This week in review - 5 April 2018

Mark Henley

Ministerial Housing Council

Last week I attended the Ministerial Housing Council hosted by the Hon Mick De Brenni MP. The National Partnership on Remote Housing was a discussion point. The position of the government is clear from this excerpt of the Communique:

“The Council also noted the status of inter-governmental discussions on the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement and the National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH). In particular, members noted ongoing uncertainty of funding under NPRH. The Council calls on the Australian Government to provide certainty for funding for remote housing in Queensland to ensure we continue to meet housing needs and to ensure continuation of the construction program and the positive economic and employment benefits for these remote communities, noting existing commitments expire 30 June 2018. The Council noted that discontinuation of Commonwealth funding will result in a significant reduction in the scale of housing and homelessness services in communities across the state.”

From the QCOSS perspective this position is not good enough. The federal and state governments need to work together to adequately fund both remote housing and provide housing and homelessness services for all Queenslanders – not one or the other. Recent homelessness figures show growing demand and need in the community and governments have a responsibility to step up and respond. We will be advocating that this must happen without compromise.

Sunny Savers

This week we farewelled staff who have been working in Cairns and Rockhampton on the Sunny Savers Program – a state government program in partnership with Ergon to put solar panels on social housing dwellings. Our role in the program has been to work with tenants to help them understand the process and more broadly assist with ways they can further reduce energy bills. This project has literally and figuratively opened doors to a wealth of information that we will be feeding into our advocacy around cost-of-living issues. In Cairns and Rockhampton we have signed up 865 people and have had a 97 per cent conversion rate. We look forward to working on the next phase of the project in Logan as it is anticipated to roll out later this year.

QCOSS 2018/19 State Budget Submission

It is that time of year again when we seek government to invest in approaches and programs to build wellbeing in Queensland. This year we have been speaking to numerous Ministers about QCOSS State Election Strategy – the Manifesto for Change and our State Budget Submission will mirror this as we believe these asks are still relevant. We believe the time is right to radically change the way we all work together in communities to create wellbeing for all. We call on the Queensland Government to lead with vision – set clear and shared goals; to listen and be led by community need; and set a clear action plan for social development in Queensland. This is an approach that can be tested in 10 communities over the next few years, using place-based and social investment methodologies. 

A draft is provided here – it is yet to be finalised so please have a read and let us know by contacting Karen Murphy on 3004 6913 if we have missed anything or something should be changed.

When finalised we will provide some speaking points for you if you wish to meet with your local member to discuss.

Changes to the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Yesterday, Michael Hogan, Director General, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women released a statement outlining changes that have taken place in the Department starting on
3 April. The changes align the structure under the areas of corporate services; information, innovation and recovery; strategy; and service delivery. 

The other significant change is the move from seven regions to five. The five regions are now Northern Queensland; Central Queensland; Moreton; South West; and South East.

The full statement with detailed structure and regional alignment can be viewed here.


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer