Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Aimee McVeigh joined the Premier’s Queensland Industry Recovery Alliance today in Brisbane.
Ms McVeigh commends the government on bringing together a wide cross-section of Queensland’s Industry Peak Bodies to work with the government on the State’s COVID-19 economic response and recovery.
“QCOSS is proud to represent Queensland’s thousands of community services at the Alliance. We will make the community’s voices heard in these meetings to ensure that no Queenslander is left behind in the recovery period.
“Our sector sprang into action in March when the COVID-19 crisis began in earnest, and services have not taken a break. We are busier than ever assisting Queensland’s most vulnerable, a cohort that has substantially increased due to job losses.
“Any recovery package for Queensland must acknowledge the essential role community services have played during this crisis. Millions of Queenslanders have accessed this support during the pandemic and will continue to as we try to rebuild post-COVID.”
Ms McVeigh warns that the government must not phase out any economic measures or protections in swiftly going forward.
“We are very much concerned about the second half of the year and the impact vulnerable Queenslanders may face if governments remove the appropriate social safety nets currently in place in September.
“Queensland, and Australia as a whole, will not be able to recover our economies if people are hit with a double whammy come September: accumulated debt from essential services bills, mortgage repayments and rental arrears; and the wrap-up of the federal government’s COVID supplement for JobSeekers and the JobKeeper payments.”
Ms McVeigh says that, going forward, we must build back better.
“Any economic stimulus must provide benefits to all Queenslanders, and not just corporate interests. We want to see a major investment in building and maintaining social and affordable housing across the state, as well as targeted investments in our regional communities.
“As we start to see Queenslanders returning to work and children returning to school, there is no better time than now to ask our elected representatives for these provisions that will help to build Queensland back better,” Ms McVeigh says.