This week in review - 25 January 2018

Mark Henley

Welfare reform
The Federal Government’s proposed welfare reforms continue to marginalise people and divide communities across Queensland. QCOSS has written to Xenophon Party Senators seeking their support to ensure that the proposed welfare reforms do not pass as their votes are critical to ensure these reforms do not proceed.  We urge QCOSS members to contact their local senators seeking their support to oppose these harsh and unfair reforms. You can read QCOSS’ policy statement here.

It is issues such as these – the attack on the social safety net and the demonisation of welfare recipients – that we will be talking about in May at Movement for change, the QCOSS State Conference. Importantly we will talk about how we can change and lead on more positive conversations and the stories we need to tell to promote and see the change we want for all individuals and their communities. I believe there has never been a more important time than now to have these critical conversations and seek positive outcomes for our communities.  

Leading into the conference, we will be travelling around the state in February to hold QCOSS Pulse conversations. We want to hear from you about the stories you hear and tell in your local communities, what negative stories you want to change and what positive stories you want to tell. I hope that you can join us to share your knowledge and experiences at one of the QCOSS Pulse events. We have already had strong interest and we are looking forward to engaging with you.

Meeting with Ministers
We have had a very positive meeting with Hon Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors. Minister O’Rourke was supportive of the QCOSS Election Statement in which we called on the incoming Queensland Government to work differently to lead our state into the future. We look forward to working positively with the Minister and her department. I will be continuing to meet with other ministers and their directors general over the next few weeks.

Survey on Universal Housing Design
The Australian Network for Universal Housing Design is pushing for more accessible and inclusive housing and require as many people as possible to complete a short survey.

COAG's 2010-2020 National Disability Strategy committed to support the National Dialogue for Universal Housing Design's goal that all new homes will be of an agreed liveable design standard by 2020.  At the direction of the Building Ministers Forum, the Australian Building Codes Board is assessing the need to regulate for livability in all new housing in the National Construction Code.

The survey will help to identify the difficulties in finding livable housing; the cost and benefit to Australian Society in providing livable features in all new housing; and the features that should be in a livable standard for all new housing.

It would be appreciated if you could share this survey through your networks. 

Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer

25 January 2018