With the 2015 Queensland election approaching it is important that all candidates are aware of the issues surrounding poverty and disadvantage in Queensland. To achieve the vision of a community that offers social and economic prosperity and wellbeing for all, government will have to change the way it operates. Achieving a Queensland free of poverty and disadvantage is no easy task.
- Today 14.8 per cent of Queenslanders are living in poverty, nearly 20,000 of whom are homeless.
- The cost of living is rising, particularly the cost of essential services.
- The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations is increasing on many fronts.
The QCOSS 2015 Queensland Election Platform Election Strategy outlines the key actions an elected government will need to take to achieve the vision outlined in the Queensland Plan. We will have a community spirit that embraces our diversity and unique culture and gives everyone the opportunity to shine. We will not leave anybody behind. We are asking all parties to give their commitment to undertake the following actions.
- A commitment to work together
Action: Immediately, upon the announcement of the new government, begin working with QCOSS and other key stakeholders, to have principles and a framework for true co-design in place.
- Actions to deliver the vision
- Cost of Living
Action: Extend concessions to all holders of a Commonwealth Health Care Card across the state which will ensure much needed assistance for the unemployed and those on very low incomes who currently miss out, by July 2015.
Action: Establish a long-term program of education and support to assist low-income and/or vulnerable households manage increasing cost of living pressures including financial literacy, financial counselling, and legal support, and customer safeguards in emerging markets, in line with deregulation starting July 2015.
- Centre for Excellence
Action: Invest $3 million over two years to establish an independent, community-based Centre for Excellence to support local communities in evidenced-based best practice in family support and advise and drive government and the community sector on how to deliver services more effectively.
- Long-term agreements with the Australian Government
Action: By December 2015 have established long-term (five years) bilateral agreements with the Australian Government on: housing and homelessness; health; and education.
- Programs to support transition to work
Action: Establish programs providing pathways to sustainable employment for vulnerable groups such as young people, seniors, people with a disability, and long-term unemployed.
For key findings with regards to the capacity of low-income households to meet a basic standard of living read our Cost of living report.