A NSW free from poverty and inequality


NCOSS Pre-Budget Submission 2018/19

The NCOSS Pre-Budget Submission 2018/19 - No Poverty: A roadmap for a fair NSW draws together the lived experience of people experiencing or at risk of poverty and disadvantage, the knowledge and experience of our members from the community sector across the state, the expertise of our advisory panels and our NCOSS team’s research and analysis.

We’ve pulled together what we heard from across the state into a set of seven recommendations for our NSW Government. The recommendations chart a roadmap to build a more equal society and to reduce poverty and disadvantage.

Download NCOSS PBS 2018/19

Advocacy Kit 2017: Everything you need to make change happen

Thanks for joining with NCOSS to progress the Pre-Budget Submission. You will be joining with NCOSS members across the State who will be meeting with their local member of parliament, talking to their local media, and participating in community campaign action.

You know what is recommended and why it’s so important for your community. But we need all members of parliament to know too.

Together we can make real change happen. So let’s get to it! There are four steps you can take: 

Step 1. Seek a meeting with your local member 

Step 2. Contact your local media

Step 3. Advocate to your local member about the PBS 

Step 4: Share your stories and spread the word

See below all the resourcs you'll need to make this happen - including a full advocacy kit with instructions. Together, we can reduce poverty and disadvantage in our State and shape a better future. 



Productivity Commission Report recommends positive change to NDIS

Last week, the Productivity Commission released the findings of its review into National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) costs, which recommended improvements to the NDIS. 

Many of the Commission’s findings and recommendations are consistent with NCOSS' and the Disability Network Forum's (DNF) advocacy. For example:

  • Fund advocacy outside the NDIS at both a State and Commonwealth level. The report called on States to at least match Commonwealth levels of funding for advocacy. This supports the StandByMe campaign launched last week, calling on the NSW Government to maintain advocacy funding post June 2018, which also mirrors NCOSS' Pre-Budget Submission 2018/19 recommendation
  • More work to be done operationalising the interfaces between the NDIS and State services. This was recommended as a standard item on the Disability Reform Council agenda. We will be bringing stakeholders together to identify gaps in key areas;
  • Increase funding in Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) to the full scheme amount ($131 million) each year as the NDIS rolls out. The Commission argued that less funding in ILC would be a “false economy” because ILC supports are critical to the success of the NDIS. To implement this recommendation, it is critical that Local Area Coordinators be resourced to focus on inclusion activities rather than solely NDIS planning; 
  • Focus on the needs of marginalised groups, who are to date experiencing fewer benefits from the NDIS. The Commission recommended a specialised gateway be implemented to meet the needs of people with psychosocial disability; and
  • Publicise continuity support arrangements to assist in identifying service gaps.

For more information, download the report via this link.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has also released a new participant pathway, highlighting how processes of engagement with the NDIS will be more person centred (for example, planning meetings will no longer take place by telephone). Download more information about the new participant pathway

NSW Government must continue to fund disability advocacy organisations post 2018

10 October 2017

NCOSS strongly supports the vital role of independent representative advocacy and information organisations for people with disability and their families.
Our forthcoming Pre-Budget Submission argues that the funding the NSW Government provides to these organisations must continue post 30 June 2018.
Representative advocacy and information organisations play a fundamental part in assisting the Government to deliver on its inclusion agenda, ensuring the voices of people with disability are held in decisions affecting them. 
The transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will not decrease the need for advocacy. On the contrary, representation advocacy and information are critical to ensuring people with disability can realise the choice and control on which the NDIS is built. 
NCOSS works to increase inclusion for people with disability and ensure advocacy and information organisations can succeed in an NDIS environment. We support the vital work of our members and the broader advocacy and information sector to ensure this choice and control is realised. 
We call on the NSW Government to maintain its current investment in advocacy, and combine this with growth funding that acknowledges the enhanced need for advocacy in the evolving NDIS environment and the current unmet demand.

