Joint Media Release: It’s time for Queensland renters to be given a fair go

Today the Minister for Housing, Leeanne Enoch introduced proposed legislation that would see tenants at the whim of the well-funded real estate lobby.

The Make Renting Fair Queensland campaign, supported by over 50 community organisations, have come out today outlining their disappointment with the mixed bag of changes, after two and a half years of waiting, the government’s new proposed legislation.

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Summary Queensland State Budget 2021-22

The State Budget was handed down yesterday on 15 June 2021 by the Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick MP.

It is a big spending budget focused on infrastructure, jobs, health, housing and education and the post-COVID economic recovery and funding the government’s election commitments. The major boost to social housing, domestic violence, funding for disability including for disability peaks and advocacy services, people with disability not eligible for the NDIS, transport and disaster preparedness, response and recovery are welcomed. Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) looks forward to working with the Queensland Government to ensure these initiatives and investment will lead to a more inclusive and accessible Queensland.

QDN welcomes the new allocation of $1.9 billion funding over four years to social housing and new funding for $20 million domestic violence accommodation. The budget accelerates the Queensland housing strategy to fund enhanced social housing and associated support programs over the next four years.

QDN acknowledges the range of investment focused on infrastructure in this budget, and members know it is important that housing, hospitals, transport and schools are designed and built to meet the needs of people with disability. People with disability need to be included in the beginning planning, design delivery and evaluation stages. Co-design leads to better services and outcomes and QDN looks forward to working with the Government around design and implementation of these important initiatives.

QDN welcomes the continued funding over two years for disability advocacy services to ensure people with disability can access essential services and support and uphold their rights as equal citizens.

You can have a look at the full budget here: budget.qld.gov.au

SUMMARY BY PROTFOLIO

Disability

Disability Services

$22.7 million to support disability services including peak bodies and advocacy services including:

  • $3.6 million to support peak and representative groups
  • $8.1 million over 2 years to continue Queensland disability advocacy services
  • $6.6 million over two years to support positive behavioural support for Queenslanders with disability
  • $7.3 million & $1.8 million for former disability services clients who are ineligible for NDIS
  • $5.1 million over 4 years & $1.4 million ongoing to advance disability services functions

Older Persons

  • $4.8 million over 4 years and $1.2 million ongoing for seniors legal and support services, financial advice and a scams and fraud protection Hotline

Housing

Social Housing and Homelessness Action Plan

$1.9 billion over four years in social and affordable housing and associated support programs.

Housing Investment Fund

$1 billion will be allocated to establishing a new housing investment fund to boost housing supply.

Safe Housing

$20 million over four years to expand domestic violence crisis housing.

Health

$22 billion has been allocated to health across the state, including:

  • $2 billion Hospital Building Fund including at Toowoomba Day Surgery and Mater Public Hospital.
  • $648.7 million towards emergency patient flow and elective surgery wait times.
  • $233.6 for capital works projects including replacing health technologies
  • $177 million for care of public patients at the expanded Springfield Hospital
  • $43 million for Gold Coast University Hospital and Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit
  • Delivering election commitments to satellite hospitals at Bribie Island, Caboolture, Brisbane South, Pine Rivers, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Redlands

Education

$16.8 billion over 4 years on:

  • $1.4 billion new schools in 2023, 2024 including 10 New state schools in high growth areas
  • $1 billion for continuation of the Great Schools Great Future infrastructure program
  • $53.9 for air-conditioning under the $477 million Cooler Cleaner Schools Program
  • $17.3 million to link industry with high schools (School to work transition)
  • Boost

Employment & Training

$3.34 billion job creation, including:

  • $1.84 million Queensland Jobs Fund
  • $1.5 million Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund
  • $350 million Industry Partnership Program to support business, industry and research
  • $320 million Skilling for Work Program
  • $140 million Back to Work Program
  • $47.8 million TAFE Future Program

Transport

$14.7 billion allocated for infrastructure in 2021-22 out of $52.2 billion Capital Works Program will support 46,500 jobs from infrastructure projects and 29,800 jobs from regional program, includes:

  • $1.5 billion Cross River Rail continuation
  • $148 million Regional Council Projects
  • $74 million Cairns Convention Centre
  • $70 million Building Regional Roads

Women

  • $320 million over 4 years Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program
  • $800,000 over 3 years for Working Women’s Queensland
  • $670,000 for legal services
  • $60 million for breast cancer screening services
  • $7.7 million for perinatal and infant health services

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

  • $300 to establish Path to Treaty Fund to support treaty advancement
  • $89.6 million upgrade to social housing
  • $40.8 million to deliver 47 new social housing dwellings
  • $6.7 million Native Titles Compensation Office

 

Disaster Management

$10.8 million over 4 years has been allocated to implement priority actions in response to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements in Queensland.

