Latest news

Yet another federal government MP calls for Newstart increase

Federal Government MP Pat Conaghan has come out in support of an increase to Newstart, citing concerns over child poverty, in a move warmly welcomed by the Australian and New South Wales Councils of Social Service.
Mr Conaghan, a Nationals MP who represents the New South Wales mid-north coast electorate of Cowper, joins a growing number of other government members who have spoken out on the need for an increase, including Barnaby Joyce, Dean Smith and Matthew Canavan, as well as NSW Deputy Leader and NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro. Read more.

Survey shows community services and workers at risk from funding uncertainty

Community service leaders across the country are concerned that the Federal Government is yet to commit to the continuation of funding put in place to ensure staff can be fairly paid in this important sector. The sector provides homelessness, food relief, mental health and many other community services. Read more.

Independent academic research confirms that the cashless debit card is stigmatising, impractical and unnecessary

The first independent study of the cashless debit card and income management, conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland and Monash University, has found 84% of people surveyed had experienced stigma and shame while using the card. Read more

Report shows 3 million people in poverty in Australia and why we must act to support each other

The 2020 Poverty in Australia Overview, released today by the Australian Council of Social Service and UNSW Sydney, shows more than one in eight adults and one in six children live below the poverty line in Australia.  Read more

Reform super tax breaks to properly fund aged care, and fix inequities before increasing super guarantee – ACOSS Submission to the Retirement Income Review

Quality health and aged care services, affordable housing and an adequate income support system are vital to ensuring decent, secure retirements, says the Australian Council of Social Service’s submission to Treasury’s Retirement Incomes Review. It will not be possible for future governments to properly fund these essential services for an ageing population while the present, unaffordable tax breaks for superannuation investment income remain in place, without increasing already high out-of-pocket costs for these services.

The submission argues for the inequitable tax breaks for super contributions to be reformed before further increases to the superannuation guarantee are made. Read more

Government’s cashless-debit scheme with big banks is a shameless attempt to distract from need to Newstart increase

The Australian Council of Social Service has criticised the Government’s announcement today that it is working with the big four banks on a scheme to expand the cashless debit card nationwide, despite opposition to the card in the Senate.

“This is a shameless attempt to distract from the mounting, widespread support for Newstart to be raised after 26 years without a real increase,” ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.

“This Card is a nasty invasion of privacy. It’s unnecessary, expensive, stigmatising and impractical, making it harder for people to buy from op-shops, buy second-hand furniture, rent in shared accommodation or to provide children with money for school activities. Read more

Solutions are clear to major national challenges impacting people’s daily lives – ACOSS budget submission

The Federal Government has an urgent social, economic and environmental imperative to act in the Federal Budget to address major national challenges – stagnant incomes, a weak economy, service failures and climate change – says the Australian Council of Social Service’s submission to the Government on the Federal Budget, released today. Read more

Raise the Rate

Australia’s social safety net should allow people to afford to put a roof over their head and food on the table. The current rate of Newstart and related allowances does not cover the cost of basic essentials. It’s time to Raise the Rate.
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BACKLASH: Women in the Media – Roundtable

Date: Friday, 6 March
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM AEDT
Venue: University of Technology Sydney, Business School Auditorium, Level 2, 14-28 Ultimo Road, Ultimo, NSW 2007
Price: FREE

Join us as we come together with a panel of women on the coalface of Australian media and community engagement to discuss tactics to push through misogyny in the media, and support each other when facing backlash. Register here.