From Mark – 9 October 2019

  • QCOSS CEO Mark Henley

Portable long service leave

Minister for Industrial Relations Hon Grace Grace has informed the Portable Long Service Taskforce that state cabinet has endorsed the introduction of a portable long service leave scheme for the social and community service sector in Queensland. Their hope is to have the scheme commence on 1 July 2020.

While QCOSS is supportive of a scheme in Queensland there are a number of key issues that need to be clarified and resolved which include clarity on the scope of who is included, ensuring that organisations impacted are supported to ensure a successful transition which means appropriate funding, education and training for the delivery and administration of the scheme.

Social enterprise strategy

The Queensland Government has launched a new Social Enterprise Strategy, aiming to encourage growth in the sector and deliver economic, social and environmental benefits to Queensland communities.

As part of this funding, $450,000 will be invested in a new Social Enterprise Grants program to provide valuable support during the start-up phase of a social enterprise.

Another $400,000 will go towards a pilot program which will provide access to training and mentoring to foster innovation and kick start business ideas.  You can find more detail about the initiatives here.

QCOSS AGM and keynote speaker

This year’s QCOSS AGM will take place on Tuesday 5 November. Our keynote speaker is Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA. A proud Bidjara and Birri-Gubba Juru woman from Queensland, Jackie has played a leading role in reconciliation, literacy, women’s issues and social justice. She is a celebrated historian and author, is the former Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Reconciliation Australia and currently Co-Chair of the Eminent Persons Panel of Path to Treaty Queensland.

Unfortunately, Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP is no longer able to be with us at the AGM due to travel commitments.

Changing Lives, Changing Communities

The second round of Changing Lives, Changing Communities events continues with a forum being held today and tomorrow in Mackay. We’ll be in Capricornia on 22 and 23 October, Fraser Coast on 30 and 31 October, and Mount Isa in mid-November, with more events to come.

I had the privilege of attending 11 of the 12 forums we hosted over the past 12 months. The enthusiasm and actions that the community initiates through this work are inspiring to hear. The forums have been wonderful for each and every person who has attended and in Toowoomba a participant recently commented, “I am grateful to be in the room, be embraced and respected for the contribution I can make.” The strong relationships developed, the decisions made and actions taken are shaping better communities in Queensland now and into the future.

We’d love you to be part of the deep conversations about your community, about what is needed and what can be done to make your community one where everyone contributes, matters and belongs.

Anti-Poverty Week 2019

In more good news for our combined efforts to see a real increase to Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments, Anti-Poverty Week which starts on 13 October, has chosen to make the Raise the Rate campaign its focus this year. You can get involved by joining the Raise the Rate campaign, sharing stories through social media and encouraging your social media followers to call their local MP.

For too long federal parliamentarians have let the community down by not increasing Newstart and the Youth Allowance.  Please take the time to support the Anti-Poverty Week and the Raise the Rate campaign and in order to see positive change for people that need support the most.

9 October 2019