This week in review - 16 November 2017

Mark Henley

YES to Marriage Equality
We are ecstatic that the marriage equality vote has come back resoundingly YES!  It is also pleasing to see that the legislation has begun its path through Parliament as of yesterday afternoon.  We will be advocating to make sure Parliament does not trade away existing important anti-discrimination protections for all Australians in return for the right to marry. This is a big win for inclusion.  Hopefully, in time, this will ‘open the eyes’ of people who hadn’t come to recognise or accept that barriers do exist for many people across the country.

Queensland State Election
With the election campaign in full swing we have had a look at the policies of the different parties and below (the feature article) outlines some of the key policies and our take on them.

When QCOSS sent out our election statement we also contacted all parties to seek a meeting.  As a result, I am meeting with Greens candidate Amy MacMahon on Friday.  I have also met with a senior Labor policy advisor and spoken on the phone to a LNP representative and both indicated we will receive a formal written response to our statement. I have also had correspondence from the Labor Party saying they will send us a letter addressing our asks of government. We have received correspondence from Steve Dickson, One Nation letting me know he is unable to meet.  I will keep you posted as we hear more. Of course our statement forms an important foundation for discussion with any incoming government and we will be setting up those meetings as soon as we know who will be in power.
We have also released our joint statement with the Property Council of Australia on affordable housing calling on an incoming government to deliver 38,000 new affordable dwellings over the next decade. You can read the full document here.
QCOSS is also working with 12 other social service peaks in Queensland to ask an incoming government to work alongside both the peaks, community services and the community.  You can read the full statement here.
NDIS - What are you experiencing?
We are hearing very mixed stories about the NDIS rollout from both participants and services.  It seems that there are some significant issues and we are keen to hear what you have been experiencing.  We will continue to consult with NDS, QDN and the National COSS Network on the emerging issues as implementation has rolled out. QCOSS will work with them to develop resources and if required, advocacy material. 
So what have been you experiences?  We want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly! To help us collate your answers we hope you won’t mind putting your comments into this survey form!  If you would prefer please drop us an email.  You can email Karen Murphy at [email protected].

Uluru Statement
We are disappointed that the Federal Government has dismissed the views of our nation's First Peoples in rejecting the 'Uluru Statement from the Heart'. QCOSS, ACOSS and a broad cross-section of Australian civil society is calling on the Federal Coalition Government to respect the wishes of Australia's First Nations peoples and make constitutional reforms that enable them to take their rightful place in Australia. We invite you to sign this joint statement to the Prime Minister and Australian Parliament which so far has over 4,000 signatories.


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer

16 November 2017