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
- Mental health
- Lifelong learning
- Family and connectedness
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.
Inquiry into the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the provision of disability services in New South Wales
In our submission to this inquiry, NCOSS emphasised the findings of our major report into the gaps created in mainstream services with the closure of the Department of Aging Disability and Home Care in June 2018. Although it is heartening to see Government action in relation to some of the issues identified in the report since its release, more work needs to be done to ensure the NSW service system is inclusive of and responsive to all people with disability, in line with the Inclusion Act 2014.
We also prepared supplementary evidence about groups of people not receiving support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Letter in support of removing no grounds evictions from Residential Tenancies Act
NCOSS wrote to members of Parliament in support of the Tenants' Union campaign to remove no grounds evictions from the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. No grounds evictions impact harshly on people experiencing poverty and disadvantage.