Strong steps towards addressing financial hardship

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Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) welcomes the State Government’s moves this week to empower Queenslanders experiencing financial hardship.

Following ongoing advocacy from QCOSS and the community service sector, laws introduced today will offer debtors experiencing financial hardship alternative ways to reduce or pay off the amount they owe to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER).

This includes undertaking financial counselling, community service, or relevant treatment for drug, alcohol or other issues.

Alongside this change, 27 new financial resilience counsellors yesterday started work across Queensland as part of the Better Budgeting program.

QCOSS CEO Mark Henley said both initiatives were a step in the right direction.

“The government has made some good changes in the financial space, which will help empower Queenslanders experiencing financial stress,” Mr Henley said.

“We are working in communities and we know families and individuals are doing it tough. These changes go some way to addressing this problem.

“People will now have the option to get the support they need, and in the case of SPER debtors, they can reduce their debt at the same time.”

For more than 55 years QCOSS has been a leading force for social change to eliminate poverty and disadvantage. With members from throughout Queensland, QCOSS supports a strong community service sector.