This week in review - 28 June 2018

Mark Henley

Local councils are signing on to Raise the Rate,

Congratulations to National General Assembly of Local Governments for joining the fight to increase the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments.  Recently at their national conference delegates from local councils across Australia voted to support the increase as a matter of urgency. 

I hope you will also join the cause as individuals, groups and communities around Australia come together to make sure everyone is able to put three meals on the table and afford a decent life.  The campaign is calling on the Australian Government to increase Newstart and related payments by $75 per week so people accessing income support are not forced to live in poverty.

You can look at more of what is happening in the campaign here.

#power of peaks - collaborating for real social change

Queensland Community Service Peaks have been working together for decades.  Recently we have begun to formalise that work and look to where the power of 14 peak organisations could best be used to impact on critical issues.  Together we came up with four critical areas we will work together on to make real social change.  They are the NDIS, Family Matters Campaign, a Human Rights Act for Queensland and Accessible and affordable housing. 

QCOSS, COTA, NDS, Volunteering Queensland, ECCQ, Community Legal Centres Queensland, QShelter, QDN, PeakCare, QATSICPP, CSIA, Health and Community Services Workforce Council, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health and Tenants Queensland commit to working together and with all stakeholders to implement successful reform in these areas.

More details about the four areas can be found on our website.

As we work through our strategies we will keep you posted about our progress and where you can be involved.

Cashless debit card

The Federal Government’s relentless push to have a cashless debit card trial approved in Wide Bay and Bundaberg continues.  Again we are calling on our members to take a stand against this trial knowing it is fundamentally flawed thinking to believe that complex social issues, such as alcohol, drug and gambling problems in a community, can be solved through changes to the welfare system.  Please take the time to write to the Senators who hold the future of this in their hands.  A draft letter and contact details are here.

Reform of service delivery in Indigenous communities

Late last week the Queensland Government released its response to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations into service delivery in remote and discrete Indigenous communities.  While the government’s response appears underwhelming we will be keen to understand better the intent and how the reforms will be implemented.

We have stated in our Pre-election statement - Manifesto for Change and our pre-budget submission, we strongly believe that the reform agenda stepped out by the Queensland Productivity Commission is suitably ambitious and takes the brave step of seeking not to adjust a broken system, but to create a new system that has the potential to radically change these communities.

We will be very keen to understand further the approach to be taken and hoping that it will be the communities themselves that drive and lead this change.


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer