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The NCOSS Blog is the place to keep up-to-date with the work being done by NCOSS and the latest events and information of importance to the NSW Community Services sector.

ClubGRANTS scheme : Auditor-General’s Report released PDF Print
Gambling Policy
Date added: 14 June 2013

By Alison Peters
The NSW Auditor General has released a report on the management of the ClubGRANTS (formerly the Community Development and Support Expenditure or CDSE) scheme on the 2nd May.

The ClubGRANTS scheme provides tax rebates on gaming machine profits generated by registered clubs when they provide financial or in-kind support for locally based community programs and services.

The NSW State Budget – will it build fairness? PDF Print
NSW State Budget
Date added: 05 June 2013
by Alison Peters
The NSW State Budget will be delivered by Treasurer Mike Baird on the 18th June. Budgets are important for the community sector because they reflect the policy and spending priorities of Government as well as shedding some light on what has been achieved in the last 12 months.
ACOSS Initial Analysis of the Federal Budget 2013-14 PDF Print
Commonwealth Issues
Date added: 16 May 2013

ACOSS’ initial analysis of the 2013-14 Federal Budget outlines key measures announced in the Budget. It does not offer extensive comment on the merit or otherwise of these measures.

Download: ACOSS' initial analysis of the 2013-14 Federal Budget

The detailed Government Budget papers can be downloaded at: www.budget.gov.au

Time to Improve the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme PDF Print
Date added: 15 May 2013

NCOSS has endorsed a report prepared by Northern Rivers Social Development Council on a survey of NSW Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme users. The report, "The Shrinking Circle", recommends that the level of subsidy be revised to 75% of the total fare, with a subsidy cap of $60. It calls on the NSW Government to make provision in its 2013-2014 budget for an increase to the TTSS allocation.

DownloadReport - The Shrinking Circle

Energy Affordability: Around the Table with the Ombo PDF Print
Date added: 13 May 2013

By Robyn Edwards
The end of daylight saving in NSW, shorter days and cooler weather should not be cause for alarm. However for vulnerable households it may bring worries about the next electricity bill. In a State which has seen over 23,000 disconnections (2011–2012) households have good reason to fear that the simply daily rhythms of cooking a hot meal for the family, turning on the lights when it gets dark and heaters when it turns cold could deliver bills a household cannot afford to pay.

Homelessness funding secure for another 12 months PDF Print
Date added: 08 May 2013

NCOSS welcomes today's announcement that the Commonwealth and NSW Governments have reached agreement on a 12 month extension of the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).

This agreement should ensure that NGO projects funded under the NPAH can continue for another year. We are concerned, however, that there is as yet no agreement on the longer term future of the NPAH beyond June 2014. NCOSS recently wrote to both the Prime Minister and the Premier asking them to set aside funding in their respective budgets for a longer term agreement to be put in place.

For more information contact Warren Gardiner, NCOSS Senior Policy Officer on 9211 2599 ext 112 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

New NRAS funding round welcome PDF Print
Date added: 07 May 2013

NCOSS welcomes the offer of Commonwealth/State incentives to build a further 10,000 new affordable rental houses under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

The shortage of affordable rental housing is one of the biggest concerns facing low to moderate income households in NSW.

Last week the latest Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot found that just 23 of the 12,880 properties available for rental in Sydney were affordable and appropriate for households on income support. The situation was only slightly better for a couple on the minimum wage with just 241 affordable properties.

Applications for NRAS Round 5 incentives opened on 7 May 2013 and close on 6 August 2013.

To date NSW has received just 17% of the almost 40,000 NRAS incentives that have been allocated. We would urge the Commonwealth and NSW Governments to work together to ensure that NSW receives its fair share of the 10,000 new incentives now on offer.

For more information contact Warren Gardiner, NCOSS Senior Policy Officer on 9211 2599 ext 112 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

NCOSS Community Consultation, Gosford, 14 May 2013 PDF Print
Rural, Remote and Regional Areas
Date added: 03 May 2013

On 14 May 2013, NCOSS and Central Coast Community Council will hold a community sector consultation in Gosford to discuss affordable housing, infrastructure and services on the Central Coast.  The consultation will discuss how affordable housing links to land use and human services planning, big picture planning and infrastructure issues, homelessness and localization.

  • When: 10am-2pm, Tuesday, 14 May 2013
  • Where: Pacific Room, Gosford RSL, 26 Central Coast Highway, West Gosford

This is a free event. Morning tea and lunch will be provided.

The presentation will be followed by a facilitated Q&A session and a consultation on local issues in the afternoon.

Our consultations are aimed at workers, managers and board members of non-government not-for-profit human services. Community services workers in local government are also welcome. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services workers are encouraged to attend.

DownloadFlyer and registration form

For more information, contact Wendy Hall on 9211 2599, ext 118 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Management of the ClubGRANTS Scheme - NSW Auditor General's Report PDF Print
Funding Issues
Date added: 02 May 2013

NCOSS welcomes the release of the Auditor-General's report on the Management of the ClubGRANTS Scheme and the Government's response.

