Competition policy and the community sector

22 December 2014  |  

Australia’s network of Councils of Social Service, including VCOSS, has now submitted its Joint COSS Network Submission to the Federal Government’s Competition Review, outlining our views around the problems that exist when trying to apply competition principles to the community sector. Competition policy presents unique problems for the community services sector. As the causes of disadvantage are complex and multi-faceted, no single intervention or organisation alone is likely to ameliorate the disadvantages some at-risk individuals and populations face. Therefore community service organisations ... Read More

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Victoria Future Forum – demographics, the environment and emergency management

19 December 2014  |  

Climate change, along with a population that is both ageing and growing in its diversity, has unprecedented implications for emergency planning in Victoria. About 100 people attended the Victorian Departments of Health and Human Services’ Victoria Future Forum on 5 December 2014 to listen to a discussion about Victoria's changing environmental and social landscape. Speakers included: Bernard Salt, social commentator and KPMG Partner Adam Dent, Director of Emergency Relief and Recovery at Emergency Management Victoria Dr Karl Braganza, Bureau of Meteorology Professor Jeni Warburton, ... Read More

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A sanctuary for Melbourne’s homeless asylum seekers

17 December 2014  |  

"It’s like you’re being chased by a lion and somebody asks you what you’re going to eat for dinner.” This is the way 30-year-old Kashif describes facing homelessness after seeking refuge in Australia. He says the concept of being homeless here never crossed his mind until he arrived in Australia and started the arduous process of seeking asylum. Kashif says there are difficulties navigating the complex process of seeking a protection visa while dealing with the overwhelming day-to-day struggles of homelessness. “The only thing you think of when you come to Australia is safety, but when ... Read More

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The Greens In conversation

11 December 2014  |  

In the lead up to the 2014 State Election VCOSS sat down with Colleen Hartland from The Greens to explore her party's vision for a Victoria without poverty. You can watch this wide ranging interview or review the transcript below. (0:08) What makes The Greens different to other parties who are contesting this election? Emma King: Colleen, thank you very much for coming in to VCOSS today, we do appreciate it. Colleen Hartland: That’s my pleasure. Emma King: I just wanted to start by asking you, what makes you different to the other major parties who are contesting the election? Colleen ... Read More

By under State Politics, Victorian state election

$200m needed to fill justice gap: Productivity Commission

4 December 2014  |  

More than $200 million a year is needed to narrow Australia’s growing justice gap for people facing disadvantage, the Productivity Commission has said in its final Access to Justice Arrangements report. Released yesterday, the report supports what VCOSS, community legal centres and the legal assistance sector have been saying for some time. That is, more resources are required to meet the legal needs of Australians facing disadvantage. In Victoria, those most affected by the growing demand and current underfunding of legal assistance services are those experiencing disadvantage. People ... Read More

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ALP In Conversation

3 December 2014  |  

In the lead up to the 2014 State Election VCOSS sat down with James Merlino, Jenny Mikakos and Richard Wynne from the ALP to explore their vision for a Victoria without poverty. You can watch this wide ranging interview or review the transcript below for insights into the incoming Victorian Labor Government's social policy agenda. (00:00) What makes the ALP different to the other parties who are contesting this election? Emma King: If I can thank you very much, we’ve got James Merlino, Richard Wynne and Jenny Mikakos with us today. We’re really focussing on what the issues are in ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Children, Children and families, Community sector, Community sector strengthening, cost of living, Disability, Disability, Education, Education, EMA, Equal Pay, Family violence, Housing, Housing, Indigenous, Justice, State Politics, Training and Development, Transport, Victorian state election, Workforce participation, Young people

Natural disaster funding inquiry submission

3 December 2014  |  

The Australian Government’s Productivity Commission’s Natural Disaster Funding Draft Report, released in September, argues that a “growing generosity” from the Australian government characterises the evolution of natural disaster funding arrangements in this country. It states that natural disaster costs have become a growing, unfunded liability for governments, especially the Australian government, and argues that a greater focus on mitigation would limit the impact of natural disasters. The Australian national, state and territory Councils of Social Service Joint Submission to the Productivity ... Read More

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Victoria without poverty: ALP election policies

2 December 2014  |  

Before the 2014 State Election, VCOSS summarised some of the significant policies announced by each of the major parties across the social justice sector. With the election of the ALP to government on November 29, we return to these summaries to present the policies it released before and during its election campaign. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the incoming Labor Government’s social justice election policies, but aims to outline some of its major policies and commitments. VCOSS, and the community sector organisations we represent, look forward to working with ... Read More

By under State Politics, Victorian state election
2014 State Election

Voting for a Victoria without poverty – Children, young people and families

28 November 2014  |  

Many children, young people and families face complex challenges with interconnected causes that can make them vulnerable. There has been little specific focus in this state election campaign on the issues facing vulnerable children, young people and families, particularly those at risk of, or already in, the child protection system. A range of election commitments have been made regarding family violence, education, housing and health, but these have not necessarily targeted the needs of vulnerable families. Victoria’s child protection system is also experiencing mounting pressure, as ... Read More

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2014 State Election

Voting for a Victoria without poverty – Energy costs

28 November 2014  |  

Living costs always figure prominently in election debates and cover a wide range of issues from municipal rates to education costs. The most common issue currently bringing people to financial counsellors or emergency relief services, however, is energy costs – so this is an important focus of VCOSS advocacy work on living costs and financial hardship. In our 2014 State Election Platform Victoria Without Poverty, we called on parties to lower energy costs for vulnerable Victorians by removing energy concession caps and giving utility concessions to asylum seekers living in the community. ... Read More

By under Victorian state election