From Mark – 31 July 2019

  • QCOSS CEO Mark Henley
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An update on Raise the Rate

How interesting is it that now the election is over federal parliamentarians are coming out in support of increasing Newstart and the Youth Allowance. Don’t get me wrong it is great they are but this was an issue prior to the election as well.

Having said that we need all federal parliamentarians to increase Newstart and the Youth Allowance by a minimum of $75. There is an urgent call to raise the rate after release of the results of a survey which showed the measure that people are taking to survive:

“I only shower about once a week to save on water and electricity costs. I only flush the toilet when necessary. I am no longer purchasing food that requires refrigeration, so that I can turn the fridge off.”

“I eat one sachet of porridge, one tin of food, and one popper (for Vitamin C) a day. Sometimes I can’t afford the porridge.”

This is not how a wealthy country like Australia should be treating anyone and I urge you to do what you can to support the call to raise the rate.

This research come hard on the heals of both good and disturbingly bad news from last week:

On the positive side of things the Senate has referred an inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart and related payments. QCOSS will be putting in a submission and I urge you to do the same. Pressure is needed to keep the momentum going and bring about positive change for so many people in this country. On the alarming side was the news report that an Australian Government Minister intervened in a Parliamentary Inquiry to remove a recommendation to increase Newstart. Recommendations to any Parliamentary Inquiry should be based purely on evidence presented to the Inquiry and not on the whims of the sitting government.

Please support our call to Raise the Rate of Newstart and the Youth Allowance.

Track to Treaty

I was very excited to be part of the launch of Tracks to Treaty – the name of the process that the state government will undertake to reframe their relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland. This is just so important and without any federal leadership in this area it is critical to how we as a Queensland community move forward together. I am excited to see this change. We will be exploring in more detail the theme of self determination for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how you will be part of that conversation. Conversations will be held on this at QCOSS State Conference on 12 and 13 September and in other upcoming forums. I hope you can join us!

A 60 year milestone and QCOSS State Conference

This year QCOSS celebrates 60 years of service to the community service sector and the community. We will be celebrating this milestone with a dinner as part of our State Conference on 12 September.  During the evening we will treated to a conversation with The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO. Dame Quentin is an Honorary Life Member and past Patron of QCOSS. She has made an incredible contribution to society and we look forward to sharing a conversation with her. More about the conference and dinner here.

State Government Department Strategic Plans

Over the past couple of weeks, a number of Departments have released heir Strategic Plans. Here are a few below:

– Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors sets out their strategic objectives, priorities, risks and opportunities, as well as our key deliverables – 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

– Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women is Strategic Plan 2019-2023. The plan provides a strong vision and purpose, clear objectives and strategies and demonstrates how they contribute to Advancing Queensland’s Priorities.

– Minister Farmer recently released Supporting Families Changing Futures 2019-23 – The Queensland Government’s plan for helping Queensland children, young people, parents and families experiencing vulnerability – a five year strategy for the final stage of the 10 year child and family reform program.

– Department of Housing and Public Works Strategic Plan outlines our vision of working together with respect and compassion to influence change and deliver responsive services that build a healthy and connected Queensland.  You can view it here- Strategic Plan 2019–23 (PDF, 427KB)  Strategic Plan 2019–20 performance indicators and measures (PDF, 114KB).

– Department of Child Safety, Youth plan is Working Together Changing the Story Youth Justice Strategy 2019 – 2023 to deliver real change, safer communities. Their next step is to develop a detailed Action Plan.

31 July 2019