Vinnies NSW Reports and Submissions
10 April 2021
In support of a First Nations Voice to Parliament, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has responded to the Interim Voice Report to the Australian Government. Our submission supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s call for a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution.
The Constitution is an important cultural document that should reflect the identity, values, cultures and aspirations of the Australian people, a growing majority of whom describe the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia as very important for our nation. Constitutional enshrinement of a Voice to Parliament would also offer a level of stability and certainty that cannot be guaranteed through legislation alone.
Filling the Gap: The relationship between the rate of unemployment and charity assistance for JobSeekers
17 March 2021
Using data collected by members of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, this report shows that the introduction of the coronavirus supplement corresponded with a 75% drop in the number of people needing help. Calls for assistance have increased as the supplement has been cut. The report makes a case for income support payments that enable people to cover the basics, rather than forcing them to rely on charity as a matter of course.
2 February 2021
The St Vincent de Paul Society believes our legal system’s capacity to respond to the nature of abuse that occurs within intimate and family relationships should be strengthened, including via the introduction of a new criminal offence for coercive control. To ensure any legislative reform results in tangible change for victim-survivors, we make a number of recommendations to support the practical implementation of any new law, and identify where additional investment is needed in order to improve outcomes.
12 February 2021
The Society contends that everyone has the right to home. Unfortunately, right now, tens of thousands of people across NSW are experiencing homelessness or housing stress. The NSW Government has a pivotal role in shaping communities in which everyone can afford a place to live. Specifically, decisions about how the budget is allocated are critical to ensuring eligible households are able to access social housing. But there is not enough social housing across NSW. This year, our pre-Budget submission calls for the NSW Government to invest in significantly more of this critical social and economic infrastructure.
2 February 2021
The NSW Government plays a critical role in ensuring that all people—especially those experiencing poverty and disadvantage—have access to housing that affords them physical safety, protection from the elements, and security of tenure, at a cost that does not compromise access to other essentials like food and energy. To inform our contribution, we have spoken with frontline workers in our homelessness services across NSW. We hope that our input serves to support the NSW Government to reduce homelessness across our state.
17 September 2020
The St Vincent de Paul Society is deeply concerned about the unacceptably high level of First Nations people in custody. As the Uluru Statement from The Heart declares, First Nations people “are not an innately criminal people”. Rather, the disproportionate representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system is a legacy of colonisation. It is reflective of intergenerational trauma, dispossession, and systemic racism.
23 July 2020
The NSW Government plays a critical role in ensuring that all people – especially those experiencing poverty and disadvantage – have access to housing that affords them physical safety, protection from the elements, and security of tenure, at a cost that does not compromise access to other essentials like food and energy. Our feedback on the Discussion Paper aims to promote the availability and affordability of housing for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage over the next 20 years.
6 December 2019
The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW has been actively involved in responding to the drought in NSW, independently raising over $2 million in assistance, contributing close to $3 million from the Society’s own reserves and distributing government relief programs including the Drought Community Support Initiative and the Energy Account Payment Assistance Scheme. In addition to measures that would stimulate regional and rural economies, we outline ways in which the NSW Government could better assist households struggling to pay energy bills and council rates.
21 November 2019
Our submission to the NSW Review of Federal Financial Relations recognises the role the tax system plays in the distribution of wealth, and in raising revenue to support community needs. It focuses on how two tax streams within the State Government’s remit can be amended to work more effectively for people on low incomes.
Local Strategic Planning Statements and Local Housing Strategies
As councils across Greater Metropolitan Sydney develop Local Strategic Planning Statements and Local Housing Strategies, employees and members of the St Vincent de Paul Society have responded by urging Councils to adopt meaningful affordable housing targets, and to advocate for investment in social housing.
11 September 2019
The St Vincent de Paul Society’s response to the Digital Metering Public Consultation Paper cautions against allowing the moratorium on remote disconnections to expire in June 2020. This change would likely increase disconnection rates which has a negative emotional, physical and mental impact. Consumer protections are not yet adequate to the task of ensuring people are offered appropriate supports prior to being disconnected.
26 July 2019
The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW daily witnesses the impact of poor-quality housing on people’s lives. Our response to the proposed Residential Tenancies Regulation supports the general principle that social housing tenants should have access to the same rights and protections as tenants in the private market. We also identify opportunities to amend the draft regulations to help make rental properties more energy efficient.
Our 2019 Election Statement outlines key steps our State Government could take, within its next term, to begin breaking down the barriers that prevent some people in our community from living well. NSW is the richest State in Australia. Our budget is in surplus and we have very little debt. It is simply a matter of priorities.
18 December 2018
The Society welcomes the inclusion of indicative targets for affordable housing in Central Coast Council’s Draft Strategy, and proposes fourteen recommendations to further support and strengthen the Strategy’s capacity to meet its stated goals.
12 September 2018
As the NSW Government considers updating the NSW Social Programs Code for Energy, we recommend that retailers be required to ensure all rebate customers are on the best available offer. When customers are not on the best deal they do not receive the full value of any Government rebates – instead, rebates act as subsidies for the retailer rather than the customer.
24 May 2018
This submission focuses on the prevalence of food insecurity in New South Wales, and the identification of ‘food deserts’ in communities across our State. With the Society providing close to $8 million in food support in 2017 alone, our experience speaks to the need for urgent action to improve access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food.
23 October 2017
Electricity is an essential service. This submission makes eight recommendations to Government to ensure everyone in our community has access to affordable, reliable and clean energy.
31 March 2017
While the Greater Sydney Commission’s Draft District Plans consider affordable housing targets in the range of 5-10%, our submission calls for more ambitious targets in district plans, supported by a high-level target across the Greater Sydney Region.
15 November 2016
A consortium of community and faith-based groups are calling on the NSW Government to mandate affordable housing quotas for rezoned developments to help address the State’s worsening housing crisis.
28 October 2016
Our response to the NSW Government’s Foundations for change- Homelessness in NSW discussion paper makes twenty targeted recommendations to prevent and reduce homelessness in NSW.
15 February 2016
In February 2016, St Vincent de Paul Society endorsed A Plan for Change: Homes for Older Women. The plan proposes a series of initiatives to help ensure the growing cohort of older women at risk of homelessness can live in homes that are safe, secure and affordable.
19 February 2015
While investment in increasing and improving the supply of social housing in NSW is an urgent priority, our submission also addresses reforms needed in the broader housing market to increase the supply of private rental housing that is affordable for lower-income households.
19 February 2015
Our submission features stories of people for whom the private rental market does not deliver. It calls for a formal plan to increase the supply of social housing, supported by capital investment, and for social housing to be defined as social infrastructure.