Wednesday 24 June 2020

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This week we are releasing our stage one Community Recovery Plan, our blueprint for putting systems and supports in place for a recovery that leaves no-one behind. In short, we have 5 Key Ideas that would put us on the path to recovery. Our recommendations recognise the vital role of the Care Economy in all aspects of recovery, and investment in it will result in jobs for women and young people who have been hardest hit.

As we emerge from this pandemic, I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to ensure people who have been impacted the hardest, are not unfairly disadvantaged. That's why we need to Build Back Better. We have an opportunity to learn from our past, and to invest in the care economy, social housing, energy efficiency, regional communities, and the people of Western Australia.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Giolitto
Chief Executive Officer

COVID-19 Update #32

Increased JobSeeker payment allowing people to eat regularly, cover rent, and pay bills

The Australian Council of Social Service has released the results of a national JobSeeker survey, with 9 out of 10 respondents reporting that the removal of the new JobSeeker rate would have a significant or extreme impact on their ability to cover the cost of essentials.

People said that:

  • 94% said the removal of the supplement would have a significant or extreme impact on their ability to cover the cost of essentials.
  • 93% said they were now able to afford fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • 83% reported eating healthier and more regularly. Prior to the supplement, 74% of respondents skipped meals. Of those who skipped meals, 28% skipped 1 meal a day or more.
  • 69% said they were now able to pay for essential medical and health treatments.
  • 75% said they were able to pay their bills.
  • 65% said it was easier to pay rent or move to safer accommodation.

The Coronavirus Supplement of $550 is scheduled to finish in September 2020, however the Federal Government must consider a permanent increase to keep 1.6 million people out of poverty.

WA State Government continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions

The McGowan Government has announced continued relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, with Phase 4 of the WA Roadmap commencing on Saturday 27 June 2020. It's strongly recommended that Western Australians continue to keep up physical distancing where possible and maintain good personal hygiene to protect themselves and the general health of our community. WA businesses will be expected to ensure their COVID Safety Plans are updated and advice for community service providers continues to be followed.

National Minimum Wage increase of $13 per week to be staggered

The Fair Work Commission's Minimum Wage decision is very concerning - it is a below CPI increase which essentially amounts to a wage cut in real terms and delays the increases for workers in a number of industries for several months. This will have a negative impact on consumer demand - the last thing you want in an economy that is already in recession. The national decision represents a $13 per week or 1.75% increase, bringing the new Minimum Wage level to $753.80 a week or $19.84 an hour. Unions had called for a 4% increase, or $30 per week, while business groups called for a wage freeze. 

WACOSS made a submission to the State Wage Case, which has not yet been handed down.

Smart housing installation boom could make a real difference

WACOSS joined more than 50 organisations, calling on the Federal and State Governments to stimulate the economy with an energy efficient and solar, low-income housing installation boom. The call comes after the Federal Government’s Housing stimulus proposal failed to include measures for people most in need, instead focusing on high income earners undertaking expensive renovation without any related social or environmental benefits. The proposal has been welcomed by Australia's Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, who said that "saving electricity the best form of energy generation".

Gender Equity Insights show that female leadership can lead to business profitability, but still a way to go

The BCEC 2020 Gender Equity Insights report shows that under female leadership business profitability, performance, and productivity increase; female top-tier managers add 6.6% to market value of ASX companies; and female leadership will help businesses thrive in a post-COVID world

Of some of the key findings, the appointment of a female CEO has driven a 12.9 per cent increase in the chance of outperforming the sector on three or more metrics. 

However, it's alarming that:
  • Women are least likely to be the Chair of the Board, with only 14.1% of women being Board Chairs;
  • Women make up only 17.1% of company CEOs; and
  • 29.8% of companies have no female representation on their Board and a similar proportion of companies have no women in their key management teams.
The construction industry has a long way to go, with two-thirds of firms in the construction sector having zero female representation on their Boards.

Impact Investment WA Alliance urges McGowan Government to support the emerging sector amid COVID-19 crisis

As a founding member of the Impact Investment WA Alliance, WACOSS joins the growing chorus of leaders across private and philanthropic sectors calling on the McGowan government for a State Social Enterprise Strategy. Our members in the community services industry are pioneers of social enterprise in WA, having invested in and proven up some of the first examples of employment based social enterprise in the state.

In the light of the COVID economic crisis and the burgeoning negative impact job losses are having on our communities and families, which increasingly depend on the community service providers, it is incumbent on the McGowan government to support the sector in its effort to develop sustainable ways of tackling the unprecedented social disadvantage and vulnerability caused by the impact of the pandemic.

The community services industry supports over 120,000 jobs in WA, contributing over $5 billion to the state's economy each year. Our ability to increase our services to meet demand, and create support, upskilling and employment opportunities for the most vulnerable members of our community depends largely on the willingness of the State to innovate its approach to our members.

