Creating Equitable Communities
Inequality is the primary cause of disadvantage and many of the social issues experienced by the vulnerable in our community.
Systems and services that aim to tackle income inequality are vital to supporting healthy, resilient communities. Without adequate support, living costs can place significant pressure on a household’s financial sustainability, leaving them one crisis away from hardship.
Often people find themselves in crisis through no fault of their own due to external factors they cannot control. In these situations, people require support to get back on their feet.
With income inequality in Western Australia at the highest rate in the nation, and child poverty rates increasing over the last decade, the policy focus area of “Creating Equitable Communities” is WACOSS’s commitment to promoting and developing initiatives that reduce inequality and increase financial resilience, helping people in crisis improve their well-being.
Cost of Living Report
Since 2007, WACOSS has produced an annual Cost of Living Report. Using consistent models and expert analysis, the report provides a snapshot of the emerging issues facing the Western Australian community. The report works to debunk myths surrounding people living on low wages by providing evidence based on data, rather than opinion.
State Wage Case
Every year, WACOSS makes a submission on the State Wage Case to the WA Industrial Relations Commission. It is an important mechanism protecting low-income workers from poverty and promoting fairer distribution of economic benefits for the good of our community. Through its submission, WACOSS promotes fair wages and conditions that reduce financial inequality and promote productivity.
Community Relief and Resilience Forum
The monthly Community Relief and Resilience Forum is an opportunity for representatives from the community and government sectors to network, share information and identify opportunities to enhance services delivered. Most meetings include a presentation to keep everyone up to date with trends and innovations in service delivery. Bringing together members from various backgrounds and agencies allows the sector to share current challenges and successes and work together to address emerging issues. The Forum is also an important support network for organisations providing emergency relief. The work of the Forum is linked to the State Emergency Relief Committee.
State Emergency Relief Committee
This Western Australian strategic reference group was established to support the community relief and resilience sector. This support is provided in the form of policy development, planning and lobbying. Through this Committee, members have a unified voice to advocate for improved systems and services to those experiencing financial hardship and adversity.