Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Media Releases

PC report supports calls for a basic level of water services for all South Australians

Friday, 3 September 2021

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) welcomes the Productivity Commission’s recently-released final report into National Water Reform.

The report recommends updating the National Water Initiative (NWI) to actively recognise the need to embrace the realities of, and adapt to, climate change while also working to improve water rights and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

Action needed as renters living in “tin shacks”: 75 organisations urge state/territory governments to step up

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Seventy-five organisations from across Australia have written to state and territory Cabinet Ministers calling for minimum standards for rental properties to safeguard the health of
renters and protect them from the impacts of climate change.

Public housing sell-off has deep implications for SA community: SACOSS evidence to Parliamentary inquiry

Monday, 16 August 2021

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) will today give evidence to an SA parliamentary committee that the selling off of public housing in South Australia increases inequality in the state.

The Legislative Council Select Committee inquiry into the privatisation of public services is looking at a range of issues, but SACOSS' evidence today will focus on public housing, where the last 30 years has seen a massive reduction in the public housing estate, as houses have been sold off or demolished for private land sales.

Over 1 million in lockdown on lowest incomes excluded from COVID payment support

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

With lockdowns now in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, over one million people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are excluded from the Federal Government’s COVID Disaster Payments because they are on a social security payment, even though many have lost part-time paid work.

South Australian Council of Social Service CEO Ross Womersley said: 

State Budget spend risks leaving too many South Australians behind

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

SACOSS welcomes the continued deficit spending strategy in the 2021-22 State Budget to stimulate the economy, but maintains our concerns that much of the spending is not well-targeted to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged South Australians.

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) State Budget Snapshot has been released this evening. The snapshot highlights a range of key areas: the good, the not so good, and some question marks.

United call for strong action on drinking water in regional and remote SA

Monday, 21 June 2021

SACOSS together with a range of key groups have made a powerful joint statement on the need for the State Government to step up to ensure that all South Australians have access to safe, affordable, and secure water.

Their call comes as the State Government progresses work on its draft Water Security Statement for South Australia – the first major statewide strategy for water security for over a decade.

National call to raise the age of criminal responsibility

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Today the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), New South Wales Council of Social Service (NCOSS), Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS), Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS), Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS), Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), and Western Australia Council of Social Service (WACOSS) jointly called on Commonwealth, state and territory governments to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age.

New report highlights gaps and question marks over water supply & safety in regional and rural SA

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) is releasing a new report (Falling through the gaps) that casts a light on the issue of access to safe, secure and reliable drinking water services in regional and remote South Australia. It also provides practical solutions that can bring real change, to ensure that communities in these areas can have this fundamental need met. SACOSS is calling for action on this critical area.

SA fails on water fundamentals

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

SA fails on water fundamentals for regional & remote SA communities
The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) was glad to today address a public hearing held by the Productivity Commission for its National Water Reform inquiry, following the release of the Commission's National Water Reform Draft Report. SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley told the Commission that action is needed to address issues of water quality, reliability and cost of water services for regional and remote SA communities.

SA will suffer with JobSeeker blow

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

The South Australian Council of Social Service says the government’s JobSeeker announcement today is a harsh blow for people who are looking for work, and who will struggle to get by. It will also be a blow to the South Australian economy generally, and to parts of regional South Australia in particular.

"The base rate of JobSeeker was previously around $40 a day, and was widely recognised as hopelessly inadequate," stated SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley. "In response to the COVID-19 pandemic it was boosted by a Supplement."

SACOSS ‘Working to Make Ends Meet’ Conference highlights challenges faced by waged poor households

Thursday, 10 December 2020

SACOSS yesterday held its ‘Working to Make Ends Meet’ Conference, with a focus on the challenges faced by waged poor households – a group that is often overlooked, and is also less likely to seek help. 

“What our research actually identifies is that one in four households living below the poverty line rely on wages as their main source of income,” stated SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley.

SACOSS condemns stalling on changing the age of criminal responsibility by the Australian Council of Attorneys-General

Monday, 27 July 2020

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) has condemned the further criminalisation of children as a result of a delayed response to change the age of criminal responsibility. In a meeting held on Monday 27 July by the Australian Council of Attorneys-General, the urging to change the age of criminal responsibility from ten years of age to a minimum of 14 years was stalled, with the Council calling for more work to be done.

Calls for a further SA stimulus package as extent of jobs crisis becomes clearer

Monday, 1 June 2020

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) today released analysis of the ABS April jobs data which reveals a much larger job crisis facing South Australia. In response, SACOSS is calling for another state stimulus package in addition to the measures announced in the Marshall Government’s $650m Jobs Rescue Package which was released in late March.

Growing SA unemployment highlights need to extend JobKeeper and JobSeeker

Thursday, 14 May 2020

COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in SA with today’s figures showing a whopping 200,000 South Australians now out of work or looking for more work.

SACOSS in response is calling on the Federal Government to maintain and extend vital coronavirus supports, and is also asking those who haven’t taken a financial hit to consider doing their part by donating to local charities.

Call for more charity as cost of living data shows some households better off during crisis

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

The South Australian Council of Social Service today launched its latest Cost of Living Update looking at the impact of the summer’s bushfires and the coronavirus on SA households. The report shows how the coronavirus particularly has impacted differently on different households. Those who lost jobs or working hours, especially those who are outside the government safety net, have obviously been hit hard, but some households are likely to be financially better off: those working extra hours, or simply maintaining their incomes but with lower living costs.

SA: The Heaps Unfair State

Friday, 27 March 2020

The Heaps Unfair State: Why have health inequities increased in South Australia and how can this trend be reversed?

SA: The Heaps Unfair State report - produced by the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University and the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) - provides evidence that shows a significant increase in inequities in South Australia since the 1980s and also recommends how to improve this state’s health outcomes.

Govt urged to act as COVID-19 pushes community services to the brink

Friday, 20 March 2020
SACOSS is warning that the community services sector will be unable to support vulnerable South Australians through the COVID-19 crisis unless the Federal Government steps-up to provide an urgent rescue package.
Community services were already struggling to keep up with demand in aged care, homelessness and support for people escaping domestic violence, as well as providing disability, mental health, and drug and alcohol services, and will soon reach a crisis point due to COVID-19.

Call for essential service costs relief for those impacted by COVID-19 measures

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) has endorsed the national statement by more than 30 community services organisations calling on companies providing essential services such as energy, water, finance, rental housing and telecommunications to take steps to support those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including by committing to:

Regulator backs in Consumer Groups Concerns re SA Water business case

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

SACOSS welcomed today’s release of ESCOSA’s Draft Decision in relation to SA Water’s proposed plan for delivering water and sewerage services to customers from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024, noting that if implemented, it was almost certain to drive water prices down even further than had been projected in ‘Our Plan 2020’.

Ross Womersley, CEO of the SA Council of Social Service, said:

SA joint statement against the Religious Discrimination Bill

Friday, 28 February 2020

We, the undersigned, represent a range of researchers, community service organisations and advocacy groups that support communities throughout South Australia. We are united in our concerns about the draft Religious Discrimination Bill and its potential to cause harm to the communities we serve.

We respect the diversity of Australia and celebrate the multitude of beliefs, identities and cultures that co-exist within our society. We likewise celebrate the various faiths throughout Australia and value the ability for such diverse communities to exist peacefully with one another.

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