Author: 
Queensland Council of Social Service

The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) recently released a new report revealing the interrelated nature of poverty and disadvantage, highlighting key areas in Queensland which need to be addressed with better targeted programs, policies and investment.

QCOSS’ Queensland’s wellbeing 2016 report pulls together a broad range of data that helps paint a clearer picture of where government and community could concentrate their energies and investment in order to help break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.

We all know that poor outcomes in one area of a person’s life can put them on a path to poor social and economic outcomes, impacting not only the individual, but their family, their community and of most concern generations to come.

This report includes data regarding individuals and families and is based on seven key domains: 

  • safe
  • healthy
  • adequate standard of living
  • strong personal relationships
  • community connections
  • achieving in life
  • secure for the future.

QCOSS believes that this report will be of great value to people working in the social services sector, as well as researchers and policy makers, to clearly see the interconnectedness of issues such as violence in the home against women, children and older people; poor education and health outcomes for people in disadvantaged, rural and remote areas; youth unemployment; electricity disconnections; and low kindergarten attendance by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, to name just a few.

Key findings

Some of the key findings of the Queensland's wellbeing 2016 report include:

  • The suicide rate among males has doubled in six years
  • In recent years, fewer Queenslanders have been victims of break-ins 
  • Nearly a quarter of young Queensland adults are not seeing a dentist when they need to
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders are eight times more likely to be in prison
  • Fewer young people are being diverted to alternatives to the criminal justice system
  • Queenslanders do not eat enough fruit or vegetables, hardly exercise and two thirds are overweight or obese
  • Electricity disconnections due to non-payment have been increasing
  • Low-income households spend nearly a third of their income on housing
  • Older males are at significant risk of being socially isolated
  • People with low English proficiency are least likely to be able to access support in a time of crisis
  • Queenslanders are volunteering less
  • Kindergarten participation in Queensland has tripled in five years to reach almost 100 per cent
  • Nearly two thirds of people receiving Newstart or Youth Allowance do so for more than one year
  • Long term homelessness most affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people who have experienced prison, and people who have experienced foster care
  • More than half of older Queenslanders do not use the internet
  • Most Queenslanders think it’s a good thing for society to be made up of different cultures
  • Participation in religious or spiritual groups is dropping quickly in Queensland 

The QCOSS Queensland’s wellbeing 2016 report is designed to view, measure and help track the wellbeing of all Queenslanders, while also helping us to pinpoint areas of poverty and disadvantage, and to give us the evidence base we need to change our responses to change people’s lives for the better.

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