Close Search
COSS Corner  |  Social AffairsCommunity

Cuts to the coronavirus supplement, new houses left empty and 550 reasons to smile

20 January 2021 at 5:23 pm
All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.

Contributor | 20 January 2021 at 5:23 pm


Cuts to the coronavirus supplement, new houses left empty and 550 reasons to smile
20 January 2021 at 5:23 pm

All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.


ACOSS drew national attention to the federal government’s decision to cut income support on the first day of 2021. The decision to further cut the coronavirus supplement effectively slashed the JobSeeker payment to $50/day. There was extensive coverage from journalists across diverse media platforms. Many people on JobSeeker spoke up, and continue to do so. ACOSS worked hard to share this coverage widely and to amplify the voices of people who are struggling to survive on the reduced rate of Jobseeker and Youth Allowance. For an overview, visit


For many Canberrans, Christmas and new year was a period of deep distress and anxiety because of the federal government’s cut to the coronavirus supplement effective from 1 January. 

ACTCOSS also expressed deep concern that a large number of newly built ACT Housing properties were left sitting empty for well over a year as bureaucrats wrangled over leasing models. 

Finally, ACTCOSS called on the ACT government to ensure Stage two of the light rail is inclusive of Canberrans facing transport disadvantage and that there is transparency around funding for the project.


The WACOSS Conference, Finding ground: Building a better way back together, is just over a month away, and early bird registration closes this week. Register by 5pm, Friday 22 January to save on your registration!


SACOSS is inviting people to the 550 Reasons to Smile survey on the lived impacts of cuts to the coronavirus supplement – something we must focus on while our country moves towards economic recovery. The survey has one question and your response, your words, will be part of the public advocacy which includes a human rights challenge, media and parliament.


It’s a tough time of year for many people facing financial hardship, as budgets strain under higher summer energy bills and end-of-year and back-to-school expenses. Join QCOSS’ Community of Practice on Living Affordability and Wellbeing with financial counsellor and educator Lisa Simpson from UncommonCents and Gold Coast Financial Literacy Action Group to find out how a place-based approach could help better support people through financial stress. Join here.


NCOSS is sharing #ThankYouFromUs to thank you for keeping us safe, healthy and supported throughout an incredibly tough year! The community services sector has been a vital part of the emergency response to the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020. They thank you for your contribution and recognise the additional effort and dedication required to keep us safe, healthy and well through both the bushfires and the pandemic. View here.


VCOSS is seeking a data and research analyst to find data, crunch it, tell stories and change minds. Full or part-time. $86,035 – $98,796 (pro rata) in Melbourne. Are you ready to use your data, research and advocacy skills in the fight for social justice? See here.


Community Consultation on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conversion Practices in Tasmania: Are you an LGBTIQ+ Tasmanian who has experienced conversion practices? Do you have any knowledge of these practices in Tasmania? If so, the Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI) needs to hear from you. You can share your thoughts by following these steps by Thursday 28 January. Please contact Liam Dunn, education policy officer, on (03) 6169 9510 or email Liam at



NTCOSS has no words that adequately express our pain, shock and hurt for the news we have to share. The Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group (TWFSG) are in mourning for our sister. R.Rubuntja was killed on Thursday 7 January in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) outside the hospital. Her partner appeared in court today charged with murder. R.Rubuntja was one of the founding leaders of the TWFSG and president of Anthepe Town Camp. We grieve now and then we mobilise, we will continue. We will be inspired by our sisters’ legacy, we will not let her be forgotten and then we will ask you to stand with us against family and domestic violence. If you or someone you know needs help you can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or find other helplines here.


This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.


Panel Discussion Webinar

Get more stories like this


Your email address will not be published.


From multicultural to inclusive: there’s more work to do

Violet Roumeliotis

Monday, 4th July 2022 at 3:24 pm

Seven things the for-purpose sector can learn from the Census

Danielle Kutchel

Wednesday, 29th June 2022 at 6:28 pm

‘Dysfunctional’ jobactive system slammed by users

Danielle Kutchel

Wednesday, 29th June 2022 at 4:24 pm

Seniors conquer the digital divide with a little help from friends

Danielle Kutchel

Tuesday, 28th June 2022 at 8:51 am

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

News for those with purpose.

Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Thank you - you have successfully subscribed.

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!