services that support housing, health and education.

The majority of candidates agreed that mental health was a growing issue in the region and thought the state government should increase investment in early intervention and prevention programs. One candidate wanted to see greater investment in research that focuses on men’s barriers to accessing mental health supports and one candidate wanted to see more funding for locally grown mental health and wellbeing programs.

Candidates had varied solutions to better supporting women and children experiencing violence. Solutions ranged from access to safe and affordable housing, increased funding for frontline services, emergency accommodation, legal service and community education. One candidate wants to see the decentralisation of services so there is help on the ground where it is needed and better regulation of NGO providers to ensure they are meeting their obligations to provide outreach to those areas that are on their books.