Call to look at social impact bonds

CCIWA has called on the State Government to establish a working committee to examine the use of social impact bonds to resolve complex issues.

The bonds, popular around the world in as many as 20 countries, use public-private partnerships to fund programs which transfer some of the risk of program delivery to the private sector and only pay a return on investment if social outcome targets are met.

CCIWA Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell said the chamber would want to sit on the committee to help define a strategy, including identification of potential areas in which the bonds could be used.

“There are two major potential benefits of using Social Impact Bonds,” Mr Rodwell said.

“They have a proven track record in resolving complex social issues and they can reduce welfare costs by supporting prevention measures.

“The state of the Government’s finances is well known and requires more innovative methods to be considered to address areas of pressing social need.

“The bonds could help reduce government spending, refocus social impact investments on outcomes, and give both government and the community greater certainty that taxpayer money is being well spent.”

In 2013, New South Wales became the first Australian state to implement the model, partnering with Social Ventures Australia to establish the Newpin Social Benefit Bond to restore children in out-of-home-care to their families.

The NSW Government has claimed that in the three years to 30 June 2016, the venture restored 130 children to their families and prevented children in 47 families from entering care.

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