With just days left until the official holidays commence, ACOSS is deeply concerned about the extreme impact that the untenable funding uncertainty from Department of Social Services is having on our community sector.
Since the May Budget ACOSS has been advocating strongly against the funding cuts under DSS of around $240 million over 4 years. Sadly, most services will only be notified a day before Christmas about their future funding, leaving them no time to plan.
ACOSS is continuing to lobby the Government to guarantee a minimum of 12 months secure funding for existing organisations, while a new funding round is undertaken. We are also insisting that new contracts are finalised at least 6 months prior to the end of existing contracts, in accordance with good governance and risk management principles.
Find out more here.
Groups call for government to reject Healthy Welfare Card
Joint Statement - December 13, 2014
Australia's community welfare sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations are calling on the Federal Government not to proceed with the implementation of the Forrest Review proposal for a cashless welfare card which would apply to everyone - people who are unemployed, carers, single parents and people with disability - except veterans and people on the aged pension.
Read Full Joint Statement here.
Monday December 8, 2014 - The largest survey of Australia's community services sector reveals that 80% of frontline agencies are unable to meet current levels of demand with the resources they have. The biggest gaps in meeting demand are in the areas of greatest community need.
The survey of almost 1,000 community service workers from around the country shows that 43% of services are simply unable to meet the needs of people coming to them for help. A further 37% can ‘almost' meet demand. Only 20% reported being able to meet demand fully.
Community and business come together to call for tax reform
ACOSS and representatives from business have begun a dialogue about tax reform to explore areas of agreement and disagreement ahead of the Government's tax review next year.
Members of the BCTR, which brings together a range of business groups covering the broad spectrum of the Australian business community, are meeting with members of ACOSS, representing community organisations and people on low incomes, in Sydney on Monday 15 December.
Read full statement and find out more here.
Sunday 12 October 2014: ACOSS has released a new report revealing that poverty is growing in Australia with an estimated 2.5 million people or 13.9% of all people living below the internationally accepted poverty line.
The report provides the most up to date picture of poverty in the nation drawing on new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Income and Expenditure surveys for 2011-12 and previous years. It finds that 603,000 or 17.7% of all children were living in poverty in Australia.
"This is deeply disturbing and highlights the need for a national plan to tackle the scourge of poverty which diminishes us all in one of the wealthiest countries in the world," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie launching 'Poverty in Australia 2014' report on Sunday October 12, 2014.
Community groups demand halt to harmful Budget measures
ACOSS today led a large delegation of community sector representatives to Canberra to call on our elected representatives to reject harmful social security changes in this year's Budget.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie was joined by around 50 representatives from community welfare agencies as well as people directly affected by Budget changes at a press conference in Parliament House.
ACOSS also released a statement signed by more than 100 community organisations so far, expressing serious concerns about unfair budget measures, and urged parliament to reject the proposals outright.