The privatisation of electricity, human rights in action and living in lockdown
1 September 2021 at 5:47 pm
All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.
This week ACOSS joined with NCOSS and City of Sydney to host the Living in Lockdown webinar, in which people excluded from the disaster payments shared their experiences and we heard from community services organisations doing all they can to support people through the impacts of the current Greater Sydney lockdown.
Next week, the next installment of the ACOSS Policy Webinar Series is taking place in collaboration with Settlement Services International. Join ACOSS for this important discussion exploring insights from newly arrived refugees, focusing on women and digital inclusion. The webinar event will feature an expert panel discussion moderated by Omar Dehen, award-winning journalist for SBS World News. Register here.
ACTCOSS this week has called on the ACT government to increase investment into the community sector to reduce the gender pay gap. ACTCOSS last week demanded an improved response by the ACT government and Canberra Health Services to the COVID-19 outbreak at Condamine Court public housing complex. ACTCOSS also called on all senators and MPs to reject new legislation that threatens charities with deregistration for speaking out on behalf of the vulnerable communities they serve.
NCOSS welcomes the announcement by NSW government for a $200 million support package for NFP sector organisations to help with the financial impacts of the pandemic. As part of the package, the 30 per cent turnover threshold required for JobSaver will be reduced to 15 per cent for the social support sector and a $50 million Social Sector Support Fund will be delivered for NFPs. A much-needed boost for our essential services. See NCOSSs media release for further details.
There are green shoots of change in the 2021/22 Tasmanian state budget, such as the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy which should make a material difference to the lives of thousands of Tasmanian children and young people. Moreover, a significant investment in food security and place-based programs that put people at the centre, such as the Jobs Hub model which is delivering tremendous outcomes for local people out in the communities in which they live. These initiatives have been developed as solutions should be: shaped by community, driven by community, and championed by community. Read TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone’s The Mercury Newspaper Talking Point and watch the recording of TasCOSS’s 2021/22 State Budget Briefing.
Renna, who is a member of the 100 Families WA community advisory group run by WACOSS, spoke to The West Australian on the weekend about the need for more government investment in early-intervention supports to prevent people from going into crisis like she did. Check out the interactive online tool, Welcome to Our World, which shares stories to promote awareness of what living in disadvantage is like. Read the full article here.
QCOSS is hosting a free Human Rights in Action webinar on Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and how it could be adapted for the 21st Century. Join Queensland Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall and QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh as they discuss how the act could better respond to people who have experienced discrimination and explore its impact on workplaces. Register here.
SACOSS has written a submission outlining that privatisation of the SA electricity network also increased inequality. SACOSS flagged that while it’s concerning that privatisation of the network has increased inequality, it is even more alarming that the energy regulator is setting rates of return on capital at levels which will continue increasing inequality in years to come. It is also a major problem that, by law, the Australian Energy Regulator is not allowed to consider the impact of its decisions on economic inequality. SACOSS is calling for legislative reform to ensure that the regulator takes account of social impact embedded in its determinations. Read more here.
The Victorian government will soon begin crafting the 2022 budget – the last to be handed down before next year’s state election. Budgets are always important, but with COVID raging and the task of rebuilding still ahead of us, this budget is proving particularly critical. VCOSS wants to know what specific programs and initiatives VCOSS members want funded. Fill out the survey here.
We need meaningful, evidence-based action from the national Women’s Safety Summit. Domestic, sexual and family violence is rife and is destroying lives. Add your name, along with NTCOSS, to the joint call for real government commitment at safetysummit.org.au
This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.