NCOSS will be analysing the report for its implications both for NCOSS' advocacy and also for the sector. This analysis will be available on the website soon. NCOSS is finalising its kit for the community sector reps on ClubGRANTS committees and the Report findings, recommendations and Government's response will be incorporated into the kit.

For more information, contact Alison Peters, NCOSS Director on 9211 2599, ext 107 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Better Pay for Aged Care workers? PDF Print
Community Strengthening
Date added: 24 April 2013

By Rashmi Kumar
March saw the announcement by the Minister for Ageing, Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Mark Butler, of the long-awaited Aged Care Workforce Compact and Supplement. The Compact is an initiative under the Commonwealth Government’s “Living Longer. Living Better” aged care reform package designed to increase the wages of workers in the aged care sector.

The Compact involves the Workforce Supplement, which is $1.2 billion in funding that will be disbursed to aged care providers who comply with the terms of the Compact. To comply, providers must pay above award wages, improve training and professional development opportunities, review part-time and casual working conditions, manage workloads better, and ensure that employees are able to participate effectively in workplace health and safety, and disciplinary matters.

Sydney goes Opal PDF Print
Date added: 17 April 2013

By Robyn Edwards
Melbourne has the ‘myki’, Perth the SmartRider, Auckland the HOP, New York the SmartLink and London the Oyster. Sydney is set to have the Opal card. The new electronic ticket for use on trains, light rail, buses and ferries across the wider Sydney metropolitan area has been a long time coming, but NCOSS News has been informed that it will be coming to a transport stop near you soon.

The Opal card will be available to the travelling public following a customer trial progressively being rolled out firstly on Sydney ferries, then trains and finally buses. Lessons from the trial will inform and guide the final make-up of the fully integrated ticketing system and hopefully resolve any problems along the way.

NCOSS Survey on NSW Medicare Locals PDF Print
Date added: 15 April 2013

NCOSS is undertaking a survey of the not-for-profit community sector's engagement with NSW Medicare Locals. We are seeking your organisation's support to complete the survey and to circulate it to your networks/members.

Medicare Locals are new primary health care organisations established by the Commonwealth Government to coordinate and integrate primary health services (see NCOSS Briefing paper: Medicare Locals). They are all at different stages of development and will continue to evolve over time.

Preliminary feedback from some NCOSS members about their engagement with Medicare Locals to date is mixed. This survey aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of community sector organisations' relationship with Medicare Locals. The final report will be used to inform NCOSS advocacy to Government and Medicare Local peak bodies.

Click here to complete the survey or go to this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QPGF25W. The closing date for responses is Friday 3 May 2013.

We encourage you to circulate the survey through your networks as appropriate. For further information, or to be added to our mailing list to receive the monthly NCOSS health policy e-news, contact:

The O’Farrell Government – two years on PDF Print
NSW Government
Date added: 11 April 2013

By Alison Peters
The NSW Coalition Government has been in office for two years and is half way through its parliamentary term. While the first 12 months could be characterised as one of review, the next year started to see implementation of many of the Government’s election commitments and the outcomes of the various review processes.

It’s timely to assess what this has meant for low income, vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities as well as the sector.

The NCOSS election platform, Vote 1 Fairness in NSW, reflected some key points:

  • The needs of people should drive policy and service delivery – not the other way around.
  • Joined up service delivery is important and we need to devote time and resources to get this right.
  • A focus on prevention and early intervention, recognising that there will remain a need for more intensive and crisis intervention.
  • The need to view services and programs as an investment in better opportunities and lives for people rather than as a cost to society.
NCOSS 2013-14 PBS - meetings with Ministers PDF Print
NSW State Budget
Date added: 19 March 2013

NCOSS continues to meet with NSW Ministers about the NCOSS Pre Budget Submission (PBS), Building Fairness First. The most recent meetings have been with the Minister for Family andCommunity Services, the Minister for Disability and Ageing and the Attorney General. Across all three portfolios feedback was given that the priorities identified by NCOSS are also priorities for the Government although there may be differences about the best way to address these. While the discussions have been positive, the message across Government, is that there will be limited capacity to fund new initiatives or to improve funding for existing measures in the forthcoming State Budget, which will be handed down on 18 June 2013.

Download: Building Fairness First

Airports and social justice PDF Print
Planning and Infrastructure
Date added: 15 March 2013

By Alison Peters
NCOSS was recently invited to speak at a forum convened by Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF), in conjuction with the Western Sydney Business Chamber and RDA Sydney to discuss the prospects for an airport in Western Sydney. At the outset, NCOSS needs to be clear – we do not have the expertise, nor do we have a position, on whether there should be such an airport and if there were to be one, where it should be located.

NCOSS was invited to contribute to the discussion to ensure the needs and views of low income, vulnerable and disadvantaged people were heard. NCOSS focused on employment opportunities, transport, housing and development as well as what engagement strategies would be needed to ensure the widest possible input to such a decision making process.

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