Media release: Stronger Communities 2019

The Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford, released her report today on the NSW Stronger Communities cluster.

From 1 July 2019, the functions of the former Department of Justice, the former Department of Family and Community Services and many of the cluster agencies moved to the new Stronger Communities cluster. The Department of Communities and Justice is the principal agency in the new Stronger Communities cluster.

The report focuses on key observations and findings from the most recent financial audits of agencies in the Stronger Communities cluster.

Unqualified audit opinions were issued on the financial statements for all agencies in the cluster.  

There were 157 audit findings on internal controls. Two of these were high risk and 59 were repeat findings from previous financial audits. ‘Cluster agencies should prioritise actions to address internal control weaknesses promptly with particular focus given to issues that are assessed as high risk’, the Auditor-General said.

The report notes that the NSW Government’s new workers' compensation legislation, which gave eligible firefighters presumptive rights to workers' compensation, cost emergency services agencies $180 million in 2018–19, mostly in increased premiums.

Further information

Please contact Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7101 or