Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) is thrilled that more than 150,000 Queensland families will receive a rebate on their electricity bills as part of new state government policy.

Following recommendations from QCOSS, the existing $330 Electricity Rebate will be extended to include Commonwealth Health Care Card Holders and asylum seekers.

Pensioners, Seniors and Veterans card holders will retain their concessions.

QCOSS CEO Mark Henley said the extension of the rebate will make a genuine difference to the lives of Queenslanders currently struggling with the cost of living.

“We are excited that QCOSS’ recommendations were supported by the Productivity Commission and now will be implemented by the state government,” said Mr Henley.

“These changes are a critical step in assisting our most vulnerable families and individuals to break the cycle of poverty and actively participate socially and economically.”

In addition, QCOSS will receive funding during the next four years to continue its work advocating for vulnerable energy and water consumers.

“The Government’s response demonstrates the value of QCOSS’ work campaigning to address the problems associated with cost of living and affordability issues,” Mr Henley said.

“Until this point, we were the only state that did not give electricity concessions to Health Care Card holders and now we are leading the way through the inclusion of asylum seekers.

“We look forward to continuing to advocate for those in our community who most need it.” 

For more than 55 years QCOSS has been a leading force for social change to eliminate poverty and disadvantage. With members from throughout Queensland, QCOSS supports a strong community service sector.

The new concessions will be available in April 2017, however will be backdated to January 2017.

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