Submission to Integrated Care at Home to Support Older Australians

In our submission, NCOSS argues that the home care system needs to support older people from marginalised communities, including by:

  • continuing to provide more funding to services like group social support, transport and Meals on Wheels;
  • providing one-on-one support to people from marginalised communities to assist them navigate the system; and
  • ensuring that older people with non-age related disability receive funding commensurate to their needs.


NCOSS Submission to Guardianship Act Review: Question Paper 3

NCOSS Submission to Guardianship Act Review: Question Paper 2

Healthy Weights Forum

Supporting vulnerable children to be a healthy weight was the focus of discussions at the Healthy Weights Forum held on June 28, 2017, hosted by NCOSS, in partnership with Uniting and Cancer Council NSW. We were privileged to hear from a range of speakers from academia, government and the community, who shared their knowledge and expertise on strategies and programs working to address the widening inequities in the rates of overweight and obesity. The forum canvassed key population-level policy responses making a difference in other jurisdictions – such as a sugar tax and tighter restrictions on junk food marketing, and show-cased practical responses that could support our clients and communities to be a healthier weight. Follow the links below to download presentations from the event.

Presenter Topic
Professor Louise Baur, Professor of Child & Adolescent Health, University of Sydney and Consultant Paediatrician, Weight Management Services, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Improving outcomes for vulnerable people - why child obesity matters

Alexandra Jones, Food Policy Division, The George Institute for Global Health Sugar tax
Wendy Watson, Nutrition Program Manager, Cancer Council NSW Food marketing
Julie Anne Mitchell, NSW Director of Cardiovascular Health programs, Heart Foundation NSW Urban planning for health
Dr Jo Mitchell, Director, Centre for Population Health, NSW Health Healthy Eating Active Living: Responding to child obesity from an equity perspective
Christine Newman, Deputy Director, WSLHD Centre for Population Health Healthy drinks policies
Michelle Maxwell, Manager, Make Healthy Normal, Centre for Population Health, NSW Ministry of Health Make Healthy Normal
Leah Choi,  NSW Office of Preventative Health Go 4 Fun
Nageen Ahmed,  NSW Office of Preventative Health Get Healthy Service
Anna Ashenden, Social Justice and Community Engagement Manager, St Vincent de Paul A partnership approach
Liz Millen, Manager, Healthy Environments, Heath Promotion Service South West Sydney Local Health District  Community responses to food insecurity and healthy eating
Rowena Yamazaki, Sydney Local Health District YHunger
Dr Smita Shah, Western Sydney Local Health District SALSA
Maddy Gough, Regional Nutrition Project Officer, Cancer Council NSW Eat it to Beat it


NCOSS Submission: Local Impact Assessment Review

As an organisation, NCOSS works towards a NSW that is free from poverty and disadvantage. Problem gambling causes significant financial hardship and stress on the people and communities we represent and to whom our members provide care and support. The harms from problem gambling are not just financial – they include suicide, depression, relationship breakdown, job loss, bankruptcy and crime. NCOSS acknowledges the role clubs play within their communities in offering a range of social activities, but believe it is unethical for these clubs to rely on gambling and profits derived from gambling to support these activities.

We believe the review of the Local Impact Assessment is both necessary and timely. It is necessary because electronic gaming machines, as one of a growing number of gambling options, continue to be the overwhelming cause of gambling problems. For that reason, they require effective regulation to mitigate against their harmful effects, particularly on people living in poverty and in socially disadvantaged areas. The review is timely because local government mergers in NSW are likely to affect the way regulation of electronic gaming is undertaken by the Liquor and Gaming Authority (the Authority).

Read NCOSS' submission into the review of the Local Impact Assessment (LIA) process

NCOSS Women's Budget Statement 2017

As part of our 2017-18 Budget Analysis, we recommended that the NSW Government, as part of its commitment to developing a NSW Women’s Strategy, introduce a Women’s Budget for NSW, enabling it to assess the implications of the budget, for men and women, in all their diversity.

