Media Release 14 June 2016
State budget provides some relief for vulnerable Queenslanders
Fair and affordable financing, funding for neighbourhood centres, employment incentives, and transport concessions for job seekers and asylum seekers have been welcomed as part of the Queensland Government’s 2016-17 State Budget announced today.
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Mark Henley said the budget included some small steps towards supporting vulnerable Queenslanders. More however is needed to be done to address the spiralling issues associated with cost of living and affordability issues.
“The transport concessions and fare reduction go some way to alleviating everyday costs needed to assist our most vulnerable families and individuals to break the cycle of poverty and actively participate socially and economically,” Mr Henley said.
“We are disappointed the government has not yet seen fit to extend energy concessions to health care card holders despite the recommendations by the Queensland Productivity Commission. We eagerly await the government’s response to the Commission’s recommendations.”
“The new financial counselling positions in the Financial Resilience and Inclusion Action Plan is a positive step to helping Queenslanders avoid getting into serious debt, and the employment initiatives which provide incentives to employers and assistance into employment for long-term unemployed people is good news.”
“Similarly we welcome the $6.9 million over four years announced for neighbourhood centres – there is no doubt about the importance these centres play in communities, many of them rural and regional, by providing a one-stop location for support, advice and social opportunities.”
“The investment of more than $42 million to maintain universal access to kindergarten is a critical investment for long-term wellbeing of our children and is very welcome. The government should be applauded for this decision.”
The budget also confirms grant indexation for non-government organisations of 2.6875 per cent which will provide some relief to community services to meet their growing costs.
For more than 55 years QCOSS has been a leading force for social change to eliminate poverty and disadvantage. With members from throughout Queensland, QCOSS supports a strong community service sector.
QCOSS CEO – Mark Henley 0448 075 087
QCOSS Communication Manager – Karen Murphy 0423 245 252