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Communities taking power. . .

Below are the latest submissions and reports published by VCOSS. You can also subscribe to the Documents RSS feed.

Communities taking power

A VCOSS report19 October 2016  |  

Victoria’s peak social advocacy body is sending every state MP, local council and community leader a blueprint to fight poverty and disadvantage in their backyard.


Poverty and climate change

VCOSS response to the Climate Change Adaptation Plan Directions Paper23 September 2016  |  

VCOSS believes the effects of climate change – including extreme weather and natural disasters – are profoundly discriminatory. Climate change can exacerbate the health, mental health, safety, financial and other socioeconomic aspects of people facing disadvantage, particularly those living on low incomes.

Published by under Emergency management, Emergency relief, Energy and Water, Homelessness, Housing

Fair and equitable access to legal aid

VCOSS Submission to Victoria Legal Aid Means Test Review22 September 2016  |  

VCOSS wants to see a fair and flexible means test, recognising the complex financial circumstances people living in poverty may experience. The means test must reflect living costs in Victoria today and the financial risks experienced by low-income people.


Regulation of property conditions in the rental market

VCOSS Submission to Residential Tenancies Act Review9 September 2016  |  

Under current Victorian laws, landlords can rent out a home that is not weatherproof, has no heating, window coverings or hot water. Bathrooms and bedrooms can be riddled with mould. Tenants are not entitled to bathing and cooking facilities, or to make minor repairs to the property. Change is desperately needed.

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More Than Charity

Victoria’s community sector charities12 August 2016  |  

Victoria’s community sector charities work to support and connect people, strengthen communities and advocate for a fair and just society. More than charity, they also make a significant economic contribution to the state, forming an $11 billion industry that employs more than 135,000 people—turning on its head any perception that the community sector is a ‘cost’ to society.

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Data Availability and Use

Joint COSS submission to Productivity Commission Issues Paper 'Data Availability and Use'4 August 2016  |  

The world is awash with data. Big data can provide the community sector with the tools it needs to improve services in order to deliver long-term outcomes for vulnerable and at-risk groups within our community. But without the necessary enabling environment created by government, the sector risks being left behind by private businesses that can use that data to their own commercial benefit. (Image: KamiPhuc)

Published by under Communications, Community sector, statistics

Fairer Futures

VCOSS Submission to the Victorian Government’s review of the State Disability Plan.27 July 2016  |  

In this submission VCOSS advocates for a whole-of-government strategy which articulates the roles and responsibilities of the Victorian Government in supporting people with disability and their families and carers. The government’s plan should be inclusive of all people with disability, including people with mental health issues and people with chronic illness.

Published by under Disability, State Politics

A more accountable Victoria

VCOSS response to discussion papers on VAGO and the Victorian Ombudsman9 June 2016  |  

VCOSS supports state government reforms contained in the Integrity and Accountability Legislation Amendment (A Stronger System) Bill 2015, recognising they are aimed at raising the accountability and transparency of Victoria’s public service system. However, with this support, VCOSS also urges some consideration around new powers contained in the reforms as they apply to the community sector, and the undertaking of significant consultation and education around the powers as they apply and are intended to be used in relation to the community sector. It also calls for further reforms to strengthen the complaints handling system as part of these reforms.