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In a year where we have all faced personal and professional challenges, the QCOSS movement has worked consistently and optimistically toward our unifying vision of equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all Queenslanders.
With an election and two state budgets, we were presented with big opportunities to advocate for a recovery from the ongoing social and economic impacts caused by COVID-19. Central to this was ensuring our priorities and advocacy agenda were clearly informed by the voices and views of our members.
We progressed our member-informed policy work focussing on women, housing and living affordability. We developed an issues identification system that allows us to identify real and timely issues in the community service sector, and we spoke with and listened to members around the state about their priorities and the issues emerging in their local communities.
Chief Executive Officer
"QCOSS’ Recovery for all Queenslanders campaign drew on member feedback to insert into the election debate the needs of Queenslanders most affected by the pandemic."
QCOSS reiterated these needs through budget submissions before both the December 2020 and June 2021 Queensland budgets. In its December 2020 Budget, the Queensland Government announced $4 million funding for 20 community service workers to support delivery of no interest loan schemes.
In April 2021, QCOSS together with 12 member organisations, launched the Town of Nowhere campaign calling for a substantial increase to government investment in social housing. In its June 2021 Budget, the Queensland Government announced $2.9 billion funding for social housing, including a $1 billion Housing Investment Fund.
The announcement was a beacon of hope for Queenslanders living through Queensland’s housing crisis. It heralded a new approach to dealing with housing and homelessness in Queensland, opening the doors for the private sector, the community sector and government to work more closely together to address the problem of housing and homelessness in our state.
In the next 12 months, the economic resilience of all Queenslanders, investment in more social housing, the rate of income support, investment in energy efficiency and solar for low-income households, gender equality, the age of criminal responsibility and the sustainability and future of the community services sector will be firmly on our agenda.
As we look to the future, I want to express my gratitude to our members who did the essential work to keep people safe and well during such a challenging year. You and the work you do give us the strength, optimism, inspiration, and purpose as we strive together for a better future for all Queenslanders.