From Mark – 7 June 2019

  • QCOSS CEO Mark Henley
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Equality, opportunity and wellbeing

I hope you have had the opportunity to explore our new vision and website. We are excited with the new look and feel but more excited about our new direction.

Equality, opportunity and wellbeing for every person in every community is an ambitious vision and we believe the work we are doing will help us achieve it. I urge you to look at our new strategic plan and let us know what you think. The strategic plan is on our website.

The wellbeing budget

How exciting was it to see New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s wellbeing budget. This wellbeing budget is founded on the idea that financial prosperity alone is not a sufficient measure of the quality of life. It seeks to value and measure all that makes life good in New Zealand. I could go on forever about how this approach is something that we at QCOSS would champion for Queensland. It prioritises prevention and investment that advance one of the five following government priorities: improving mental health; reducing child poverty; addressing inequalities faced by indigenous Maori and Pacific Island people; thriving in the digital age and transitioning to a low-emission, sustainable economy. Let’s hope the Queensland Government budget next week is just as inspirational! You can read about it here.

Australian Government update

The results of the federal election will not see much change for the work we are doing. We will of course have new ministers in Minister for Families and Social Services (Manager of Government Business in the Senate) Senator the Hon Anne Ruston and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme The Hon Stuart Robert MP. There if course will be others that will be critical to see improved lives for people across Queensland. As a national COSS network we will continue to work on priorities that put people first and improve the equality, opportunity and wellbeing for every person, in every community. From a QCOSS perspective our key ask will be that Senator Ruston and Minister Robert need to make decisions that put the wellbeing of people above all else – like they have now done in New Zealand. It is imperative that our new Ministers and policy makers listen to the community, the community sector and peaks to make sure they are making the right choices. The full list of ministers is available on the Parliament of Australia website.

Budget week

The Queensland Budget will be handed down next week. We will have initial comments to you by the end of Tuesday and our full commentary available following our budget breakfast on Tuesday 18 June. It is a little later this year so we will have the opportunity to spend more time looking at the implications of the budget on the sector. This year we have also changed the format of our breakfast – Hon Coralee O’Rourke Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors will speak to us about the budget. Following the Minister’s presentation, she will be joined by Hon Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence for a panel discussion with questions from the floor. We will then hear from Professor Anne Tiernan, Dean (Engagement), Griffith Business School; Neil Willmett, Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council; and Anita Veivers, Executive Director, Centacare FNQ during a second panel session. Matt Wordsworth from ABC will MC the event.

7 June 2019