Best practice industry conditions and increased funding for community services organisations

JOINT STATEMENT
  • Miles Labor Government gives social services a fair go with best practice industry conditions for procurement
  • Commitments to five-year contracts for social services in line with new principles
  • Boost to the NGO and community services sector indexation rate to 3.94 per cent

The Miles Labor Government is strengthening its partnerships with those looking after the state’s most vulnerable as they face national cost-of-living pressures.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick today announced new procurement commitments to the social services sector, acknowledging the advocacy of organisations such as the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and the Australian Services Union (ASU) in delivering community support.

The new best practice industry conditions will provide social service providers with the appropriate contractual arrangements to ensure vulnerable Queenslanders continue to get the care they need.

These conditions include default five-year initial terms for service agreements, except where justified by specific policy or service delivery grounds; six-months notice when contracts will cease or not be renewed; contract renewals offered within three months of the end date and prioritisation of permanent employment conditions.

As social service providers face cost of living pressures, the Deputy Premier also revealed there would be an increase in indexation funding to 3.94 per cent, in line with the recommendation from the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review.

The non-government organisation indexation rate is the basis for funding calculations for community services organisations from government departments.

The raise acknowledges the cost challenges facing organisations that include provide frontline community housing, homelessness services, seniors, and domestic, family and sexual violence services.

This comes after the Miles Labor Government delivered an uplift of 20 per cent funding for specialist homelessness services while an independent review of Queensland’s homelessness response is undertaken.

The Budget also provided cost-of-living relief for our most vulnerable Queenslanders, including $1,300 in electricity bill support for all Queensland households from July 2024, with a higher $1,672 rebate for vulnerable households.

Other cost of living concessions in the Budget include: a 20 per cent reduction in vehicle registration fees for 12 months, 50 cent public transport across all Translink public transport services from 5 August 2024 for six months, half-price Airtrain tickets from 5 August 2024 for six months, $200 FairPlay vouchers for sport and active recreation activities for up to 200,000 Queensland children, and $15 million for a School and Community Food Relief program.

The rebates and concessions are part of nation-leading support for Queenslanders totalling $11.218 billion.

As stated by Premier Steven Miles:

“Queensland’s NGOs are on the frontline every day, making a difference in the lives of people who need them.

“My government has set the indexation rate at 3.94 per cent this coming financial year, in recognition of the increased pressure on service operators.

“And, we’re locking in contract conditions to protect service providers from uncertainty and worker conditions.

“We will continue to give a helping hand to our most vulnerable Queenslanders, and the organisations that support them.”

As stated by Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick:

“I see firsthand the incredible work our homelessness, domestic and family violence and housing NGOs and community sector organisations do every day for Queenslanders.

“These workers make sure Queenslanders don’t fall through the cracks when they’re going through challenging times.

“This new procurement arrangements gives these critically important community organisations the certainty they need to deliver the services vulnerable Queenslanders need.

“Meanwhile, the increase in indexation ensures social service organisations can provide fair wages to the workers.”

As stated by Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon:

“Our hardworking, government-funded homelessness organisations told us they needed more support to help people at risk of homelessness.

“We listened and through our Homes for Queenslanders plan we provided a 20 per cent uplift in funding.

“This Budget delivers on our plan, on that funding and more certainty with service agreements so we can help more Queenslanders in need.”

As stated by Minister for Communities Leeanne Enoch:

“Funding certainty is crucial for the community sector in delivering the high-quality community supports for Queenslanders including seniors, peoples with disability, families, First Nations peoples and young people.

“That’s why the Miles Government is committed to long-term funding contracts wherever possible as part of Queensland’s Communities 2032 strategy – with Neighbourhood Centres now benefiting from five-year contracts along with Community Transport as well as the Queensland Community Support Scheme.”

As stated by Minister for Child Safety, Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Charis Mullen:

“It is vital to recognise the cost pressures being experienced by NGOs.

“We are committed to supporting our NGO partners so their employees have secure jobs.”

/Public Release. View in full here.