State and territory
Capital cities/non-capital cities

State and territory

Trends for the Better Access social work workforce indicate that the DFTE number of social workers in the private (Better Access) sector increased in all states/territories. Overall, the private (Better Access) sector workforce for Australia increased from a DFTE of 5.1 in 2006 to 61.2 in 2008, representing a rate of growth of 1,098%. The largest Better Access social work workforces were located in NSW, Victoria and Queensland (Figure 3.27). However, over the two year period, the private (Better Access) sector workforces with the highest growth rates were located in Victoria, SA and Tasmania.

The number of FTE social workers in the public sector workforce for Australia continually increased from a FTE of 1,474 in 2006 to 1,592 in 2008, representing an 8% rate of growth. Although Victoria, NSW and Queensland had the largest numbers of FTE social workers (Figure 3.28), it was the NT, Tasmania and WA that had the highest growth rates over the two year period. Both NSW and the ACT were the only two jurisdictions that had negative rates of growth over the two year period and smaller workforces in 2008 than in 2006.

The overall trend of both the public and private (Better Access) sector social work workforces grew in most states/territories, between 2006 and 2008. While further monitoring of the MBS and MHE: NMDS data would be recommended to provide a clearer indication of the workforce trends, the current trend indicates that there was strong positive growth in both the public and private (Better Access) sectors.

Figure 3.27 Private sector (DFTE) Better Access social work workforce, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.27 below. Private sector (DFTE) Better Access Social work workforce, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Source: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data

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Text version of Figure 3.27

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
200620072008
NSW
2.5
12
22
VIC
1.5
10
21
QLD
1
5.5
9
SA
0.5
2
4
WA
0.5
2
4
TAS
0
0.5
2
NT
0
0
0
ACT
0
0
0.3

Figure 3.28 Public sector (FTE) social work workforce, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.28 below. Public sector (FTE) social work workforce, by state/territory, 2006-2008

Source:Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.28

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
200620072008
NSW
350
355
320
VIC
440
450
460
QLD
275
280
320
SA
200
200
225
WA
175
200
200
TAS
25
30
25
NT
0
5
10
ACT
25
20
20
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Capital cities/non-capital cities

As the FTE and DFTE numbers for the social work workforce were small, the analysis of the geographic distribution between capital cities and non-capital cities has been conducted using totals for the whole of Australia.

Trends for the Better Access social work workforce indicate that the DFTE number of social workers in the private (Better Access) sector increased at both the capital city and non-capital city levels of geographical disaggregation. At the capital city level, the private (Better Access) sector workforce for Australia increased from a DFTE of 3.6 in 2006 to 42.7 in 2008, representing a 1,090% rate of growth; whereas, at the non-capital city level, the private (Better Access) sector workforce increased from a DFTE of 1.5 in 2006 to 18.6 in 2008, representing a 1,125% rate of growth (Figure 3.29 & Figure 3.30).

The number of FTE social workers in the public sector workforce also increased at both the capital city and non-capital city level. At the capital city level, the public sector social work workforce for Australia increased from a FTE of 1,083 in 2006 to 1,162 in 2008, representing a 7% rate of growth; whereas, at the non-capital city level, the public sector workforce increased from a FTE of 391 in 2006 to 430 in 2008, representing a 10% rate of growth (Figure 3.29 & Figure 3.30).

During the first year of Better Access, both the public and private (Better Access) social work workforces increased at a higher rate in non-capital city areas than capital city areas. This positive trend slowed somewhat during the second year of Better Access, however the growth rate in non-capital city areas was greater over the two year period.

To summarise, since the implementation of Better Access the public sector social work workforce has grown in all jurisdictions except for NSW and the ACT. In both the public and private (Better Access) sectors, growth was stronger in capital cities compared to outside of capital cities.

Figure 3.29 Private sector (DFTE) Better Access social work workforce, by capital city/non-capital city, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.29 below. Private sector (DFTE) Better Access social work workforce, by capital city/non-capital city, 2006-2008

Source: Medicare Australia. 2006-08 Medicare Provider Data and Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) data

Text version of Figure 3.29

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
200620072008
Capital city
3.5
22
42
Non-capital city
1.5
10
18
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Figure 3.30 Public Sector (FTE) social work workforce by capital city/non-capital city, 2006-2008

Text equivalent of Figure 3.30 below. Public Sector (FTE) social work workforce by capital city/non-capital city, 2006-2008

Source:Mental Health Establishments: National Minimum Data Set, 2006-2008.

Text version of Figure 3.30

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
200620072008
Capital city
1080
1110
1160
Non-capital city
390
425
430