Vital community services that have helped Queenslanders through the housing crisis, natural disasters and with soaring costs of living, have secured a $50 million funding increase.
QCOSS (Queensland Council of Social Service) CEO Aimee McVeigh welcomed the much-needed boost from the Queensland Government for the sector today.
“Community services are there when Queenslanders are in need, and the current need is unprecedented,” McVeigh said. “Soaring costs of living and the housing crisis have sparked an enormous increase in people seeking help from our services in all areas of the state.
“Our services help families, couples and individuals experiencing homelessness and domestic violence. They support children, people with a disability, and older people.
“Like every business, community service organisations have faced rapidly increasing costs. Today’s announcement by Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick will allow them to continue their essential work.
“The new 5.07 per cent indexation rate, increased from the 2.88 per cent announced earlier this year, acknowledges the importance of the work undertaken by almost 150,000 workers, in more than 10,000 charities across the state.”
Melinda McInturff, the Coordinator of the Yeronga Community Centre, which has played a crucial role in helping Brisbane residents through floods, said the extra funding would be “life-changing”.
“Every day we make a difference in people’s lives at our centre, and other centres like ours across Queensland. This new funding enables us to provide more programs, more support, and also build our community resilience,” she said.
Relationships Australia QLD CEO Ian Law said the announcement was great news.
“It’s excellent that the Government has recognised that there is an increasing cost to organisations doing business,” Dr Law said.
“It’s a testament to the power of community services working together to achieve an outcome that will make an enormous difference to our organisations, our workers and those we work for.”
Caxton Legal Centre CEO Cybele Koning, who called for a higher indexation rate earlier this year, said she welcomed any rise that would support the delivery of services.
“This increase means we can reverse any cuts that we might have had to make to frontline service delivery,” Ms Koning said.
Kyabra Community Association CEO David O’Toole said the costs of delivering frontline services had increased significantly for many years.
“This is a welcome acknowledgement of the value of our sector and the real cost of providing support to vulnerable Queenslanders,” Mr O’Toole said.
The Queensland Government has announced that in 2022-23, indexation of service delivery arrangements with community services sector organisations will be increased from 2.88 per cent to 5.07 per cent.
This additional funding will contribute to operational costs incurred in service delivery, including wages, superannuation, transport, insurance and ICT costs.
Today’s announcement followed a commitment by the Treasurer at this year’s QCOSS State Budget breakfast to work with QCOSS, on behalf of the sector, on the indexation rate.