Thanks to everyone who took part in our Cost-of-living Showcase last week. It was a great opportunity to hear about some innovative and important initiatives and to share ideas on how we can all work together to help communities throughout Queensland manage cost-of-living issues. Programs like Switched On Communities and Energy Savvy Families are great examples of business, government and community services working together to have a positive impact. We will continue to encourage government and service providers such as energy retailers, telcos and banks to fund similar programs to help those who are struggling most to pay their everyday bills.
Inquiry on Service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
QCOSS has prepared and sent a submission to the Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) Inquiry into service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Although submissions were due Friday 2 June, the QPC will continue to accept submissions. QCOSS has met twice with the Commission to discuss the process as we are very keen to ensure there is strong engagement and consultation for this Inquiry. A second round of public consultation will commence after the draft report is released on 31 August 2017. It is clear that a lot more engagement needs to happen on this Inquiry so I encourage members to get involved if you have not done so already. For more information about the Inquiry, click here.
Government indexation rates
The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services has advised that the indexation rates for funded services for 2017-18 will be:
- 2.63 per cent – Communities, Women and Youth, Child Safety and Domestic and Family Violence, Multicultural Affairs, Seniors and Community Care (state funded)
- 2.36 per cent Women’s Shelters (state and commonwealth funded)
- 2.48 per cent – Disability Services (state and commonwealth funded).
Indexation payments will be calculated from 1 July 2017.
State Budget and Equal Remuneration Order
QCOSS and other peaks have engaged with the Department of Communities about the detail in the State Budget in relation to the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) acknowledging the Queensland Government’s statement about budget prioritisation. The ERO is in recognition of increases to award rates for social and community services employees. QCOSS has received several queries in relation to how the ERO is planned to be implemented by the Department. We will continue to engage with the Department on this issue as we understand the importance of this to the community services sector.
Chief Executive Officer
29 June 2017