Ultimately, if we are to successfully break down barriers, move to achieving gender equality, and ensure that government policies and programs are effective, efficient and fair, we need gender responsive budgeting and data against which we can assess our progress – or lack of. 

Download NCOSS Women's Budget Statement

Response to Senate Inquiry- delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy to build inclusive communities

This submission, on behalf of the Disability Network Forum, makes brief comments on the role played by disability representative and advocacy organisations in improving the design of transport services and infrastructure in NSW to create a more accessible transport system for people with disability.  If this role is to continue, continued funding of these organisations is crucial.


Scoping paper: Increasing social connection for older people from marginalised communities

Inclusive and connected communities is a priority area under the NSW Ageing Strategy, and we need to make sure older people from marginalised communities are not left out. Recognising the need to build on existing work, NCOSS brought together members and stakeholders to begin a conversation about the barriers and enablers to social connection for older people from marginalised communities and to shape a plan for a systemic response.

We will be seeing your views on these options and asking what other solutions work in your communities.

NCOSS Analysis: NSW Budget 2017-18

The 2017-18 NSW Budget handed down on 20 June was a lukewarm commitment from the government to alleviate the social and financial issues faced by our State’s most vulnerable.

We know we need to invest in communities to lift people out of poverty and disadvantage. Last year we visited communities around the State to hear from them about the challenges they face and the solutions that would allow them to overcome those challenges. We also spoke directly to people living below the poverty line about what would make a real difference for them. These consultations helped shape our Pre-Budget Submission, which contained a clear roadmap for change with achievable and costed asks.

There are certainly some Budget measures to be positive about. The $6 million in funding over two years for community legal centres will help ensure that everyone has access to justice, not just those who can afford it. There’s also $20 million in funding for community-based mental health services and additional money for oral health services.

While these are steps in the right direction, there was a missed opportunity for a deep social infrastructure spend to support the most vulnerable. We saw plenty of investment in physical infrastructure like roads and buildings, but little in people or social infrastructure.

We have also recommended that the NSW Government, as part of its commitment to developing a NSW Women’s Strategy, introduce a Women’s Budget for NSW, enabling it to assess the implications of the budget, for men and women, in all their diversity.

Read the media release 

NCOSS Submission - IPART Review of Social Housing Rent Models

NCOSS welcomes IPART's draft findings that:

  1. An income-based tenant rent contribution is the best option to ensure affordability for tenants; and
  2. The current rates for tenant rent contributions (25% - 30% of income) and thresholds at which they apply are appropriate. The threshold at which tenants are no longer eligible for a subsidy is appropriate. 

Our submission focusses on the impact some of the changes proposed in the Draft Report would have on people. We consider that some of the recommendations would be appropriate if there was an accessible, secure and affordable supply of rental properties outside of the social housing system for people to move to. Sadly, this is not the case. We urge the NSW Government to consider this, and other structural barriers outlined in this submission, when making decisions on whether or how to implement IPART’s recommendations. 

Importantly, NCOSS has supported more effort in producing social and affordable housing rather than raising revenue from existing tenants through a number of changes outlined in the Draft Report. We support a well planned program for this to occur, beginning with the development of a Whole-of-Government Social and Affordable Housing Strategy. 

Open Letter: Improving options for victims of domestic violence who are renting

Women’s Legal Service NSW along with 87 other organisations, including NCOSS, have written to Minister Kean and Minister Goward, urging the NSW Government to expand the evidence victims of domestic violence will be able to rely on to end their tenancy immediately without penalty.

A diverse group of organisations signed the statement, including peak bodies, legal organisations, disability and human rights groups, and health, community, housing and women’s organisations.

Following the review of the Residential Tenancies Act last year, the NSW Government announced it would strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence who are renting in a number of ways.  One recommendation is to enable a domestic violence victim to end their tenancy immediately without liability if they have a provisional, interim or final apprehended violence order (AVO) or a family law injunction.

Signatories to the letter commend the NSW Government’s announcement but express concern that it “will not protect those who face barriers obtaining an AVO or an injunction”.

Read full media release

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