QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh has called on the government to take advantage of the current economic climate to make the substantial investments in public housing and community services that Queensland urgently needs.
“This government was given a clear mandate to borrow significant amounts of money to recover from the COVID crisis. Spending big to recover is the right thing to do,” she said.
“Whatever we borrow now should leave a lasting legacy for all Queenslanders. We shouldn’t be borrowing to rebuild, but to build back better.
“Spending should support the wellbeing of Queenslanders, create jobs, and support a strong community sector.
“It is very disappointing to see no new commitment from the state government to build new public housing. Two weeks ago, we saw the Victorian Government commit an historic $5.3 billion to building new social and affordable housing. We desperately need the same kind of investment in Queensland.”
The budget provides some support for Queenslanders’ financial wellbeing by following through on the government’s election commitment to help people access the No Interest Loan Scheme.
This commitment will create jobs in the community sector – a sector which is made up of 80 per cent women – and help Queenslanders doing it tough.
Ms McVeigh warns that the COVID-19 pandemic is a different kind of disaster than Queensland is used to responding to.
“We can’t treat this disaster in the same way we treat bushfires or floods by rebuilding or repairing roads.
“The pandemic has redefined those in our communities who are on the tipping point of crisis.
“It is extremely important that we do not lose sight of these people in recovery. We need to maintain the spotlight on Queenslanders who are struggling. They have been doing it tough for too long and this must change.”
There is another opportunity for the government to ensure that all Queenslanders can participate in economic recovery, with the 2021-2022 budget due to be handed down in six months’ time.
QCOSS is advocating for:
- A significant investment to build tens of thousands new public housing dwellings
- A Community Sector Resilience Fund so our organisations can respond to the need in their communities
- Funding for energy efficiency upgrades for low-income households in Queensland.