ACOSS Reports & Submissions
Extreme weather, climate change and the community sector: ACOSS submission to the Senate Inquiry into recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events. ACOSS Paper 197.
ACOSS' interest in extreme weather preparedness and climate change adaptation is primarily the result of our interest in matters affecting people on low-incomes and experiencing disadvantage and inequality in Australia. Our work in this area flows from clear evidence from research that people facing poverty and inequality will be affected first and worst by the impacts of climate change, including increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events such as heat waves, drought, bushfires and floods. They have the least capacity to cope, to adapt and to recover. This submission uses data from our research into the vulnerability and preparedness of community sector organisations – and the individuals and communities they support – to climate change impacts, including extreme weather.
Click on title above for PDF version; click here for a Word version.
This supplementary submission builds on the original submission and responds to a number of the questions asked repeatedly by the Committee during hearings. This supplementary submission has also taken the opportunity to consolidate and emphasise some key points made by community sector organisations in submissions and as witnesses during hearings.
People living on low incomes are experiencing significant pressures as a result of substantial increases in the cost of electricity, without a concomitant increase in income. Low income people are most likely to live in poorly-insulated and inefficient rental accommodation, and spend a higher proportion of their income on energy, water and fuel than others. They are least able to respond to increases in prices and to invest in more efficient homes. Given that energy is an essential service, energy price rises leave the most vulnerable households with little option but to pay the extra.
ACOSS has been active since 2006 as an advocate on behalf of low income and disadvantaged consumers in development and reform of the national energy market, and we welcome the Senate Inquiry into Electricity Prices as an opportunity to look at the broader drivers, protections and opportunities in energy regulation and policy.
Available in PDF (above) and word format.
This briefing is provided for the community services sector ahead of the commencement of measures announced as part of the Clean Energy Future package. This briefing is concerned with some detail of the package; financial assistance for low income households and investments in energy efficiency. Parts of the package will commence from late May, notably the payment of cash assistance through the income support system. Changes to the personal taxation system will be effective from July. Work is well advanced towards new energy efficiency programs.
This report reviews those parts of The Clean Energy Future package which most directly affect people on low incomes and the community service sector. In particular, we assess the adequacy of household assistance proposed to offset higher prices flowing from the package, as forecast in modelling by The Treasury. Based on these data, the package introduces a price on carbon and begins our adjustment to a low carbon economy, without adversely affecting people on low incomes - according to ACOSS. Read the full report >>
The Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC) is an alliance of the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Council of Social Service and The Climate Institute. We are committed to reducing Australia's dependence on carbon pollution and promoting solutions to climate change.
The SCCC welcomes the Clean Energy Future package as a critical first step forward on climate change in Australia. The price on pollution and its complementary measures lay the foundation for reducing emissions and remaining competitive in the emerging global low pollution economy.
In November 2010 the SCCC outlined four foundations to drive a fair and inclusive transition to a low pollution economy. Here we present an assessment of the Clean Energy Future package against those foundations and against our April 2011 detailed policy platform for a low pollution economy.
Improved energy use-efficiency presents significant opportunities for individual households and for the wider community. This document outlines proposals for two national projects that would increase residential energy efficiency and bring a range of benefits.
• To minimise energy bills for Australian households
• To increase energy efficiency and thereby reduce the need for new generation and network investment
• To incentivise greater uptake of energy efficiency by low-income and financially stressed households and by the owners of rental properties (public and private)
• To provide specific support for low-income and financially stressed households that are at risk of fuel poverty
• To implement efficient, effective and safe programs for energy efficiency
The Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC) is an alliance of the Australian Conservation Foundation, the
Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Council of Social Service and The Climate Institute. We
are committed to reducing our economy's dependence on carbon pollution and promoting solutions to
Over the coming months Australia's political leaders have an opportunity to lay the policy foundations for a
prosperous, fair and competitive low pollution economy. These policies should aim to:
- reduce our economy's dependence on pollution;
- ensure fair and inclusive action on climate change;
- unlock new clean energy jobs and industries; and
- strengthen global action.
ACOSS strongly supports the proposal to put a price on carbon pollution and has released this paper to outline our clear position on the form household compensation should take as part of our involvement in the important process to get the mechanism right. This paper argues that low income households should be given direct cash assistance that is properly indexed to meet real cost of living increases, and this should be based on essential expenditure not income because of the inequities in Australia's tax and transfer systems.
Summary Paper and Presentations
More than 60 consumer, welfare, environment and government representatives participated in Water Reform - A National Consumer Forum, in Melbourne on 3 July 2009. The Forum was presented by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC) and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) with the aim of building knowledge about national water reform issues and considering strategies for increasing consumer consultation and engagement with the Federal Government.Summary Paper and Presentations.