Join us at 2015 ACOSS National Conference: 25-26 June
Save the date: June 25-26, 2015
Venue: Australian Technology Park, Redfern, NSW
Join us to explore big ideas at the meeting place of Australia's community sector at the 2015 ACOSS National Conference.
This year's annual conference, ‘Advancing the Common Good', will open discussion about the ways in which we can ensure that policy reforms address poverty and inequality, and how economic growth can be both fair and inclusive.
As part of the conference, ACOSS will also stage a media forum, 'Telling our stories for a more inclusive society', in partnership with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence on Wednesday 24th June.Find out more about the conference and media forum and register here.
Thursday April 16, 2015: In a new report released today, ACOSS is calling for action to restrict tax deductions for negatively geared property investments and the 50% discount on Capital Gains Tax, that are together costing the Budget $7 billion a year and fuelling housing price booms.
The report, ‘Fuel on the fire: Negative gearing, Capital Gains Tax and housing affordability', dispels the myths that negative gearing makes rental housing more affordable and that the benefits mainly go to ‘mum and dad' investors on middle incomes.
Read Full Statement and Report here.
National spotlight on ACOSS pension and super reform proposals
ACOSS proposals to reform eligibility for the part-pension and Australia's unfair retirement incomes system, including super tax concessions, have hit the national spotlight.
The Federal Government has indicated that it is seriously considering the sensible measures put forward in our recent Budget Submission, instead of pursing the plan to reduce the Indexation of pensions.
ACOSS has been highly critical of the government's previous Budget decision to cut indexation, as it would lead to people on pensions, including older people, sole parents, and people with disabilities, falling behind community living standards.
In response to the Treasurer's launch of the Government's Tax Reform White Paper at our tax reform breakfast in Melbourne on Monday (30th March), ACOSS argued that tax reform is the key to resolving our long term public Budget problems. The tax system should be redesigned and strengthened so that people contribute to the cost of services according to their ability to pay.
"We welcome the dialogue on tax reform opened up by the release of this discussion paper. It's an opportunity for the community and business to take the initiative: these hard issues can't be left to Governments alone," ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.
Full Statement: Tax reform is the key to solving Australia’s public budget problems.
Great win! reversal of cuts to vital community legal services
ACOSS has welcomed the announcement today by the Attorney-General George Brandis to restore cuts to vital community legal services.
"This is an essential first step but only the beginning of the work the Government needs to do to repair the damage caused by $1b in funding cuts to community services across the country," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
Read Media Release: Reversal of legal funding cuts an important first step, rest of $1B must be restored.
Peak community and housing groups today called on the Commonwealth Government to work with them in developing a national housing strategy to address the worsening housing affordability crisis in Australia.
The groups, including the Australian Council of Social Service, National Shelter, Homelessness Australia, the Community Housing Federation of Australia and the National Association of Tenant Organisations, today released ‘An Affordable Housing Reform Agenda' which outlines reform priorities to achieve an efficient and affordable housing system that strengthens productivity and participation.
Read Joint Statement: Community experts release national plan to tackle housing affordability crisis.
Calls for rejection of ‘cashless’ welfare card ignored
ACOSS today rejected moves by the Federal Government to introduce trials of another iteration of income management through a ‘cashless' welfare card.
"Of all the recommendations in the Forrest Review, it is deeply disappointing that the government appears determined to adopt the Review's Healthy Welfare card proposal contrary to widely held expert advice. All the evidence to date highlights the ineffectiveness and high cost of similar income management schemes," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
ACOSS Media Release: Widespread calls for rejection of ‘cashless’ welfare card ignored.
ACOSS today urged the Federal Government to focus on restoring revenue by addressing inefficient tax arrangements, rather than through spending cuts, and chart a fairer path back to surplus in its second Budget.
In its Budget submission released today, the peak community sector body has identified more than $13 billion of potential savings in the next financial year, rising to over $18 billion in 2016-17, through measures which it says restore the integrity of Australia's progressive tax system.
Find out more about ACOSS' Budget submission here.
Watch ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie video explaining ACOSS' Budget proposals to the media here.
80% of community services unable to meet demand
Monday December 8, 2014 - The largest survey of Australia's community services sector reveals that 80% of frontline agencies are unable to meet current levels of demand with the resources they have. The biggest gaps in meeting demand are in the areas of greatest community need.
The survey of almost 1,000 community service workers from around the country shows that 43% of services are simply unable to meet the needs of people coming to them for help. A further 37% can ‘almost' meet demand. Only 20% reported being able to meet demand fully.
Sunday 12 October 2014: ACOSS has released a new report revealing that poverty is growing in Australia with an estimated 2.5 million people or 13.9% of all people living below the internationally accepted poverty line.
The report provides the most up to date picture of poverty in the nation drawing on new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Income and Expenditure surveys for 2011-12 and previous years. It finds that 603,000 or 17.7% of all children were living in poverty in Australia.
"This is deeply disturbing and highlights the need for a national plan to tackle the scourge of poverty which diminishes us all in one of the wealthiest countries in the world," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie launching 'Poverty in Australia 2014' report on Sunday October 12, 2014.