This week in review - 9 March 2017

Mark Henley

Budget Priority Statement
This week we released our Budget Priority Statement with your comments and considerations.  You can read it here.
Our next steps will be to:

  • Meet with key members of parliament (government, opposition and cross bench) and government officers to discuss the details of the actions outlined in the document.
  • Write to and send the document to every Queensland Member of Parliament asking them to consider their local community and how these few actions will improve the lives of people experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage.
  • Implement a campaign to raise awareness about the actions needed for the social and economic wellbeing of all Queenslanders.
I look forward to continuing the push for these essential actions.
Call for an independent Housing Supply Council
I have mentioned earlier, in response to the number of times you raised the issues of housing affordability in our Budget Priority Statement survey, that we are working with the Property Council of Australia on a combined position to address housing affordability.
On Friday we released the first part of this work calling on the government to establish an independent Housing Supply Council. You can read the media release here.
This is only one part of the solution of housing affordability and we are continuing work in this space.  We will have a document to release to you in the coming weeks.
Strong steps towards addressing financial hardship
Following ongoing advocacy from QCOSS and the community service sector, laws which will offer debtors experiencing financial hardship alternative ways to reduce or pay off the amount they owe to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER), were introduced last week. This is a great move and we support it wholeheartedly!  This, coupled with some other measures released recently, are good news for people who are unable to meet the rising cost of living and QCOSS will continue to advocate for further measures to make sure this momentum continues.
Cost-of-living showcase
Addressing cost-of-living issues for Queenslanders is one of QCOSS’ major areas of focus.  All of the work I have mentioned in this column is based on that work and the wins have been generated from our constant advocacy on the issues. 
To recognise the work being done by the sector in this area, QCOSS is hosting a Cost-of-living showcase.  This event  is an opportunity to share ideas and showcase a number of innovative and important partnership initiatives helping communities throughout Queensland manage cost-of-living issues. We will hear from corporate and community leaders who will share their lessons - what has worked, what the challenges have been, and what they see as the opportunities for fostering partnership approaches to address cost-of-living issues in the future. If you are able to come along I urge you to do so as it will be an exciting event.  More information here.
Vale Jeff Cheverton
Last week Jeff Cheverton died unexpectedly.  Jeff worked and contributed a lot to the community and social service sector in Queensland and will be missed by all who knew him.  Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer
9 March 2017