Social reinvestment, Woolies alcohol megastore, and working to make ends meet
16 December 2020 at 5:49 pm
All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.
The federal government’s latest cut to the coronavirus supplement, which last week passed the Parliament, will make the festive season even harder for the almost 2 million people currently without paid work, as well as the more than one million children in these families.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: “There is currently only one job vacancy available for every 11 people looking for a job or more paid working hours, and even fewer jobs in regional areas. Despite record high unemployment and underemployment, the government is cutting income support at Christmas time, down to $50 per day, almost taking us back to the old, brutal Newstart rate of $40 a day. This is not the way to restore economic confidence in order for the country to recover from recession. Both people and the economy need security in order to be able to rebuild.”
ACTCOSS joined with Women with Disabilities ACT and People with Disabilities ACT on the 2020 UN International Day of People with Disability to call on the federal and ACT governments to step up their efforts towards the achievement of an inclusive and accessible Canberra.
ACTCOSS has welcomed the ACT Corrective Services Disability Action and Inclusion Plan, and expressed concern over an ACT Inspector of Correctional Services’ report on the ACT Court Transport Unit (CTU) that highlighted a lack of training for CTU officers, unfit vehicles and risks to children and young people.
WACOSS is a member of Social Reinvestment WA, who are partners on the Olabud Doogethu project – WA’s first justice reinvestment site in Halls Creek, co-designed and co-led by 11 Aboriginal communities, and the Shire of Halls Creek. Recently they celebrated the successes of the project, which in the first 18 months experienced a reduction in burglaries by 58 per cent. Together, they share their vision for smart justice, healthy families, and safer communities.
SACOSS held its Working to Make Ends Meet Conference on Wednesday 9 December, bringing together a fantastic group of presenters to discuss challenges faced by waged poor households. It looked at the drivers of waged poverty, its rise in a post-COVID economy, and how to address people slipping through the gaps.
View the latest video of DCJ deputy secretary Simone Walker and NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty, discussing budget highlights and how outcome budgeting is putting clients at the centre of funding decisions. If you missed it, here’s the NCOSS Post-Budget event recording.
VCOSS shared new data revealing that household spending was actually higher in some poorer Melbourne suburbs during lockdown, helping keep the economy afloat. How could this be? Turns out boosting JobSeeker to a sensible rate actually allowed people on low-incomes to spend money on essentials, make purchases in local shops and buy household items they couldn’t previously afford. Just another reason to increase the rate of JobSeeker permanently.
QCOSS has been to visit member organisation Communify Queensland where more than a dozen volunteers are busy sorting through donations of food, toiletries, books and children’s toys to give to people who need a bit of extra help over Christmas. Families who have registered will be able to choose from a range of goods this Wednesday at Communify’s Christmas Market Day, where the community will come together for a BBQ.
NTCOSS shared a message from John Paterson, CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory, who is concerned about the new Woolies alcohol megastore to come to Darwin: “I ask the board, the Woolworth’s board directors, will you come and help us pick up the mess? It’s gotta stop! And we will continue to advocate, day in day out, to ensure that this liquor store doesn’t go ahead.” #putpeoplebeforeprofits
Read TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone’s foreword in the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tasmania Report 2020, in which she states: “Many of us, including our premier, define the success of our state as including both the good health of our people and the good health of a strong economy. These two elements are inextricably linked in our minds in ways they may not have been before these past 12 months. Our physical and mental safety and wellbeing were at the forefront of our state’s and wider community response to the pandemic.”
This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.