This week in review - 23 August 2018

Mark Henley

Parliamentary inquiry into Toll Roads

This week we were invited to speak at the Parliamentary Inquiry into the operation of Toll Roads in Queensland based on the submission we made.  QCOSS has been working with a range of community legal centres, community organisations and financial counsellors to understand the impact of road tolls and associated fees being imposed on individuals.   QCOSS believes that the road tolling system in Queensland is unfair and needs to be reformed.  It is making people vulnerable given the harshness of the approach in relation to the toll costs, associated costs and the process applied in collecting payments. QCOSS recommendations aim to improve outcomes for all road users, but particularly those on low incomes and those experiencing financial hardship.

We gave evidence along with Caxton Legal Centre, LawRight, South West Brisbane Community Legal Centre, Legal Aid and Toll Redress.  Together we provided clear and consistent messages to the Inquiry including the recommendations to extend the time to pay beyond the current 3 days, introduce monthly billing, and limit debts to unpaid tolls only for at least 30 days after an amount becomes due (like other service billing).

The Committee is due to report on 13 September 2018 and we will provide you with further details after this date.

Fraser Coast Changing Lives, Changing Communities

I am currently at Changing Lives, Changing Communities event on the Fraser Coast.  The first day has provided some valuable insights into the community through stories of inclusion and some scene setting.  For me it is an invaluable experience to be part of these events and hear the wisdom and knowledge in each community.  I think these events, and others like them are a real opportunity to harness the power of the community when it is engaged and motivated to see better outcomes for all people who live in it.  I look forward to that continuing into the future. 

See you next week in Townsville.

Congratulations Faiza El-Higzi

This week at the 2018 Qld Multicultural Awards – QCOSS Board member Faiza El-Higzi won the 2018 Qld Multicultural outstanding Individual Achiever.  QCOSS congratulate her on this achievement.

Faiza is Sudanese-born and is an active campaigner for human rights and cultural diversity within the Queensland community. She is described as a ‘bridge builder’ who strengthens community ties by creating spaces for conversations and interactions. Her work on community and government boards are important opportunities to bring attention to community issues and enable discussions that lead to positive outcomes for people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

We are proud to have Faiza on QCOSS Board.

Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer