From Mark – 12 February 2020

  • QCOSS CEO Mark Henley
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We need your support to Make Renting Fair in Queensland

Everyone in Queensland needs a place to call home – whether they rent or own. Last year, the state government proposed a suite of rental reforms that will improve safety and security for renters, bringing Queensland in line with other states in Australia

We need to show the state government and each parliamentarian that there is strong community support across Queensland for the proposed reforms. To do this, I am calling on you, our valued members, to support the Make Renting Fair in Queensland campaign. We need to demonstrate our unity because these are important changes and renters need better protections and supports.

Visit the Make Renting Fair in Queensland website and sign up as a supporter. It is simple.

The state government must hold their ground with the changes. These reforms are a crucial step in the right direction for housing reform in Queensland – which is why we have dedicated this special edition of Conduit to this cause.

In past weeks, various media outlets in Queensland have been spreading misinformation about the proposed changes, which is why it is even more important Queenslanders get on board with the campaign and understand the facts.

QCOSS is proud to be a member of the Make Renting Fair in Queensland Alliance – an alliance advocating for better outcomes for tenants in Queensland.

New partnership to connect more Queenslanders to NDIS

QCOSS is proud to be one of three community organisations partnering with the Queensland Government to support Queenslanders access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Targeted Outreach Program launched in Maryborough yesterday, targeting people with disability who are yet to apply for the NDIS, particularly those living in rural and remote regions in Queensland. The partnership is between Queenslanders with Disability Network, QCOSS, Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia and the Queensland Government.

You can read more about this partnership in our media release here.

A new justice narrative

QCOSS would like to congratulate the Queensland Productivity Commission for their comprehensive final report on Imprisonment and Recidivism. The report clearly outlines the evidence base and the structural reform required for reducing imprisonment and recidivism in Queensland.

However, it is disappointing that the state government rejects making necessary evidence-based legislative changes. This includes reducing the scope of criminal offences, decriminalising and legalising low-harm drugs, and the increase of alternative options instead of imprisonment.

QCOSS will continue to advocate for our elected leaders to implement evidence-based legislative reform and end the unhelpful ‘tough on crime’ narrative that surrounds imprisonment and recidivism in Queensland. Read the full story on the QCOSS website.

Community sector voices need to be heard

We are pleased the state government Economics and Governance Committee has listened to the concerns of QCOSS and other community groups and charities had in its report on the Queensland Government’s political donations bill, released late last week.

The Committee’s report recommended the law be passed, but with amendments to ease the burden and barriers it places on community organisations.

The proposed Bill is an important one to improve the transparency of elections in Queensland. However, the onerous compliance and regulatory burdens the Bill proposes was a key concern for QCOSS and other community groups, as it would likely see the sector choosing not to engage in important public debate during election time.

Although the report does not address all our concerns, the fact the Committee has recommended the state government ease the burden the Bill places on community organisations means they have listened to our advice. Read our full media release here.

Close the Gap report

While there has been success in some areas, the Close the Gap report today shows there is so much more that needs to happen in Queensland to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly those in remote areas of the state.

We are pleased that the Federal Government is taking a new approach with the Closing the Gap Refresh Process. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices must be heard in this process if meaningful change is to occur.

In Queensland, we welcome the Tracks to Treaty initiative that will be important step in improving the state government’s relationship with First Nations people. This treaty and the Uluru Statement from the Heart will be important foundations to truly see change around the Close the Gap focus and targets.

We look forward to sharing more information about this in the near future.

Signing off

This will be my last Conduit before my departure from QCOSS. I feel proud to have worked with such a strong, progressive organisation over the past eight years, and will be leaving a group of passionate people who have a strong and powerful vision and aspiration for all people.

I will welcome Aimee into the CEO role next week and hope you take every opportunity to work with her and the team at QCOSS to see improved outcomes for millions of people across Queensland who will benefit from QCOSS advocacy and your support and services.

I want to like to sincerely thank you, our members, for your support over the years. QCOSS wouldn’t be where it is today without your invaluable support, collaboration and input into our initiatives, so thank you.

12 February 2020