The Victorian Government's Social Enterprise and Social Procurement Framework report released in 2018, has shown the potential for such policy innovation. With 1.5 jobs created for those suffering or at risk of disadvantage for every $100,000 dollars spent on social procurement, and a social return on investment of $3.65 for every $1 invested in social enterprise, 'best-practice' policy has been proven. Today we call upon the McGowan government to finally catch up, and support and fund potentially game changing social innovation for economic outcomes in Western Australia. Read more about the Impact Investment WA Alliance and Impact Seed.

Host a McCusker Intern between August-November

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship gives UWA students the opportunity to make a difference in the community by offering 100-hour internships with NFPs, community, and Government organisations. Organisations in the community sector are encouraged to apply to host an intern in Semester 2, which can be completed working-from-home or in the office. For more information contact the Internships Team via [email protected] or call 08 6488 7553 before 5 July.

White Ribbon Australia turns over a new chapter

Communicare has announced the appointment of Brad Chilcott as Executive Director of White Ribbon Australia. Brad is a campaigner for social change and justice and has more than 10 years of experience with leading NGOs. White Ribbon has been relaunched today with renewed focus on community engagement and committing resources, advocacy and activities to bring about meaningful change in the prevention of gendered violence.

This AHURI study investigated the homelessness services system and families to identify what is working well; those elements that could be expanded to improve housing and wellbeing outcomes; and the potential for beneficial system redesign.
The Climate Council has released a new report in response to COVID-19. Read and download Primed for Action: A Resilient Recovery for Australia.

25 JUN | Webinar: economic recovery, community services & COVID-19
Shelter WA - Online - $34-$45

1 JUL | Energy efficiency and Australia’s economic recovery
ACOSS/Ai Group/EEC/Property Council of Australia - Online - $ Free

2 JUL | Leaders Through Crisis (COVID-19) connection group
Child Australia - Online - $10

Senior Policy Officer
ConnectGroups - applications closing Friday 26 June 2020

Community Engagement Officer – Indigenous
Foundation Housing - applications closing Friday 17 July

Connected Beginning Programming Co-convenor - Derby
World Vision - applications closing ASAP

Family Engagement Facilitator - Derby
World Vision - applications closing ASAP

Expressions of interest for office accommodation in Mandurah

The City of Mandurah is calling for Expressions of Interest from registered NFP community organisations to lease and manage the Falcon Family Centre, 60 Linville Street, Falcon. An Information pack outlining the selection criteria and site inspection will be available upon registration of EOI. All interested organisations will be asked to complete a Community Outcomes Survey. Written applications can be forwarded to: City of Mandurah, Land Management Services, PO Box 210, Mandurah WA 6210, or to contact officer Louise Collins, Land Management Services via [email protected]. The closing date for submissions is 4pm, Friday 10 July 2020.

Canon Grants for Community, Education and Small Business

Applications are now open for the Canon Oceania Grants 2020, which support local groups in addressing social and environmental issues in their community, and inspiring change for future generations. Apply for a grant.

Scholarships available for women to undertake Ignition program

The Department of Communities’ Women’s Interests portfolio is proud to provide fully-funded scholarships for women to undertake the Curtin University Ignition program for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. Applications for the scholarships close on Friday, 10 July 2020. If you're after more info you can attend an information session.

Mental Health Week grants available 

Grants of up to $1,000 are available for organisations to hold community events and activities which supports the goals of Mental Health Week (10-17 October 2020). Apply for funding and read the criteria here.

JobSeeker welfare recipients fear end of life-changing Supplement

ABC News Online, Wednesday 24 June 2020

Over the past few months life has changed profoundly for single mother Mandy Weber and her teenage daughters, Olivia and Mariah. They can eat three meals a day. That's something they couldn't afford to do before the Coronavirus Supplement added $550 a fortnight to Ms Weber's welfare payments. Continue reading article.

WA's unemployment has skyrocketed to levels not seen in 25 years

Channel 10 News, Thursday 28 June 2020

WA's unemployment figures are the worst in the country, despite the mining sector continuing throughout COVID-19. Young people and women have been greatest affected. In an interview with Channel 10, Louise Giolitto, CEO, WACOSS said: "We all know the cliff is coming in September when JobKeeper ends, and the numbers will increase dramatically."

Push to end the 'cloak of invisibility' loophole that protects companies

The Guardian Australia, Sunday 21 June 2020

For more than 25 years, a loophole has kept the financial affairs of some of Australia’s richest people away from public scrutiny. Almost 1,500 companies controlled by rich Australians are exempt from laws that require other large enterprises to file financial records that are available to the public. Continue reading article.

Members can submit news and events for publication in each Sector News edition for free, and non-members for a nominal fee.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Ngala kaaditj Noongar Wadjuk moort keyen kaadak nidja boodja.

In the spirit of deepening relationship, we acknowledge Wadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which our metro office sits. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Western Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders both past and present.

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