Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Media Releases

SACOSS opposes mandated prepayment for energy bills

Monday, 20 December 2021

Australian Energy Regulator's (AER's) work on Better Bills for customers is likely to be helpful, but the real focus should be on its draft Consumer Vulnerability Strategy - which has real merits but probably still won't help protect remote SA communities from being forced onto repayment requirements.

SACOSS welcomes today's release of the Australian Energy Regulator’s Draft Consumer Vulnerability Strategy for consultation.

SACOSS Conference discusses equity challenges of our climate change responses

Thursday, 18 November 2021

SACOSS' Liveable Futures conference today provided an important and thought-provoking examination of critical equity considerations thrown up by our accelerating move to renewables.

"Decarbonising our economy in response to a changing climate is inevitable and necessary. But it’s also important for us to examine the equity implications of the energy transition," stressed SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley.

Urgent message to Attorneys-General: Don't fail children

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Attorneys-General are reportedly considering another move towards raising the age of criminal responsibility, with a formal announcement anticipated early in the week.

However, reports suggest that the announcement may fall short of what is required, not amounting to an agreement to raise the age to 14.

Groups across Australia have long been calling for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised to at least 14 years of age. 

Making SA better: Poverty in the spotlight for Anti-Poverty Week

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

This week is Anti-Poverty Week – held each year to help raise important conversations about poverty in our state and beyond it, and what we can do better.

This year, a key focus of the week is to shine a light on the fact that in Australia today 2.65 million people are struggling to survive on income payments that are well below the poverty line.

Digital inclusion improves in South Australia, but still lags behind

Friday, 15 October 2021

SACOSS welcomes the release today of the 2021 Australian Digital Inclusion Index, showing an improvement in digital inclusion in South Australia. The new data shows SA again has the second worst score of all states and territories, but our score improved from 63.0 to 69.0 in the last year to be just 2.1 points behind the national average (by comparison with the 4.5 point gap last year).

Urgent concessions reform needed: Poverty premiums& barriers to access identified in new report

Saturday, 9 October 2021

SACOSS is releasing a new report which identifies serious problems in the system of concessions which support low income South Australians. The report, The State of Concessions in South Australia, examines utilities, transport, health and cost of living concessions and argues that the system is poorly designed, with gaps, poverty premiums and arbitrary requirements and barriers to access.

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.

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