Dropping off the Edge 2015 shows clearly that complex and entrenched disadvantage is experienced by a small but persistent number of locations in each state and territory across Australia.

It shows there are still a number of communities where existing social services – though they may largely work for the majority of the population – are failing to make a real difference. A new approach targeted at reducing the most severe deep-seated disadvantage is needed.

This response needs to be coordinated across government and departmental portfolios and in partnership with the communities themselves as well as business and social services. It must reflect a shared responsibility and be informed by the unique localised disadvantage. Critically, it must be sustained over the long term.