This week in review - 10 August 2018

Mark Henley

Cashless debit card - your action is needed

The vote on the introduction of the Cashless Debit Card is coming to the Senate so QCOSS is asking you to stand together and target the Senators, particularly the cross bench Senators, to say NO. It is fundamentally flawed to think that this approach can solve complex social issues. In fact it is divisive for any community to see people being further marginalised as they are by this policy. QCOSS has done a lot of work around this, including through our engagement with the community, and you can read it here. We strongly urge you to call and/or email the following Senators and urge them to vote NO.

Tim Storer[email protected] or call (08) 8232 0220 or (02) 6277 3698

Rex Patrick: [email protected] or call (08) 8232 1144 or (02) 6277 3785

Stirling Griff: [email protected] or call (08) 8212 1409 or (02) 6277 3128

Key messages to use in your email or phone call:

  • We do not support the expansion of mandatory income management through a Cashless Debit Card.
  • We believe addressing complex health and social issues, such as alcohol, drug and gambling problems, through the welfare system is fundamentally flawed.
  • The government should be increasing inadequate income support payments, such as Newstart. This is more helpful in supporting vulnerable people than punitive measures such as the Cashless Debit Card trial.
  • Participation in any Cashless Debit Card trial should only be on a voluntary basis and supported by a suite of relevant support services.
  • QCOSS cautions that the Cashless Debit Card may further stigmatise people who receive social security in areas where there are limited economic options and has the potential to divide communities.

Housing position released in homelessness week

This week has been homelessness week and we have released our housing position paper. Eight domain areas outline how all levels of government could make different decisions that would help to make sure everyone has a home. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this important piece of work. We have called on your expertise and wisdom many times in pulling together this exciting piece of work. Read more here.

My Health Record

Last edition I said we would provide a fact sheet outlining the facts about the My Health Record scheme, which you can read it here. Of course, since then Minister Hunt has said that changes will be made to the My Health Record legislation so that third parties can only access the records with a warrant or subpoena and that records will be destroyed when people 'opt-out'. These changes have been promised but not yet made. We will keep you posted with updates.

Capricornia Changing Lives, Changing Communities

I had the opportunity to attend the two day Changing Lives, Changing Communities forum in Capricornia on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. It was tremendous to hear from people of that community about their passion for their community and their aspirations to make it more inclusive. The questions posed was "What will it take to create communities where everyone contributes, matters and belongs?" There were great conversations and actions developed which, if are implemented, can make positive change in the community. QCOSS looks forward to continuing work with the community to see their aspirations met.


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer