Cost of living pressures impact many Queenslanders, particularly those on low incomes who may be experiencing poverty and disadvantage.

The cost of essential services, such as electricity, water, telecommunications and public transport, has a significant impact on low-income households, who typically spend a higher proportion of their income on essentials.

QCOSS tracks the cost of living over time for a number of example households through our Cost of Living reports.

On these pages you will find information, factsheets, links and news items to assist you in helping your clients maintain access to affordable essential services, and keep you up-to-date on changes that may affect you or your clients. The information covers:

  • Financial and budgeting tips

  • Electricity and gas bills

  • Water costs

  • Transport information

  • Telecommunications information

  • Emergency relief

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This week marks Anti-Poverty Week 2018 (14 to 20 October 2018), a week where all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas. It was established in Australia as an expansion of the UN's...
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Anti-Poverty Week in 2018 (14-20 October) focuses on poverty around the world especially in the poorest countries but also in wealthier countries such as Australia. Its main aims are to: strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and...
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The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has revamped it's energy price comparison website Energy Made Easy. The aim of Energy Made Easy is to help residential and small business energy consumers to navigate the often complex electricity and gas retail markets to find a suitable energy offer. This...
Eligible farmers and small businesses in drought affected areas can access Federal and State assistance. Check out the map which shows current areas by clicking here . The services you can access depends on if you live in a drought declared area or not. However some services are available in all...
Women face specific challenges when it comes to managing their money. Many women take time out of the paid workforce to care for others, which reduces their retirement savings. With a longer life expectancy than men, this often puts women in a particularly vulnerable position when it comes to their...
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Queensland Government media release Funding of up to $10,000 is available to community groups interested in protecting our region’s drinking water catchments, as part of the annual Water for Life community grants program. Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said...
Did you know community based organisations can apply for funding to employ a trainee within your organisation? Funding is still available under the First Start program in 2017-18 for not-for-profit organisations to offer opportunities to young people and disadvantaged job seekers to gain nationally...
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Queensland Government media release Queenslanders can jump online and apply for rebates of up to $300 on energy efficient appliances to save on their electricity bills. Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said first rebates should be flowing back into the first applicants’ bank accounts by the end of...
If you or someone you know need a meal this Christmas here are some places providing meals around Brisbane over the Chrismas period. End of season feast, gift and hamper, Jeays St Community Centre, 12 Jeays St, Bowen Hills, 20 December 12:00pm End of year free community lunch (tel 07 3358 5600),...
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Legal Aid Queensland has published a series of captioned recordings about their services on their YouTube channel . Videos for community, health and education workers can be found here and include their published community legal education webinars. The next webinar is Child Protection - the law and...

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation representing individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. ACCAN focuses on goods and services in telecommunications...
The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. They are committed to providing an effective, efficient and confidential service for residential and small business...
Foresters Community Finance is an ethical lender with a mission to use money for the financially excluded. They lend up to $4,000 to individuals who cannot access finance elsewhere at reasonable rates. Foresters provide fast and affordable loans to people and organisations to help them take control...
Good Shepherd Microfinance is Australia's largest microfinance organisation. They offer a range of people-centred, affordable financial programs for people on low incomes at different financial stages of their lives. Their aim is to enable clients to realise their own economic wellbeing, as they...
Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
The Financial Counsellors' Association of Queensland is the peak professional body representing the membership of 74 Financial Counsellors throughout inner city, suburban and regional Queensland. The FCAQ is also a not for profit organisation whose members provide a fee and accessible financial...
The Queensland Government has launched a website to provide information on all the concessions and rebates available to assist eligible households in Queensland with the cost of living. For more information visit the Smart Savings website. As at October 2017, the following subsidy programs and...
QCOSS has held a number of webinars on various topics related to the Cost of Living. You can watch a recording of the webinars or download a copy of the presentations. Energy literacy webinar This webinar covers everything you need to know about energy bills including how to read a bill, what the...
QCOSS has developed a number of energy factsheets which you can print to hand out to clients. The factsheets cover various topics such as energy saving tip, what to do if you can't pay an energy bill, and tips on comparing energy offers and plans. To download these factsheets, click here .
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIFW) published Australia's Welfare in October 2017. The report provides an authoritative overview of the wellbeing of Australians, examining a wide range of relevant topics. Read the report here.
Saver Plus is Australia's largest and longest running matched savings and financial education program, delivered locally by community organisations in 60 locations across Australia. The program assists individuals and families on lower incomes to develop long-term saving habits and reach a savings...
The Queensland Government's Financial Resilience program can help you improve your financial knowledge, access affordable financial products and manage the factors that are contributing to your financial difficulties. Financial resilience workers and counsellors can provide financial education and...
ASIC's MoneySmart website has a range of resources to help Australians take steps to improve their personal finances. They offer free, independent guidance to help people make the most of their money. The site includes financial calculators and tools, how to get your money organised, tips on what...
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has published a factsheet to help consumers understand the circumstances in which they will get a smart meter under new rules to expand competition in metering from December 2017. The factsheet also explains how consumers will be affected when a smart meter is...
Legal Aid have a series of captioned recordings about Legal Aid Queensland services on their YouTube channel . Videos for community, health and education workers can be found here and include their published community legal education webinars. Upcoming webinars can be found on the Information for...
Essentials by AAI has partnered with Good Shepherd Microfinance to offer insurance for people who might not have the money for mainstream insurance. They offer specific benefits for people who are on low incomes: Affordable premiums Payments deducted directly from Centrelink benefits Fortnightly...

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The National Energy Customer Framework (NECF), was introduced to Queensland on 1 July 2015. NECF is a set of national laws, rules and regulations governing the sale and supply of energy (electricity and reticulated natural gas) to consumers. It was developed under cooperative arrangements between...
The Customer Water and Wastewater Code outlines the protections for small customers in South East Queensland in relation to water. The Code sets the standard of service that council-owned water businesses in SEQ must offer their customers.
Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 , sets out the tenancy laws for Queensland. The legislation ensures the rental market continues to meet the needs of Queenslanders in rental accommodation. Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Residential Tenancies and...
There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:...
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High-cost credit businesses like payday lenders are often easy to spot.

Big, bright signs promise easy credit.

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Joel Ainscough, Queensland University of Technology

As more and more businesses impose fees and restrict access to paper bills and statements, customers are being denied their right to choose how they receive important information. The Keep Me Posted campaign is advocating for the Australian public’s right to choose how they are contacted...

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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.

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