Our Community Priorities
The Queensland Budget will be handed down on 15 June 2021.
1,000 community leaders from across our Alliance will assemble on Monday 31 May to secure budget commitments in three priority areas.
We will also receive an update on progress on the 13 commitments made by the Premier to our Alliance pre-election.
In the lead up to the 2021 Budget, our Alliance is calling on the Queensland Government to fund:
1 - Emergency Funding Boost for Community Neighbourhood Centres - $14.5M per year.
Community neighbourhood centres are facing a tsunami of need due to the covid19 crisis and the end of JobKeeper.
People are arriving at community centres for support and Centres are struggling to cope. We have stories of Community Neighbourhood Centres needing to close their doors, and others who have long lines of people that can not be helped.
The long term solution to address the problems faced by Community Neighbourhood Centres is the Enhancement and Repositioning Strategy which was promised at our Maroonprint Assembly and is being undertaken by Communities Minister Leeanne Enoch. We are encouraged by the priority the Minister is giving to this. However to be done well this strategy will take up to 2 years to develop and implement.
There is a need for an emergency response that deals with the current crisis while that long-term solution is being developed.
The emergency funding boost we are proposing is the “first aid” type response that is needed. It would allow for the employment of a “Brief Intervention Support Worker” in each neighbourhood centre. These are navigator type roles that help connect people who arrive at the community centre with the right support service.
Without support such as this many community neighbourhood centres are at breaking point.
2 - Delivery of funding for workplace rights education of migrant communities - $250,000 per year for 4 years.
We have heard many stories of serious workplace exploitation in CALD communities through our Listening Campaigns. This ranged from wage theft to workplace injuries such as chemical burns. We know that these workers are in even more precarious situations as a result of the pandemic. They are also subject to higher rates of sexual harassment.
Our Alliance member organisations have committed to provide workplace rights information in relevant languages and develop training for community champions. We are asking for financial support from the Queensland Government to cover gaps in the ability of community organisations to support the reporting of instances of mistreatment and abuse.
Funding this workplace rights education program in full would allow for:
- A 'Work Rights Education Worker' to:
- Collate available resources on worker rights and entitlements
- Publicise supports available to multicultural communities in relevant languages
- Support individuals/community groups to report instances of workplace exploitation or abuse
- Follow-up support to affected individuals (e.g referral to services for health, mental health, housing support, etc.)
- Community organising to identify and train 100 multicultural community representatives over four years as 'Community Work Rights Champions'.
3 - Increased investment in just transition in the energy sector.
Our Alliance prioritises bringing together the concerns our community has about the impacts of climate change and those about the need for real jobs that provide secure work. These issues need to be addressed together, which will build confidence for further action. We want to see:
- $2 billion investment by Government Owned Corporations in transmission and storage over two years to put Queensland on the path to being a renewable energy superpower.
Large scale storage would ensure that the Queensland Government meets its current energy and emissions targets, whilst maintaining public ownership of our electricity assets, protecting workers and communities.
This is urgent to be delivered in this year's budget because building large scale infrastructure such as this takes time. There is a real need to get started now, so that the projects are completed, jobs are created and Queensland is on its way to being powered by renewable energy.
We also note that this proposed investment would create generating income for the Queensland Government. This means that Queensland will not be downgraded by ratings agencies for borrowing money towards this purpose, often a major concern for governments when considering whether to borrow money.
Further, low interest rates globally mean that borrowing is particularly affordable at this time.
- A transparent, fair and inclusive plan to support impacted workers, families and communities into the jobs and opportunities of the future.
To give workers and communities certainty and confidence about the transition, there is a need for a transparent, fair and inclusive plan. Our communities will respond positively to a positive plan that involves them. They will continue to respond poorly to being kept in the dark.
- $300 million funding to progress Renewable Energy Zones and Renewable Energy Industry Precincts to create thousands of good, secure and lasting jobs.
Last year, the Queensland Government commenced work on three Renewable Energy Zones (REZs). We recognise and commend this effort.
REZs are vital to creating jobs and transitioning our economy, primarily because they allow for clean manufacturing and industry in Renewable Energy Industry Precincts (REIPs). REZs and REIPs are twin initiatives that need to work together. One without the other will not succeed.
We urge that the next steps that build on this should not be delayed. These next steps are essential to create thousands of good, secure and lasting jobs. These are the type of real jobs that Queensland workers, families and communities can rely on and build a life around.
We are therefore calling for $300 million additional funding to progress Renewable Energy Zones and Renewable Energy Industry Precincts (REIPs).