This week in review - 22 February 2018

Mark Henley

QCOSS Pulse Workshops
I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone around the state who took the time to come along to the QCOSS Pulse sessions held during the last few weeks.  The quality of the response we received was amazing.  This week we will be compiling your stories, thoughts and the things you believe your communities are doing well.  This will help to inform both the QCOSS State Budget Priority Statement (underway now) and also parts of the conference in May. We will also distribute a Story Book that collates the output from this important community engagement.

Letter to PM
Several weeks ago, as part of the National COSS Network, QCOSS wrote a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to continue the National Partnership on Remote Housing.  You can read that letter here.  We have not received a response at this stage.  We will continue to advocate on this crucial issue so that funding is made available to ensure the wellbeing of people in remote communities.  Housing is a basic human right and provides the foundation for good social and economic outcomes for all Australians.  People in remote communities have a right to expect this support as much as anyone. 

Welfare reform
Last week we heard that legislation was passed in the Australian Parliament extending and expanding the cashless welfare card in other states.  This is a win for the Queensland communities in Bundaberg and Fraser Coast who were facing its introduction.  We will continue to advocate against this blanket approach to welfare reform because it is fundamentally flawed.  We have serious concerns about these divisive policies that are causing more harm to people and their communities. 

Peaks engagement
QCOSS engages with many stakeholders. Some of our most important are other peak organisations working in the community services sector.  Working closely with these organisations allows us to see the breadth of the service system – noting what is working well and where some additional attention may be required.  We are continuing to meet as a group to address the key issues and share key messages for advocacy.  I will keep you posted on this work.

Mark Henley
22 February 2018