In her latest video update, QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh reflects on NAIDOC Week, shares the findings of our new energy report on how COVID-19 has affected consumers and explains why cuts to income support will push more Queenslanders back into poverty.
I’d like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I come to you today – the Jagera and Turrbal people – and acknowledge their elders past and present.
This week is NAIDOC week and the theme is ‘Always was, always will be’ – recognising that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.
We were lucky to have the eminent Mick Gooda as the keynote speaker at our AGM on Tuesday and he reflected on the significance of this week and its theme. Mick told us that NAIDOC week is a time for everyone to join in, reflect and celebrate and that it is not just a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, but of Australian culture.
This week we launched our energy report looking at how COVID-19 has affected energy consumers right across Queensland.
It found that 80 per cent of people who had been on hardship programs with their energy provider did not need those provisions during COVID.
People on low incomes who had been doing it tough were finally able to pay their bills and put food on the table because of higher levels of income support during this period.
That’s why we’ve been so disappointed in the government’s decision this week to wind back levels of income support.
Reduced Jobseeker payments will see people forced to live on just $50 a day, and that will drive hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders back into poverty.
It’s also coming at the worst possible time, with the start of our hot Queensland summer bringing peak energy usage and higher bills.
We’ll be calling on the government to Raise the Rate for Good in the coming weeks and we hope you’ll join us as we call for a permanent and adequate increase to income support.
Until next time, take care and have a great weekend.