All the latest news from Australia’s social service boards.
Amid much discussion about moving to Workforce Australia’s new employment service system, ACOSS considers that changes announced by Employment Minister Tony Burke as a good first step towards correcting defects in the jobactive system. But ACOSS remains concerned that Workforce Australia contains some deeply problematic features of jobactive that it identified in the report just released. Voice report which cause stress and hardship to the unemployed without improving their job prospects. Click here to read more.
SACOSS highlighted the need for retailers to help customers struggling to pay their energy bills. This follows a recent Federal Court decision to impose record penalties in a case brought by Australia’s energy regulator for a retailer failing to comply with its obligations to protect customers facing difficulties when using automated processes. SA energy consumers can find useful advice and information on their rights here.
This fortnight, ACTCOSS partners with other community organizations welcoming recommendations to the ACT government to enact the terms of the No Rights Without Remedy petition. ACTCOSS called on the ACT government to permanently increase the concession of public services in 2022-23 as the Canberrans face higher utility bills. ACTCOSS also welcomed the announcement by the ACT government of a 4.43% increase in funding for the ACT community sector for the year 2022/23.
WACOSS launched the WA Digital Inclusion Project, which is a collaboration of 25 partners – including government, leading community service organizations and NBN Co – that aims to build the digital capacity of frontline community service workers and vulnerable people, and their communities. The project is expected to run over three years and hope to help 100,000 people in the Perth metropolitan area and several regional centers in the state.
The last Auditor General’s Report highlights a glaring lack of action to bridge the digital divide from the Government of Tasmania, despite continued warnings from TasCOSS, community groups and industry that Tasmania must raise the fund of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) improving our digital access, accessibility and skills. The 65,000 Tasmanians who cannot participate online deserve better. Read the full response from TasCOSS.
The United Nations has determined that everyone should have the right to have access to sufficient, safe, physically accessible and affordable water. But what does this mean in practice? In Queensland, the right to water is not enshrined in the Human Rights Act 2019 and the end user is often excluded from accessing potential hardship provisions. QCOSS is hosting a free webinar with Tenants Queensland, exploring how community service organizations can better support tenants’ access to essential water service. register here.
The VCOSS is pleased to confirm that community sector organizations funded by the Departments of Families, Equity and Housing (DFFH) and Health will receive a funding escalation of 4.6% for 2022-2023. This increase in current funding is designed to help services cope with rising costs. The breakthrough comes after lengthy discussions between VCOSS as the highest point of the community sector, Treasurer Tim Pallas, Minister Colin Brooks and their staff. It follows the recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to increase the minimum wage. Click here to find out more.
The NTCOSS met with the Honorable Dr Anne Aly, Minister for Education and Youth of Australia, who is committed to including the voice of young Territorians in all legislative and policy decisions. NTCOSS launched Youth Voice NT to help amplify the voices of young Territorians. Click here to find out more.
The NSW budget has failed those most in need. NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said the big spending budget includes some positive reform initiatives, but overall the budget fails those who struggle the most and misses an opportunity to support the social services sector, predominantly female. Learn more here.
This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Center.