A two-speed recovery, living without the basics and vaccine roll outs
28 April 2021 at 5:09 pm
All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.
Community sector leaders have reported a surge in unmet demand for services dealing with economic hardship, homelessness, mental health and domestic violence as a result of under-funding, in research conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney.
The qualitative study, Meeting community needs in difficult times: experiences of Australia’s community sector, was commissioned by the Australian Council of Social Service in partnership with the Councils of Social Service and with the support of Bendigo Bank.
“Community services are doing all they can to help people reaching out in desperate need but sadly they can just not keep up with demand with the resources they have. They’re having to turn away women escaping domestic violence and people with nowhere to sleep that night,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“The reality is that we’re seeing a two-speed COVID recovery with millions being left behind in unemployment or underemployment, while those in well-paid jobs enjoy generous tax cuts.”
The report highlights the deep need for income support payments like JobSeeker to be lifted above the poverty line; improvements to the domestic violence crisis payment and Rent Assistance, as well as investment in social housing.
Are you interested in energy, water, or housing? SACOSS’s Living Without the Basics Conference looks at key intersections between these areas and how policy can impact on health, wellbeing and costs of living. Join in person or online on 19 May 2021, 9am-2pm at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Register or find out more here.
ACTCOSS joined Rights & Inclusion Australia to support the ACT government’s push for mandatory universal design standards for new residential builds at the upcoming national Building Ministers’ Meeting – an opportunity to end a vast human misery caused by inaccessible housing.
ACTCOSS continued to advocate for a just transition to renewable energy, welcoming steps to increase transparency for ACT consumers around electricity pricing and plans.
The extent of the digital divide was highlighted during COVID-19 as more services moved online. QCOSS is partnering with The McKell Institute to explore the impacts of digital exclusion, particularly for people in remote and regional areas. If you work with clients who experience digital divide issues, please have your say in a short survey here.
In the lead up to the 2021 State Election, TasCOSS was pleased to host an online political leaders’ forum, featuring Tasmanian Liberals leader, the Hon Premier Peter Gutwein MP, Tasmanian Labor Party leader, the Hon Rebecca White MP and Tasmanian Greens leader, Cassy O’Connor MP. The forum was attended by more than 140 community services industry representatives and was successful in securing funding commitments to grow our workforce to meet rising demand for services. Watch the recording here.
Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in NSW has commenced and we are now entering a new stage of the response to the pandemic. NCOSS is continuing to work with health NGOs to advocate for timely access to the vaccination for vulnerable people and sector workers. NCOSS is updating resources regularly and more information on phase 1b can be found here.
Perth and Peel regions of WA are this week emerging from the three-day snap lockdown, following the announcement of a community transmission late last week. For emergency assistance and hardship resources search for help using the WAConnect emergency services directory. More financial hardship resources, including resources for people newly affected, can be found on the WACOSS website.
Vaccinating Victoria is a rolling briefing series by VCOSS, providing critical information about the COVID-19 vaccine program. Sessions were recorded live with guest presenters; Professor Ben Cowie from the Victorian COVID Immunisation Team, and Melissa Scadden and Taboka Finn from law firm Justitia. Watch the recordings here.
Need help? The NTcommunity app can help you find the support you need in your local community. Maintained by NTCOSS, this free source of community information for all Territorians now has a phone app. Learn more and download the app here.
This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.