Energy bill relief, free universal kindergarten, and other cost-of-living measures announced in today’s state budget will help Queenslanders who are really struggling, QCOSS says.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said the budget includes a welcome combination of urgent relief and longer-term solutions.
McVeigh welcomed the Government’s $1.48 billion package for electricity bill support, as well as the historic investment in generation and storage of renewable energy, which will bring down power prices into the future.
“Being able to take $550 off your energy bill, and more than $1000 for concession card holders, will come as an enormous relief for Queenslanders and will make a concrete difference to household budgets.
“It’s also excellent to see more funding for the School Breakfast program, and importantly, free universal kindergarten, which will help to give our youngest Queenslanders their best start.”
McVeigh also welcomed the extra $1.1 billion for social housing and additional funding for emergency and crisis accommodation.
“This is a big investment, but it will not make a significant impact on Queensland’s housing crisis,” McVeigh said.
“Even with today’s commitment to build 500 new social houses, the current level of investment will not even maintain the status quo.
“Without a comprehensive plan to put a roof over the head of every Queenslander, the housing crisis will continue to get worse. We call on the Queensland Government to urgently develop a plan that expands social and affordable rental stock by 11,000 dwellings annually. Social housing must be delivered across Queensland according to need – identified through transparent modelling based on reliable data.
“This target cannot be met by the state government alone. A plan must be developed to enable a combination of Commonwealth and state government, not-for-profit and private sector investment, development, and management of social and affordable housing.”
The state budget provides further evidence that the Queensland Government knows that addressing the root causes of crime is essential to keeping communities safe.
“Funding community-controlled organisations to deliver On Country programs in Mount Isa, Townsville and Cairns demonstrates that the Queensland Government knows what works,” McVeigh said.
“We need to see more investment in early intervention community service programs that work to keep communities safe.”