This week in review - 12 January 2017

Mark Henley

Happy new year to you all! I hope the new year finds you well and getting back into the swing of things.  If the first few weeks are anything to go by it is going to be a big and busy year!

Centrelink debt collection process

Since I emailed you earlier in the week about this, there have been several developments in relation to the federal government's Centrelink debt collection processes (If you missed that email I have included some information below):

  • the number of issues seems to be growing, along with the disturbing stories of what people are experiencing, whether they do or do not have a Centrelink debt.
  • the national, state and territory Councils of Social Service have held a teleconference to consolidate the issues being experienced and work out a way forward. I am hoping we will have this position to you tomorrow for your input and comment. ACOSS's latest media release is here.
  • a number of organisations have provided contact details and resouces that may assist anyone who has received a letter regarding a potential overpayment. You can see these on our website here.

Thank you to everyone who has already responded. We will summarise what we have and get it back to you shortly. We will also continue to track the issue and are still interested to hear your stories and what is happening on the ground. Again, please forward any information you have to Karen Murphy at karenm@qcoss.org.au.

Recently Released Submissions and Papers

Just prior to Christmas there were a number of papers released by government seeking comment, including:

  • The Queensland Government is developing a new state disability plan and has released the consultation paper Towards an all abilities Queensland to inform this process. Towards an all abilities Queensland is available on their website. It invites all Queenslanders to have their say on how we can work together to help make Queensland more inclusive than ever before.
  • Review of the Child Protection Act 1999 has been extended to Monday 16 January 2017.
  • Federal Productivity Commission - Reform to Human Services wishes to receive information and comment on issues which participants consider relevant to the inquiry’s terms of reference. Further information is available from the inquiry's web page

QCOSS will work with stakeholders in responding to these papers and will keep you informed. 

The Queensland Government also released its Housing Strategy Consultation Report, which is being used to help to develop Queensland’s new 10-year Housing Strategy. To see a copy of the report, go to their website.

QCOSS Board welcomes new Chair

At the end of last year the Board appointed Kate Tully as its Chair.  

Kate, who is based in Toowoomba, was elected to the QCOSS board as a regional representative in 2012 and re-elected in 2015. She has also served for the past year as Chair of QCOSS’ Finance and Audit Committee.

She is Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Queensland, a respected and long-serving community services organisation that is involved in many areas of the community service sector including community housing, domestic and family violence, disability services, employment and training programs, as well as YWCA signature programs developing women’s leadership.

Read more about Kate on our website.

 

Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer