This week I sent you an email about your thoughts on the QCOSS 2017-18 pre-budget submission to the Queensland Government. Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey as we have received a very large number of responses already. For those who have not yet completed the survey, it is still open and we are keen to hear your thoughts. You can have your say here. This is an important document that will be a key piece of advocacy for QCOSS and your comments are essential in providing some stories and comments from service providers and your understanding of the needs of the communities and individuals you support.
Transport concessions update
Our most recent communication with the Department of Transport is that the transport concessions for job seekers and asylum seekers is more likely to be implemented mid-2017 rather than early. We have sought clarification as to when that will actually be and will continue to work with them and let you know of any progress. We are seeking to engage in the implementation and ongoing operations to ensure that the outcome best meets the needs of the community.
This week we met with representatives of a number of organisations in other states and community legal services from around Queensland to discuss this issue further. The outcome was to continue to seek feedback from individuals impacted who believe the notice they have been sent is inaccurate, and if required, refer them to appropriate organisations for support (such as Basic Rights Queensland) and encourage them to share their stories with the Ombudsman. We will continue to collect information including stories on this matter and feed it into our advocacy. Please email Karen Murphy if you have a story at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in commenting on our policy position about this issue you can still do that. Basic Rights Queensland also have helpful information on their website.
Useful resources about this issue:
Meeting with Minister for Police, Corrections and Emergency Services
QCOSS Chair, Kate Tully and I recently met with Minister Ryan to discuss the relevance of QCOSS work and that of the broader community services sector, and how it intersects with his portfolio areas of police, corrections and emergency services. We were able to share the relevance of the QCOSS Wellbeing Framework and how, if adopted and used to improve life outcomes for all people, we would see improved systemic responses to people in all communities. This is particularly relevant to those who experience disadvantage or vulnerabilities such as poverty or a lack of access to education, employment, housing and health services. The Minister was keen to better understand the issues and the role and approach that his Departments should undertake and how he could support. We will be following up with the Minister to keep him informed on matters of importance to the community.
Our thoughts go out to the family of Amy Deguara who passed away earlier this year. Amy was an inaugural member of the QCOSS Emerging Voices program and contributed a great deal to this program. She will be missed.
Chief Executive Officer
25 January 2017