A NSW free from poverty and inequality


Briefing paper: Regional Consultations

We've prepared a briefing paper to set the stage for our upcoming regional visits and kickstart the conversation with our members about their priorities for the 2019 NSW state election.

Download the regional consultation briefing paper



Maximum Opal fares 2020 - 24 and on-demand transport

NCOSS has submitted a response to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal's Issues Paper on Opal fares from 2020 and the future of on-demand transport services. In our submission, NCOSS argues that equity of access should be a specific objective of IPART in fare setting because of the disproportionate impact fare increases have on people experiencing poverty and disadvantage. NCOSS recommends deeper concessions and a more incremental approach to distance bands on the Greater Sydney network. With regard to on-demand transport, NCOSS recommends community consultation and an awareness of the value and purpose of existing community transport networks. 

The regulation of lobbying access and influence in NSW

NCOSS recently made a submission to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation into the regulation of lobbying access and influence in NSW. This investigation presents an opportunity to improve the transparency and fairness of lobbying activities and decision-making processes in NSW. In recognition of the disparity between the resources available for NGOs and community groups for advocating and lobbying, and those available to many industries and professional lobbyists, NCOSS supports an approach that ensures fairness, transparency and a level playing field for all who seek to influence government.

Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug 'Ice'

NCOSS prepared a submission to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug 'Ice' in recognition of the intersectionality of issues surrounding substance use, including inequality, mental health and the particular challenges facing regional communities.

Issues Paper: Insights on Priorities

In February 2019, NCOSS sought the views of 544 NSW residents on their perceptions of inequality. This Issues Paper compares these findings with other research and commentary related to the views of this sample of NSW residents. Overall, it is clear that people feel inequality is growing and that more action is required on a range of essential services. The top priorities for action identified in this data include health and mental health support and facilities, housing and the protection of the environment. 

Informing Australia's priorities at United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 63rd Session

After two consecutive years of direct involvement in CSW61 and CSW62, NCOSS provided input to inform Australia's priorities at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 63rd Session (CSW63). 

Older Persons Transport and Mobility Plan 2018-2022

NCOSS recently made comments on Transport for NSW's draft Older Persons Transport and Mobility Plan 2018-2022 about the need for:

  • actions to incorporate clearer specifications so that progress can be measured;
  • actions to make reference to related processes across Government;
  • additional actions relating to accessibility and affordability; and
  • strengthened actions relating to rural and regional trnasport.

NCOSS comment on Their Futures Matter (TFM) Access System Redesign Discussion Paper

NCOSS has prepared a response to the Their Futures Matter Access System Redesign Discussion Paper  The response was informed by consultations with and advice from NCOSS members, partners and key stakeholders.

Productivity Commission inquiry into Mental Health

NCOSS has made a submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Mental Health, which presents an important opportunity to look more holistically at the social determinants of mental health and consider how supports and services should respond to complex and intersecting needs. We discuss how federal, state and territory governments must focus efforts on the 'missing middle' to keep people well in the community for longer, particularly through access to non-stigmatising, soft entry points to mental health support, addressing immediate needs such as housing and improving access to affordable services. We also discuss how people must be supported to transition in and out of acute care where it is needed and have access to peer support to feel more empowered and resilient. Finally, we discuss how the sector must be supported to be sustainable if it is to continue delivering vital services to the community.

Requests for community transport election commitments

NCOSS has contacted the Minister for Transport Andrew Constance MP, the Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro MP and the Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay MP regarding our advocacy efforts for improved community transport in regional NSW. These letters identify the key challenges faced by the community transport sector and asks that the MPs provide their party's plans for community transport following the NSW Election.

Australian Energy Regulator Customer Hardship Policy Guideline

NCOSS's response to the final round of consultation addresses remaining concerns with the Australian Energy Regulator's draft Hardship Policy Guideline. NCOSS notes that the Australian Energy Regulator should define the concept of 'hardship' as the Essential Services Commission has done in Victoria in order to capture all people in 'payment difficulty'. This submission further suggests that the Australian Energy Regulator has both the power and responsibility to provide guidance and direction to electricity retailers when assessing hardship policies. NCOSS suggests specific alterations that will strengthen the draft Guidelines and standardised statements for electricity retailers and their customers. 

Hornsby Shire Council Affordable Housing Strategy

NCOSS's response to the Hornsby Shire Council's Affordable Housing Discussion paper outlines the importance of a local government strategy to address the housing affordability in the Hornsby Shire. NCOSS notes the options being considered by Council, and supports inclusionary zoning as the preferred mechanism for Council to implement affordable housing. This submission further outlines how an affordable housing strategy can address other pressures on the cost of living by mandating best practice energy efficent standards and universal design to ensure new affordable housing stock meets the growing needs of the community. 

NSW Financial Inclusion Network priorities for the 2019 State Election

NCOSS is a member of the NSW Financial Inclusion Network which has just released its priorities for the 2019 State Election. Two million Australians experience severe or high financial stress, with one in five reporting that they cannot raise two thousand dollars in an emergency.

The Financial Inclusion Network election platform highlights the issue of financial exclusion in NSW and calls for the incoming Government to:

  • Adopt a whole of government approach to address financial exclusion
  • Invest in building financial resilience
  • Develop financial inclusion strategies for Aboriginal communities and people living remotely
  • Develop innovative programs to intervene early and prevent tenant debt
  • Seek urgent action from the federal government to change legislation on payday loans and rent to buy goods

Customer Hardship Policy Guideline: NCOSS Submission to to Australian Energy Regulator

The role of the AER in regulating compliance with the hardship protections in the Retail Law and Retail Rules requirements is important for people living in poverty and in households at risk of poverty. It is essential that retailers have policies, and more importantly practices, that provide support to people who struggle to pay energy bills. Alleviating the impost of the cost of energy bills through effective programs can positively impact on many aspects of people’s lives.This submission responds to the Australian Energy Regulator's Hardship Policy Guideline Issues Paper.

NCOSS 2019 Election Platform - No Child In Poverty

NCOSS has listened to stories and experiences all over NSW, and we have formed our Election Platform based on what have we heard.

The Platform outlines NCOSS Election priorities in six key areas:

  • Affordable and secure housing
  • Justice
  • Mental health
  • Lifelong learning
  • Family and connectedness
  • Access

You can see more detail at https://platform.ncoss.org.au/, where you can read case studies highlighting the importance of each ask.


Response to Accessible Housing Options Paper

NCOSS would like to acknowledge and formally endorse the submission by the Australian Network for Universal Housing Design (ANUHD).

Given the anticipated demographic changes in the next 30 years, most housing will need to be accessible at some time during the houses life-cycle, to meet the needs of residents and their visitors. Market forces are insufficient to create an adequate supply of accessible housing, and accessible housing facilitates inclusion and the implementation of NSW policy frameworks for older people and people with disability.

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