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COSS Corner  |  Social Affairs

Human rights in action, insecure contracts, and calls to raise the age

28 June 2021 at 5:04 pm
All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.

Contributor | 28 June 2021 at 5:04 pm


Human rights in action, insecure contracts, and calls to raise the age
28 June 2021 at 5:04 pm

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


New research conducted for ACOSS and the COSS Network by the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney pulls together the experience of a range of community sector service providers and peak organisations. It reveals that most community organisations providing government funded services struggle with severely inadequate funding and insecure contracts. This is resulting in a lack of employment security for their staff and uncertainty of service provision for people experiencing hardship.

Supported by Bendigo Bank, the report – Valuing Australia’s community sector: Better contracting for capacity, sustainability and impact – provides recommendations to improve the capacity of community organisations to do their important work. Read more here.

Last week, ACOSS and the COSS Network also jointly called on Commonwealth, state and territory governments to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age. The COSS network met with ACT Attorney General Shane Rattenbury MLA to commend the ACT government for committing to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 in the current Parliamentary and Governing Agreement.  


Don’t miss out on your opportunity to hear directly from the NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet MP on – and get the sector’s reaction – the impact of the 21-22 NSW budget. The event will be hosted by SBS News senior journalist and presenter Catalina Flórez, and we’ll also hear from the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Alister Henskens SC MP, and Opposition representative Penny Sharpe, as well as diverse perspectives and views from across our sector. There’s less than two weeks to register. See here for more information.


As a coalition member of Social Reinvestment WA, WACOSS supported the launch of the Raise the Age WA campaign last week, which calls on the WA state government to raise the criminal age of responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age. The launch coincided with the national COSS network jointly calling for national action across Commonwealth, state and territory governments to raise the age.


SACOSS, together with a range of key groups, have made a powerful joint statement on the need for the state government to step up to ensure that all South Australians have access to safe, affordable, and secure water. Their call comes as the state government progresses work on its draft Water Security Statement for South Australia – the first major statewide strategy for water security for over a decade. The joint submission is available here.


With the end of June fast approaching, it is a timely reminder to households that electricity disconnections are recommencing as a further tranche of COVID-19 protections are removed. While retailers will once again be able to issue and enforce disconnection notices for non-payment, they also offer a range of support options for customers who need help paying their energy bills. Find out more about how to get in touch with your retailer and access free counselling and advisory services here.


QCOSS is hosting the upcoming Human Rights in Action webinar on Thursday 1 July. Community leaders will discuss the current inquiry into serious vilification and hate crimes. This thought-provoking discussion will explain why better protections are needed, and what you and your organisation can do to support the campaign. Information about the inquiry, including a guide on making a submission, is available now on the Queensland Parliament website


ACTCOSS welcomed the release of the Healthy Centre Review of Bimberi Youth Justice Centre (Bimberi) from the ACT Office of the Inspector of Correctional Services (OICS). The review highlighted that most of the young people housed at Bimberi felt physically and emotionally safe, and that the OICS observed respectful interactions between young detainees and staff. The review also acknowledged the positive work of Bimberi staff and highlighted the strength of the centre’s individualised responses to young people. Learn more here.


Extreme heat already kills more Australians than any other form of natural disaster, and it’s people already experiencing disadvantage who are the hardest hit. Climate change is only going to make this worse in the future. VCOSS’s new flagship report, Feeling the Heat, takes a detailed look at how extreme heat is making Victorians sick and affecting their wellbeing – and what we should be doing about it. Click here to learn more.


You can help continue to promote NTCOSS’s NTcommunity Directory through your digital channels by downloading this digital promotion pack. NTcommunity provides access to more than 215 community organisations offering 440 services across 380-plus locations throughout the NT. The directory has its own dedicated brand, NTcommunity, and is available on the website and on mobile apps. It is updated with new organisations and services as they become available.


This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.

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