New Submission on the Continuation of Cashless Welfare
The Federal Government introduced a Bill in October to make the Cashless Debit Card trials permanent. The Senate is expected to vote on it by Christmas. We presented a submission to the inquiry, which re-states our position, which is that we strongly oppose the continuation of the Cashless Debit Card, and the removal of the trial parameters to establish it as an ongoing program.
- Mandatory income management disempowers participants. While income management can be effective, it must be genuinely voluntary and supported by wrap-around, holistic services that enable those affected to address their particular needs and take control of their own finances.
- The weight of evidence of income management models clearly shows that loss of self-control and the ability to make timely decisions to manage limited finances for people living below the poverty line is a barrier to achieving employment outcomes and maintaining family wellbeing.
- Attempting to solve complex social issues with a blunt instrument like the Cashless Debit Card is misguided and fails to meaningfully target the causes of the issues being experienced in the regions the card has been introduced, such as investment in job creation in regions and providing culturally-appropriate services.
Read the full submission on our website.
Community sector contract extensions
We understand that some State Government line agencies are in the process of writing to service providers, offering an extension to contracts that end between now and June 2021. For contracts that pre-date 1 July 2013 services should receive an additional ERO supplementary payment - which is explained in the Department of Finance 2019-20 ERO Supplementation Fact Sheet. Whilst this is positive from a certainty perspective, we are very mindful of the sustainability of existing funding for contracts that were entered into after July 2013, particularly with the final SACS ERO payment due in December 2020. CEWA and WACOSS are continuing to advocate with the central agencies of government on the need for a funding uplift to cover the ERO for contracts awarded post 1 July 2013, especially for those being extended.
We strongly suggest that organisations who are asked to sign a contract extension, look closely at the implications of extending your contract and maintaining existing service levels. Some government agencies appear willing to renegotiate service specifications, although we appreciate that this isn’t always possible for every service or contract.
The latest Department of Finance Community Services Bulletin provides advice for organisations with contracts expiring before 30 June 2021, and if you have concerns about sustainability, they encourage you to discuss them directly with your agency contract manager.
Infrastructure WA holds first Reference Group Meeting
The first meeting of the IWA External Stakeholders Reference Group meeting was held last week. Louise Giolitto, CEO, WACOSS is joined by Michelle Mackenzie, CEO, Shelter WA as representatives of the community services sector on the group. Infrastructure WA's role is to provide advice and assistance to the WA Government on infrastructure matters. Highlights from the wide consultations were shared, and it was pleasing to see one of the key themes coming out of the consultations was that investment in infrastructure should consider the social impact. Other highlights that may be of interest to the sector include energy, transport, social and affordable housing, and digital connectivity.
Raise the Rate for Good - Seasons Greetings campaign
The holiday season is approaching and right now our politicians are deciding on the future of JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and other income support payments. An announcement is likely in late November. We have less than three weeks to make our voices heard. Enough is enough of the uncertainty and delays - no more cuts, and no more short-term measures. Send a holiday card or call on your MP to deliver a permanent and adequate increase to income support before Christmas, so that people can cover the basics.
Community Services Excellence Awards - nominations closing
Now more than perhaps ever, it's important to recognise the outstanding contributions made by the community service sector. The new challenges we have come to face have made clear our reliance on these services and individuals, as well as the importance of fostering and celebrating them. Submit your nomination to celebrate a star of the community sector before 5pm Friday 12 November 2020. These awards are a partnership between the Department of Communities and WACOSS, and are supported by Lotterywest.
Neami National: BPD & Complex Trauma Workshop
Neami National is partnering with complex care specialists Our Curious Minds to deliver Recovering Function, Building Hope, an online workshop designed to help both clinical and community services gain a better understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Complex Trauma, learning important and effective practice and engagement skills. To support regional workforce development, the workshop will be offered in November specifically for practitioners based in Regional WA, on Monday 16 November and Thursday 19 November. Read more and register for the workshop.
WA Men's Gathering: No Man is an Island
A Men’s Gathering is a space for men to meet, laugh, learn and explore some of the issues affecting men’s lives. It's an annual event that allows men to meet in a safe, confidential and respectful way to share their story, reflect on life, have some fun, and better understand themselves and their place in the world. The 2020 gathering will be held at Jarrahfall Bush Camp located near Dwellingup over the weekend of 13 - 15 November. Run by a dedicated group of volunteers, the event is in the true spirit of a compassionate and connected community, and supports the social and emotional wellbeing of men so they can lead more fulfilled lives. Read more and register for the event.
Applications open for Emerging Leaders in Governance Program
The Emerging Leaders in Governance Program is one of three components of the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards initiative, and is an innovative four-month program running from January to May 2021 that pioneers the engagement of young leaders (aged under 40) on the Boards and Committees in the aged care and community sector. Read the prospectus and apply up until 5 December 2020.
TAFE Health Skill Sets available 2020/2021 - North Metro TAFE
We continue to hear of challenges being experienced by some members in attracting suitably skilled staff, which has been raised with the Department of Training and Workforce Development and other networks. We are always interested to hear from members of your recruitment experiences. Read about some of the sector TAFE courses available, and a summary of the costs of these courses.
2021 Injury Matters Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion Awards
The Awards recognise individuals and organisations who are having a positive impact on the community by conducting activities that aim to prevent and reduce the impact of injury within Western Australia. Applications for the Awards are open until Friday 11 December 2020 and are encouraged from the diverse injury prevention and safety promotion sector, including not-for-profit organisations, private sector, community groups, educational institutions and government bodies.
WA Consumer Protection Award nominations open
The Consumer Protection Awards recognise the outstanding work done by Western Australian individuals, organisations, businesses, local governments and the media to address consumer issues, help disadvantaged consumers or contribute to child safety. You can nominate yourself or others. Watch this video for more details. Get your nomination in by 11:59pm, Monday 30 November 2020.