Arts

  • $71 million will be invested in screen projects
  • $61.7 million Queensland Cultural Centre and Infrastructure Investment Fund and Queensland Museum
  • $7 million live music support in 2021-22
  • $6 million invested in major movies

NDIS Plan flexibility and budget planning

The NDIA will be holding consultation forums in June and July on participant plans and budgets – they advise they want participants to have individualised budgets. To do this, they want to change how they build budgets, and will be working on three main issues:

  1. Participant experience and people feel about the process
  2. Fairness and consistency with NDIA decision making
  3. Flexibility so participants have more control over supports and services in their plan and budget

These changes would need to be reflected in the NDIS Act 2013. The agency is also proposing to use information from participant’s independent assessments to build consistent budgets and plans, with the rationale that some people who have the same needs currently get different budgets. You can find further information about this, including Easy Read Guides, on the NDIS website here

QDN will make sure we are involved in the consultation process and will seek feedback from members so we can present people’s views and concerns.

NDIS Website – Plan Flexibility and Budget Planning

Commonwealth Government update

There has been a new provider update released by Commonwealth which you can read here and there is information for people with disability including Easy Read fact sheets and Auslan videos around COVID and vaccinations here

We encourage everyone who wants to have the vaccine to book in as soon as they can, especially as we’ve seen how quickly things are currently changing in Victoria.

New provider update released by Commonwealth

NEW – Vaccinations for aged care and disability care workers

Aged care and disability care workers who have not been vaccinated can now also register online here to receive priority access to the Pfizer vaccine at one of Queensland Health’s vaccination locations. There is a push by Queensland Health this weekend to get workers vaccinated – if you are planning to turn up to a hospital or hub site, make sure you identify yourself as a disability worker and ask for Pfizer. If you have work ID or a Yellow Card this will be useful to identify yourself as a worker.

If you have any issues with the link above you can also try this one here.

Latest COVID-19 vaccination news

Aspen Medical has started vaccinating people with disability in Queensland living in residential accommodation housing with two or more people. Healthcare Australia will also be commencing in mid-June to speed up the process. Outside these in-reach arrangements, people with disability and disability support workers can make bookings for vaccinations using the eligibility checker which you can access here – this will show you locations in your area and give booking information and contact details.

QDN e-Bulletin Update May 2021


An update from Des

Des Ryan, Chairperson of the Board

A man in a sitting position with a grey jacket and a blue and green striped button up shirt, wearing glasses.

I want to give my thanks to everyone who joined us for the NDIS Reforms Online Forum on Wednesday 19 May. We had almost 250 registrations and also want to thank the organisations who co-hosted the event with us as a collaboration of sector peak bodies, advocacy and disability organisations.

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Latest COVID-19 vaccination information – bookings have opened throughout Queensland

The Australian Government has issued updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout to people with disability and disability workers. The rollout of Phases 1a, 1b, and 2a means that all people with disability and disability workers can visit Queensland Government-run clinics to access the vaccine recommended for their age. All people aged 50 and over can also access the AstraZeneca vaccine at their local GP clinic, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (previously GP-led Respiratory Clinics) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS).

Hospital and health services in Queensland will be providing vaccinations as part of the Queensland Government’s rollout as well. To confirm your eligibility and book your appointment, you can complete the eligibility checker here or visit the Queensland Health website to book an appointment. You can enter your location and get a list of clinics in your area, along with waiting times for an appointment. Once you complete your booking you’ll receive an email confirmation.

Phase 1a for people with disability who live in residential accommodation housing two or more people is continuing. ASPEN has now been appointed to deliver these vaccinations at residential sites for both residents and staff. They have started in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory and will move to Queensland and other states in the week starting 24 May 2021. If you prefer not to wait for ASPEN to deliver your vaccination on site, you can arrange a booking following the advice above.

Phase 1b includes adults with a disability or underlying health condition – there is a form you can sign to take with you to prove eligibility for this phase here Workers eligible for Phase 1a can also use this form if they are not going to receive their vaccination onsite at their workplace.

If you have a guardian or appointed decision maker, you’ll need to take your completed consent form with you to the appointment – the forms are here.

Keep in mind you need a 14 day gap between flu and COVID-19 vaccinations as flu vaccinations are currently available also, and remember to take your Medicare card to your vaccination appointment if you can.

The Department of Health will continue to update any new advice on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on the webpage Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines or here which also includes Easy Read resources on preparing for your vaccination, the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, and what to expect after vaccination. If you have any questions you can call 134 268 (134 COVID)