Emil Ford Lawyers

NSW to implement Australia's first social impact investment policy

On 4th February 2015, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Andrew Constance announced the launch of Australia’s first Social Impact Investment Policy. This follows the successful launch of two social benefit bonds in 2013. The purpose of social impact investment is two-fold: to provide a measureable financial return, and to provide funding to effect positive social change.

This policy outlines ten actions that the NSW Government has committed to undertake:

  1. Target delivering two new social impact investment transactions to market per year;
  2. Publish Social Impact Investment Principles;
  3. Publish benchmark cost and outcomes data;
  4. Deliver a Social Impact Investment Statement of Opportunities;
  5. Hold a series of social impact investment roundtables and market sounding sessions;
  6. Aim to establish an Intergovernmental Taskforce on Social Impact Investment;
  7. Promote understanding of the social impact investment market;
  8. Improve government agency readiness for social impact investment;
  9. Facilitate non-governmental sector preparedness for social impact investment;
  10. Publish a Statement of Success.

To facilitate this undertaking, the NSW Government has established an Office of Social Impact Investment, a joint-initiative of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and the NSW Treasury. In conjunction with the launch, the NSW Government also released a Statement of Opportunities, identifying growth areas for future social impact investments:

• Managing chronic health conditions;
• Supporting offenders on parole to reduce their levels of re-offending;
• Managing mental health hospitalisations; and
• Preventing or reducing homelessness among young people.

Although this initiative is still in the pioneering stage, it has the potential to become a significant source of funding for charities and not-for-profit organisations. 

Contact to find out more about social impact investment.

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