ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

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Update, Issue 80, Winter 2017: What is the impact of white privilege in Canberra?

The Winter 2017 journal offers perspectives on white privilege in Canberra and its impact.

Submission: ACCC inquiry into retail electricity supply and pricing: Issues Paper

The ACT Energy Consumers Policy Consortium has made a submission on the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry. Consumers in vulnerable situations are at the most risk as the electricity market becomes more complex and policies should be developed that ensure they are not disadvantaged by increasing complexity and choice.

Submission: Draft Inspectorate of Custodial Services model for the ACT

ACTCOSS' feedback stresses that the ACT Government continue to proactively consult with community organisations, particularly Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations, as it develops, implements, and evaluates the role.

ACTCOSS Response to the 2017-18 ACT Budget

The overall assessment of the 2017-18 ACT Budget by ACTCOSS is that while it checks off a number of election promises, the investments made do not meet the community’s expectations about the priority that should be given to those who deal with sustained long term cost of living pressures, face difficult circumstances and do not enjoy the benefits of Canberra’s prosperity and liveability. 

ACT 2017-18 Budget Snapshot

This snapshot outlines and briefly analyses the ACT 2017-18 Budget's impacts on people experiencing disadvantage and households on low incomes, and the community sector.

ACT Cost of Living Report, 2017

In this report ACTCOSS tracks changes in the cost of living, particularly for low income households in the Australian Capital Territory.

Literature review: Older women and housing in the ACT

ACTCOSS and YWCA Canberra have prepared a literature review on older women and housing in the ACT. Single older women comprise a rapidly growing cohort facing housing insecurity and the risk of homelessness. Reviewing the literature, it becomes apparent that there has been an evolving body of research pertaining to older women, and their pathways into homelessness.

Submission: Inquiry into a new convention centre for Canberra

This submission suggests that priority for infrastructure projects of this kind should be determined according to the relative impact of investment on creation of secure jobs that pay a living wage. We have also emphasised that, as there would be heavy take up and usage of the centre by national agencies and the Commonwealth Government, these should be carefully considered in weighing up how much, if any, investment comes from the ACT Government as opposed to the Australian Government. In addition, we have emphasised the need for any new centre to be environmentally and socially sustainable including disability access.

Choice and control: Strengthening human rights, power and inclusion for people with disability

ACTCOSS’ paper argues we need to assess and progress choice and control within a human rights framework, in addition to implementing a marketised framework for disability service provision.

Submission: Inquiry into the employment of people with disabilities

In this submission to the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services, we highlight poor general and public sector employment rates for people with disability; specific vulnerabilities experienced by people in the context of broader economic shifts to insecure, casual and precarious employment; urge the government to adopt a sustained consistent strategy which includes hard targets and identified positions with clear lines of accountability; highlight the need for well resourced and evidence based work to change employer practices in the private, public and community sector; call for greater use of leverage through purchasing as well as solid industry pre-employment programs; and the need for policy to recognise and value both social and economic participation.

Report: 25th Anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Commemorative Forum

The ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB) and ACTCOSS report outlines community concerns and solutions in relation to the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT justice system. The report is from a forum that was held commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the release of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and was attended by 90 representatives across the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, ACT Government, and the community sector, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations.

Submission: Productivity Commission Study on National Disability Insurance Scheme Costs

ACTCOSS’ submission to the Productivity Commission highlights the impact of planning processes on outcomes and related long term costs of the NDIS; reasons for difficulties in implementing plans; the impact of communication failures on administration, evaluation and costs of NDIS; the impact of ILC implementation on the provision of vital community infrastructure and long term financial sustainability of the NDIS; and the intersections and gaps between the NDIS and mainstream services.

Submission: Red Tape Reduction Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

In this short submission to the Red Tape Reduction Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, ACTCOSS stresses the need to ensure that any changes in arrangements improve compliance by people collecting for charities and strengthen consumer protections around charitable collectors.

Submission: Review of Climate Change Policies Discussion Paper

The ACT Energy Consumers Policy Consortium considers that a priority for the Australian Government is to address the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. If unmitigated, climate change will lead to significant social justice issues and increase pressure on the need for financial and services support.

Submission: ICRC Draft Report 1 of 2017 - Standing offer prices for the supply of electricity to small customers from 1 July 2017

The ACT Energy Consumers Policy Consortium is very concerned that consumers are facing yet another electricity price rise well above inflation. The Consortium notes the risks this creates for vulnerable consumers on fixed incomes. 

Submission: Status of the on-demand transport market

ACTCOSS has made a submission on the status of the on-demand transport market in response to the ACT Government announcing the staged release of up to 50 taxi licences. The ACTCOSS submission focusses on the need to strengthen the supply of accessible vehicles within the on-demand transport market; the need to respond to affordability issues and understand the impact that ride sharing apps might have on the market; and support for integration while recognising the important and distinct role community transport has in the on demand transport market.

Briefing: Summary of key community sector priorities for ACT Government Budget and election commitment implementation

In this briefing document, ACTCOSS has identified a group of commitments that we believe the ACT Government should prioritise because they most closely align to the priorities identified in the Community Shared Statement and the ACTCOSS ACT Budget Priorities 2017-18. It outlines why the commitments were chosen, and provides some additional analysis and commentary on Budget impacts.

Submission: Delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 to build inclusive and accessible communities

Our submission focussed on the issues of poor access faced by people with a range of disabilities and the need for appropriate investments, legal protections and infrastructure responses to create and inclusive and accessible Canberra. The submission also focussed on the need for a more robust compliance, accountability and reporting framework across the Strategy as a whole as well as the need for the Strategy to develop links with other human rights and intersectional frameworks.

Update, Issue 79, Autumn 2017: Social inclusion & diversifying the economy

The Autumn 2017 journal offers insights, reflections and proposals that could support achievement of an inclusive diversification of the ACT economy.

Submission: Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative

In this submission to the inquiry into the Automated Debt Recovery Program, we point out the impacts on local people and services, call for the program to be abandoned and ask for an apology to Centrelink customers who have been impacted.