ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: Vision required to earn votes

24 September 2012

The ACT Council of Social Service, peak representative body for not-for-profit community organisations, and disadvantaged and low-income citizens of the Australian Capital Territory, is calling on candidates for the ACT election to show vision in key areas of homelessness, poverty, corrections, health, transport, climate change, and community sector reform.

Releasing the ACTCOSS 2012 Election Statement in the lead up to the ACT Community Sector Conference and Election Forum, Director Roslyn Dundas said “During election time we hear a lot of promises but what we really want to hear is vision. There are significant issues facing many Canberra families, as they grapple with trying to make ends meet, keep a roof over their head and remain connected with their community.”

“We are calling on candidates to step forward on these fundamental issues and work with the ACT community sector for on-going and long-term solutions, not quick-fix election promises.”

While the ACT boasts the highest average weekly earnings of all Australian states and territories, high incomes in the ACT mean it can be a costly place to live for households whose incomes are below the average. The plight of Canberrans on low incomes is often overshadowed by the higher-than-average incomes in the area, yet cost of living remains a pertinent issue for far too many ACT residents. ACTCOSS is calling on all candidates to recognise that as a community, Canberra should be striving for greater equality within the ACT, not only to benefit the marginalised members of our society, but to increase our community wellbeing as a whole.

The ACTCOSS Election statement puts forward recommendations across seven areas. Candidates participating in the 2012 ACT Community Sector Election Forum, as part of the ACTCOSS Vision-Values-Votes Conference, will be asked questions covering these areas. The ACTCOSS forum is a key pre-election session, and involves participants from six different political groups contesting the ACT Election.

The full ACTCOSS Election Statement is available at

Vision-Values-Votes ACT Community Sector Conference Election Forum

Candidates from a range of political parties will be answering questions, provided by the community sector, drawn at random.

Candidates include representatives from ACT Labor, Canberra Liberals, ACT Greens, Marion Le Social Justice Party, Pirate Party ACT, and Australian Motorists Party.

For more information or comment please contact
Roslyn Dundas, Director on 02 6202 7200.