Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Media Releases

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.

Insurance Costs Soaring – and that’s before the summer’s fires

Monday, 24 February 2020

The South Australian Council of Social Service’s latest Cost of Living Update, released today, highlights the importance of insurance costs in household budgets, points to a long term trend of insurance prices rising at well-above the general inflation rate and raises concerns about the implications of un/under-insurance for vulnerable households.

The report found that:

Political inaction on climate change is hurting our most vulnerable, worsening poverty and inequality

Thursday, 12 December 2019

In the midst of unprecedented bushfires and international climate talks in Madrid, the Councils of Social Service are calling for urgent government action on climate change to support those hardest hit by its impacts – people on low incomes or experiencing disadvantage. In a joint statement released today, the Councils of Social Service argue the climate crisis is not only a threat to our environment, it is a threat to people’s lives and livelihoods, and to ending poverty and inequality.

Dangerous and outrageous – Councils of Social Service condemn proposed funding cut to national voice for First Nations women on domestic violence

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The Councils of Social Service across the country have joined together to urge the Morrison Government to reinstate funding to the National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services Forum (NFVPLS) the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims and survivors of domestic violence.

The National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services Forum is vital to eradicating our country's shameful rates of domestic violence.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of domestic violence must be heard.

SACOSS applauds AER’s decision to act against EnergyAustralia

Thursday, 21 November 2019

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) has today congratulated the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for its compliance and enforcement action against EnergyAustralia, in relation to alleged breaches of important consumer protections contained in the National Energy Retail Law and Rules.

SACOSS is particularly encouraged to see the enforcement of retailers’ obligations to offer and apply payment plans to customers who are struggling to pay their bills.

SACOSS’ Working to Make Ends Meet report highlights energy affordability struggles for “waged poor” households

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

SACOSS today launched its report, Working to Make Ends Meet: Low-income Workers and Energy Bill Stress. The report investigates households whose main source of income is wages but who are still living below the “poverty line”. This report, based on national statistical data and South Australian case studies, is unique in that most other affordability research has focused on consumers generally, or those on income support like Newstart and other allowances.

SACOSS welcomes Adelaide Hearings of Senate Inquiry into Newstart

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The South Australian Council of Social Service has welcomed the Senate Inquiry into Newstart hearings to be held in Adelaide this week and has called for the SA State Premier to follow the NSW Deputy Premier in urging his federal colleagues to reconsider their position on Newstart.

The Senate Inquiry is holding hearings in Elizabeth on Wednesday 30 October and will hear from local councils, leading South Australian charities, and most importantly, from people who have experience of trying to live on impossibly low payments while looking for work.

Regulating a reduction in energy bills is good news

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) has welcomed the draft decision of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) on SA Power Networks' regulatory proposal for the 2020-25 regulatory control period, commencing 1 July 2020.

“This draft decision is an important step in the AER’s determination of the amount of revenue that SA Power Networks (SAPN) can recover from its customers over the next five years, and this flows on to the final cost to consumers,” said SACOSS CEO, Ross Womersley.

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