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Stronger protections for energy customers a m. . .

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Below are the latest media releases published by VCOSS. You can also subscribe to the Media Release RSS feed.

Stronger protections for energy customers a must

18 February 2015  |  

A review of the hardship practices of energy companies announced by the Andrews Government today will be an important opportunity to improve protections for Victorians who are struggling to meet spiralling electricity and gas costs, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Victorians are being disconnected from their energy supplies at alarming rates and numerous reports have shown that retailers need to do more to ensure people are not wrongfully disconnected or treated unfairly,” said Mary Sayers, Deputy CEO of VCOSS. “The review, to be conducted by Essential Services Commission, ... Read More

Published under Congress, cost of living, Energy and Water, Essential Services

Scathing report reveals true costs of schooling

11 February 2015  |  

A scathing report into the true costs of schooling reveals Victorian families are struggling to pay for items and activities that should be free. It must prompt swift action to assist families and help students remain in education, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Today’s report by the Auditor-General confirms what VCOSS has been saying for some time: that rising school costs are hurting families, putting increased strain on community organisations and schools, and are a serious barrier to education,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Victorian parents are also paying ... Read More

Published under Education

Investment in out-of-home care helps protect children

7 February 2015  |  

Moves to strengthen investment in Victoria’s out-of-home care system will help to address an urgent need to secure the safety and wellbeing of our most at-risk children and young people, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “After numerous reports documenting the systemic problems faced by Victoria’s child protection and out-of-home care, we commend the State Government for moving quickly to increase investment in our out-of-home care system,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The $19 million investment announced by the Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, will ... Read More

Published under Children and families

Reverse cuts to Youth Connections & Newstart

4 February 2015  |  

VCOSS welcomes calls by the Senate Select Committee into the Abbott Government's Budget Cuts to reinstate funding for Youth Connections and abandon proposed changes to Newstart. “This Senate report provides more evidence that the Federal Government has taken the wrong approach when it comes to tackling youth unemployment,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The cuts and changes proposed in last year’s Budget will exacerbate poverty and disadvantage and must be abandoned.” “Since 2010 the federally funded Youth Connections program has been highly successful in assisting vulnerable young ... Read More

Published under Budget, Workforce participation, Young people

Jail costs soar as welfare services struggle to meet demand

30 January 2015  |  

Victoria’s prison population and the cost of keeping prisoners in custody is spiralling out of control according to the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) following the release of a report today by the Productivity Commission. VCOSS is concerned the State Government is now spending more than $1 billion a year on Corrections Victoria at the same time as homelessness, family violence and family support services are struggling to meet growing demand. VCOSS CEO Emma King said our prison population has grown more than 40% over the last decade. “People who commit crimes usually have ... Read More

Published under Advocacy, Children, Community sector, Indigenous, Justice, Justice, State Politics

Broad terms of reference are a good start for Family Violence Royal Commission

19 January 2015  |  

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) welcomes the release of the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Family Violence. “Family violence is a society-wide problem that needs a whole-of-community and whole-of-government response,” said Emma King, VCOSS CEO. “Violence against women by their partners is the biggest contributor to ill health, disability and death in Victorian women aged 15–44. It is also one of the leading causes of homelessness, poverty and disadvantage, and is a factor in more than half of all cases where children are removed from their families in ... Read More

Cost-of-living increases to hit vulnerable people

30 December 2014  |  

Cost-of-living increases will hit vulnerable Victorians hard in 2015, VCOSS CEO Emma King says. Emma King says with many household costs increasing, vulnerable people already struggling to cover the costs of living will now have to stretch low incomes further to make ends meet. “There are more than 1 million people living in poverty in Victoria and community organisations are already facing overwhelming demand for their support services,” Emma King said. “Costs-of-living increases will add to the pressure these people and community organisations are facing.” Victorian household costs ... Read More

Published under Advocacy, cost of living, Emergency relief, Energy and Water, Essential Services

Victoria leads nation in energy disconnections

18 December 2014  |  

New data from the Essential Services Commission shows Victorians are being disconnected from their energy supply at record levels, and we now lead the nation in the number of people cut off from electricity and gas, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “These figures show that more people are experiencing financial difficulty due to energy hardship and must prompt action from retailers and the government to improve safeguards to ensure disconnection from the supply of this essential service remains the measure of last resort,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “More than 34,000 people ... Read More

Published under Energy and Water

New Cabinet for a fairer Victoria without poverty

4 December 2014  |  

The new Ministerial team announced by Premier Daniel Andrews today has an historic opportunity to build a fairer Victoria without poverty, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “The new Victorian Cabinet includes several Ministries that show this Government is serious about addressing inequality and disadvantage by focusing on some of the critical social issues our community faces,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The strong and diverse Cabinet announced today presents an historic moment for Victoria. It is particularly pleasing to see so many women in strong and prominent roles at ... Read More

Published under State Politics, Victorian state election

Report finds income inequality to worsen under Federal Budget

4 December 2014  |  

Inequality and poverty will worsen under the Abbott Government’s Budget, warns a new report from the Australian Senate. The report by the Senate’s Community Affairs References Committee, Bridging our growing divide: inequality in Australia, finds the harsh approach of the Federal Budget will push more people into poverty and disadvantage and calls for many of its more punitive measures to be abandoned. “This report is further evidence that the Federal Government has taken the wrong approach in seeking to make budget savings at the expense of supporting our most vulnerable people,” said ... Read More

Published under Budget, Federal Budget