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ACOSS Reports & Submissions

Each year ACOSS prepares numerous submissions to the Federal Government. We also undertake research and produce reports on policy areas that impact disadvantaged Australians. The latest ACOSS submissions and topical papers appear below as downloadable links.

Most recent papers


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Submission to Social Security Legislation Amendment (Stronger Penalties for Serious Failures) BIll

July 2014

This short submission shows that, while we support a fair complaince system, we have always regarded the eight week penalty as harsh.


Submission to Senate Inquiry into Private Health Insurance Amendment (GP Services) Bill

July 2014

This is a short letter-form submission that outlines ACOSS' position on this bill. This position, briefly, is that ACOSS supports a universal healthcare system that attempts to eliminate the current social gradient of health. The proposed Bill, however, would have the effect of widening rather than reducing existing inequities in health.


A Budget that divides the nation: ACOSS 2014-15 Budget Analysis

May 2014

ACOSS' analysis of the Federal Budget for 2014-15. This paper consists of an overview of the budget; a table of who will pay for what measures; the effect of budget decisions on the bottom line, and a detailed analysis of measures in the following key areas:

  1. Employment services
  2. Working-age payments
  3. Family payments
  4. Retirement incomes
  5. Health
  6. Education and Early Childhood Services
  7. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs
  8. Community Services

Submission to the Inquiry Into the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (Repeal)

May 2014

ACOSS has long advocated for effective regulation of the community sector. ACOSS’ positions around the essential elements of effective national regulation have been the result of significant policy development, consultation with members and engagement with a range of stakeholders over many years. It particularly draws on the contributions provided by the Council of Social Service network which operates across all states and territories in Australia.


Submission to Inquiry into the Health Insurance Amendment (Extended Medicare Safety Net) Bill 2014

April 2014

ACOSS has deep concerns about the trends in healthcare funding that have seen a move away from universal coverage towards a system of co-payments with associated safety nets to protect vulnerable consumers2. This is an issue that we will explore in greater depth in our response to the Senate Inquiry into Out-of-pocket Costs in Australian Healthcare, but one that needs to be noted in relation to our response to changes to the Extended Medicare Safety Net.


ACOSS Submission on Minimum Wage 2014

March 2014

ACOSS has a long standing interest in minimum wages. We have made submissions on minimum wage fixation to industrial tribunals since the mid 1990s. ACOSS is an interested party with expertise in poverty, employment policy and income support policy, rather than an advocate for union or employer positions. We have not advocated specific wage increases in the past, and do not do so in this submission.

The last minimum wage increase awarded by Fair Work Australia (FWA) was a rise of $15.80 per week (a 2.6% increase), bringing the federal minimum wage up to $622.20 from 1 July 2013[1].

 Our interest in minimum wages stems from their impact on people at risk of poverty and disadvantage in Australia:

  1. through their direct effect on the disposable incomes of people in low paid work and their families;
  2. through their indirect effect on the adequacy of social security payments;
  3. through their effect on employment; and
  4. through their effect on people’s future retirement incomes.

Preventing shocks and addressing energy poverty: an ACOSS discussion paper

March 2014

This paper discusses the impacts of energy hardship, before outlining the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the energy concession frameworks in Australia. It outlines recommendations for reform, and potential policy solutions to be pursued so that energy is affordable for everyone in Australia.


Submission to Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Affordable Housing

March 2014

A short submission to this inquiry in which ACOSS expresses support for the drive to achieve economic growth through investment in infrastructure, but with the important inclusion of social and community infrastructure. Housing infrastructure is undeniably our most urgent social infrastructure challenge.


Further Submission to Senate Select Committee Inquiry into the Commission of Audit

February 2014

ACOSS further submission to the Inquiry into the Commission of Audit, respnoding to questions on notice from hearing, 18 February 2014. This supplementary submission covers concerns about cuts to funding of vital community services and co-payments in the health system.


Budget Priorities Statement, 2014

February 2014

ACOSS' 2014-15 Budget Priorities Statement outlines the following priorities for the 2014-15 Federal Budget:
  • Undertaking effective tax reform to achieve a sustainable revenue base for an ageing population and roll back unfair tax breaks for people on higher incomes;
  • Ensuring that those who are already disadvantaged in the labour market do not also suffer poverty because of the low rate of Allowances; and have access to jobs;
  • Improving housing affordability and improving the life chances and health outcomes for low income families and individuals; and
  • Ensuring essential community services, particularly those which assist the most vulnerable members of our community, are not targeted in an effort to achieve Budget sustainability, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and representative organisations and multicultural services; and strengthening the capacity of the community sector to deliver vital community services.

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