David Locke was recently appointed the new chief ombudsman and CEO of the Australian Financial Complains Authority (AFCA). QCOSS was delighted to host David and representatives from government, legal services, banking, and community organisations for a meet and greet, and to start a dialog on improving circumstances for people impacted by financial hardship. The issues are very evident given that living affordability has risen significantly and the incomes levels, particularly for those on low to medium incomes, have not risen at appropriate rates.
At the 2018 AGM QCOSS welcomed two new Honorary Life Members - Mark Tucker-Evans and Peter Emery
Congratulations to Kit Ison, who was recently appointed on the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) Regional Priority Jobs Committee.
QCOSS has reiterated our in principle support for the introduction of a mandatory portable long service leave scheme for workers employed (by for- profit and not-for-profit organisations) in the social and community services sector including disability across Queensland in a joint response by several of the community service peaks.
On 25 October 2018, the Australian Energy Markets Commission (AEMC) made a more preferable final rule to make it easier for small customers to fix inaccurate estimated bills by providing their own reading of an electricity or gas meter to their retailer.
The Queensland Families and Communities Association welcomes the announcement by Minister O’Rourke to award Thriving Communities Grants to 73 neighbourhood centres across Queensland. Over $600,000 has been invested into communities, which the peak body of neighbourhood centres says will enhance local communities and provide essential infrastructure to services.
Sharon Boyce is a Toowoomba local identity, QDN Board Director, Chairperson of the Queensland Disability Advisory Council and member of the Toowoomba Regional Council’s Regional Access and Disability Advisory Committee (RADAC). She shared her story of inclusion at the recent Changing Lives, Changing Communities event held in Toowoomba.
Transurban (previously known as Go Via and now Linkt in Queensland) last week released its Hardship Pilot Outcomes report and has adopted recommendations to improve its hardship program. These improvements include the establishment of a new dedicated team to support people having payment difficulties; easier access to support; and earlier education and intervention. Transurban is currently implementing these improvements and it is expected that these will be up and running in early 2019.
Rehema Barry from Multicultural Development Australia (MDA), shared her personal story of inclusion in Rockhampton. Rehema was studying in Brisbane for over three years when she met her husband. Shortly after marrying, they agreed to move to Rockhampton. Rehema soon became apprehensive about the move after speaking with her friends at university.
Do you have questions or concerns about the Cashless Debit Card trial in Queensland? QCOSS wants to engage with local people and community services about the trial.