NSW government COVID-19 responses underperform on homelessness and high school retention rates - new research

New South Wales is faring better than its economic peers (based on GSP per Capita - QLD, VIC, SA, TAS) on overall social progress but is underperforming in its estimated homelessness rate and high school retention rate, according to the Centre for Social Impact’s (CSI) Australian Social Progress Index (ASPI), as detailed in a webinar today.

The webinar also discussed how New South Wales is faring in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using the ASPI tool as a proxy measure.

Key findings

  • Compared to its economic peers, NSW is performing better than expected on water and sanitation and marginally better than expected on overall social progress
  • It is doing better on water and sanitation indicators, as well as voter registration rates and lower infant mortality rates. It is performing worse than its peers on its estimated homelessness rate, air quality, and high school student retention rate
  • Based on ASPI scores, NSW is making good progress towards achieving SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger) and 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing).
  • NSW is well placed to offer basic medical care and sanitation as part of its response to COVID-19 - particularly in urban areas. Many policy responses are currently focused on maintaining and protecting the economy and should be analysed to ensure there is no undermining or sacrificing social progress

ASPI researchers and webinar presenters

  • Dr Megan Weier: Research Fellow & ASPI Lead Researcher, Centre for Social Impact UNSW
  • Isabella Saunders: Research Assistant, Centre for Social Impact UNSW