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Additional funding for community services and indexation increase announced

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PeakCare welcomes the announcement made by the Queensland Government of additional funding for the community services sector in response to unanticipated cost pressures. This includes, in particular, cost pressures arising out of the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review decision that resulted in a 4.6% wage increase for community sector award employees and the superannuation increase to 10.5%.

Pleasingly, the additional payment announced by the Queensland Government will increase the effective indexation rate for 2022-23 to 5.07%, rather than the 2.88% that has already been passed on to funded organisations. In total, an additional amount of $50 million is being directed to these organisations to assist them in managing rising wage and operating costs including the increased superannuation contributions.

Soon after announcement of the original indexation rate of 2.88%, similar to the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and other organisations, PeakCare on behalf of our Members submitted correspondence to the Hon Cameron Dick MP, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment seeking an urgent review of the indexation rate to address the funding shortfalls in adequately addressing the increase in labour costs. We commend the Queensland Government for listening and favourably responding to these submissions.

As announced by Minister Linard today, “The top-up will be passed on as a lump sum to organisations funded by the Department of Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, delivering the supplementation for the full financial year”.

A commitment has also been made by the Queensland Treasurer to working with QCOSS to review the methodology for setting the non-government organisations’ indexation rate into the future. As reported on in previous editions of our e-News, PeakCare along with several other peak bodies is pleased to be a sponsor of the exercise initiated by QCOSS in partnership with the University of Western Not-for-profits Research Team to create an indexation model that demonstrates the real change in the cost of delivering services.

To complete this work, QCOSS is seeking financial data for 2019, 2020 and 2021 from a minimum of 32 organisations by the end of October 2022. To date, data has been obtained from around 20 organisations and an interim report, Challenge of Sustainability, has been produced. PeakCare urges our Member organisations to participate in this important research – become part of the solution. For advice about how you can contribute, please contact QCOSS’ Scott Brown (scottb@qcoss.org.au).

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