ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

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Update, Issue 81, Spring 2017: Addressing early intervention gaps in the ACT

The Spring 2017 journal offers perspectives on early intervention gaps in the ACT.

Submission: Towards a New Housing Strategy - ACT Community Conversation

ACTCOSS and ACT Shelter have made a joint submission in response to the ACT Government's discussion paper Towards a New Housing Strategy. We have welcomed the discussion paper, and the government starting to work on inequality caused by Canberra's housing affordability.

Letter: Utilities Concession Scheme - Concessions for residents of caravan parks and other embedded networks in the ACT

In this letter the ACT Energy Consumers Policy Consortium requests that the ACT Government considers modifying the Utilities Concession Scheme to provide for concessions for those residents of caravan parks and other embedded networks in the ACT.

Submission: ACT Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme: Proposed Updates to Residential Energy Savings Activities Consultation Paper 2017

This submission brings together insights and feedback from people who experience trouble paying their energy bills and service providers working with low income households on energy issues.

Submission: Inquiry into the extent, nature and consequence of insecure work in the ACT

This submission provides a preliminary examination of the nature, extent and consequences of insecure work in the ACT, focusing on impacts on people experiencing disadvantage and the community sector. ACTCOSS recommends that the inquiry undertake or facilitate a comprehensive survey of insecure work in the ACT and gather evidence of the lived experience of individuals and families impacted by insecure work to inform measures to address this issue in the ACT.

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.

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 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.

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: 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: 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: 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.