This week in review - 23 February 2017

Mark Henley

Housing affordability
Housing affordability has been high on the news agenda this past month with the media reporting that the Australian Government will end funding for the National Affordability Housing Agreement with the states.  While this has not been confirmed or denied by the government the national councils of social service network, of which QCOSS is a part, wrote to Minister Porter about the importance of continuing this agreement.  The full letter is here.

This conversation about housing affordability is not in isolation.  In recent months this issue has become more and more visible in the public eye.  You highlighted it in the feedback you gave regarding the budget priority statement and we are working on it. 

For several months now we have been working with the Property Council of Australia on a joint paper on addressing the affordable housing crisis.  We are also working on a position paper around housing and homelessness.  Both of these will be sent out to you for comment in the next month.

Congratulations 'Our story, our future'
Our story, our future – the Queensland multicultural action plan has now been released.  While it is exciting to see action on the inclusion of multicultural policy outcomes set out in a whole-of-government approach, it is particularly pleasing to see that the Language Services Policy and Multicultural Queensland Charter will be embedded in the Human Services Quality Services Framework by the end of 2018.  This is something that QCOSS has been advocating for.

Meeting of the Peaks
This week I have met with a number of other Peak agencies working across the community services sector to look at what asks we may have in common for government this budget cycle.  I was able to share the work we have done on our draft Budget Priority Statement.  While this work progresses we have also been looking at what will sit in QCOSS' election campaign ready for the upcoming state election.

Improvements made to the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme (HEEAS)
We have just heard good news of improvements to the processes of applying for HEEAS.  This is a great outcome and something QCOSS and other key stakeholders have been advocating.  We will forward more details as they are known. The QCOSS media release is here.


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer