The Federal Election has been called for Saturday 21 May 2022 and campaigning is now in full swing. It is TasCOSS’s aim to ensure the voices of Tasmanians — their needs and hopes for the future — are heard by the candidates, parties and constituents in the lead up to polling day.
Two years on from our initial lockdown, Tasmanian households, communities and our economy continue to be severely impacted by COVID-19.
Rising inequality and the cost of living is making life more difficult for Tasmanians. The data shows affording the essentials is getting harder, with the cost of housing, health, transport, education and recreational activities, all rising by more than general wage increases.
Our initial response to the pandemic was proof that poverty in Australia is not inevitable — governments choose to make it so by their policy and budget decisions. TasCOSS is looking to the next federal government to pull every lever at its disposal to support Tasmanian households struggling with mounting cost of living pressures and to support them to get a fair go.
To this end, TasCOSS has developed a Tasmania Package (PDF, 3.28MB), which identifies priority key areas — and the policies and programs required — to make real progress on cost of living pressures as well as tackling poverty and inequality in our state.
We believe this election is an opportunity for Tasmania’s political representatives to commit to:
1. Raising the rate of income support
- Tasmania has a higher proportion of people receiving income support payments than the mainland states, resulting in more Tasmanians than ever finding it impossible to afford rent, food, health care, keep a car on the road and pay for other essentials.
- Now is the time to provide a meaningful boost to the rate of JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and other income support payments to at least $70 a day, so Tasmanians can cover the basics and live with dignity.
2. Affordable housing solutions
- In Tasmania right now, housing stress remains acute, social housing waiting lists are long and rents have soared.
- TasCOSS is calling for a 50% increase to the Commonwealth Rent Assistance payment and incentives to bring more private housing stock into the long-term rental market.
3. Investment in household energy efficiency and the reduction of energy debt
- The energy efficiency of Tasmania’s older housing stock is so poor that thousands of Tasmanians on low incomes are getting sick or dying because they cannot afford energy bills and are unable to make their home warm in winter.
- TasCOSS is calling for investment in energy efficiency upgrades for existing homes of Tasmanians on low incomes, together with minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties.
4. Increasing digital skills and affordability
- Access to adequate and affordable telecommunications, together with the skills and confidence to navigate digital services, are essential in our day-to-day lives.
- With Tasmania being the most digitally disadvantaged state in the country, a key election priority is the introduction of a telecommunications concession to support people on low incomes and funding for community-based skills and education programs.
5. Improved access to dental health care
- One of the most significant gaps in our health system is the lack of a universal dental health scheme.
- TasCOSS is calling for a long-term funding model that doubles the number of Tasmanian adults who can access Commonwealth/state funded public dental services and a Seniors Dental Benefits Scheme.
TasCOSS has prepared an Advocacy Toolkit for Organisations and Individuals (PDF, 144KB) around the Federal Election. This resource covers off on a range of lobbying activities you can engage in individually or on behalf of your organisation to influence candidates and political parties.
Want to share? If you have an election-related event or news you would like TasCOSS to share on social media or in our member communiques, please let us know by emailing us.
You can use the drop-down menu below to find out more about the 2022 Federal Election campaign, including responses to TasCOSS’s 2022 Federal Election Tasmania Package from candidates and parties.
Scorecard & Party/Candidate Responses to TasCOSS's Tasmania Package
- Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Clark
- Anna Bateman, Federal Candidate for Franklin, The Local Party
- Diana Adams, Senate Candidate for Tasmania, United Australia Party
- Ivan Davis, Senate Candidate for Tasmania, Animal Justice Party Tasmania
- Leanne Minshull, Lead Senate Candidate for Tasmania, The Local Party
ACOSS 2022 Federal Election Platform
In the first wave of the COVID pandemic, our community and our governments quickly realised that we would all do better if we worked together. For a precious six months in 2020, as we responded to the Alpha wave, we prioritised health, reduced poverty through the introduction of the Coronavirus Supplement, saved over 700,000 jobs, and found safe accommodation for people sleeping on the streets. It wasn’t perfect but we were proud of what we had done. Proud knowing that, in this moment of crisis, Australia was a community where those who needed help would receive it from their community.
The subsequent two years and successive waves of COVID-19 have been a different story. The Federal Government rolled back many of these supports and failed to protect those most in need, saying it was time for the government to get out of the way.
As our political leaders prepare for this Federal Election, they can choose policies that build on the best we have done or turn their backs on millions when they need our government the most. Find out more about ACOSS’s 2022 Federal Election platform.
TasCOSS Member Organisation Election Priorities/Areas of Focus
Mental Health Council of Tasmania (MHCT)
MHCT asks the next Federal Government to reflect on and uphold commitments made as part of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement at both state and federal levels, calling on political leaders to:
- Commit to driving national mental health, suicide prevention and stigma reduction reform across Australia.
- Respect each jurisdiction’s deep and inherent understanding of their own region’s mental health and suicide prevention needs.
- Fund place-based, person-centred, equitable and affordable mental health care.
- Prioritise comprehensive state-based mapping of services and demand for psychosocial supports as outlined in the National Agreement.
The MHCT campaign also calls on the Federal Government to invest in a number of specific initiatives that would benefit Tasmania and the rest of the country.
One initiative is a stigma reduction pilot campaign that can be tailored to other parts of Australia following a successful implementation in Tasmania. Such a campaign would help to reduce discrimination against people experiencing mental ill-health and encourage people to seek help early for their mental health, a goal which is set out as part of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement which the Federal and State Government’s agreed to in late 2021. More information about MHCT’s election advocacy campaign can be found via mhct.org/election2022.
- Advocacy groups join forces to call for increased dental funding (17 April 2022)
- Rental affordability snapshot highlights rental crisis in Tasmania (28 April 2022)
- Consumer and business advocates call for fairer electricity prices (22 April 2022)
- TasCOSS unveils 2022 Federal Election Tasmania Package (13 April 2022)
- TasCOSS scores Liberals a 0 out of 12, Labor a 1.5, on measures to help Tasmanians in poverty (The Examiner/The Advocate, 20 May 2022)
- Peak advocacy bodies have urged the federal government to invest in long-term dental funding for the elderly and regional areas (The Examiner/The Advocate, 18 May 2022)
- TasCOSS outlines wishlist ahead of May federal election (The Advocate, 14 April 2022)
- Tackle poverty first, parties urged as TasCOSS floats election wishlist (Mercury, 14 April 2022)
- Interview with ABC Radio (Hobart) re TasCOSS 2022 Federal Election Tasmania Package (13 April 2022)
- Interview with WIN News Tasmania re TasCOSS 2022 Federal Election Tasmania Package (13 April 2022)
- Cost of living pressures need strategic federal intervention: Tassie advocates (The Examiner/The Advocate, 9 April 2022)
- Housing and mental health, top social issues for Northern Tasmania (The Examiner/The Advocate, 6 April 2022)
- Interview with Seven Tasmania News re access to dental health (29 March 2022)
- Tasmanians top three priorities for Australian federal election: health, climate and cost of living (The Examiner/The Advocate, 27 March 2022)
- Tasmanian social services advocates say ‘pull every lever’ (The Examiner/The Advocate, 27 March 2022)
- After 16 years without teeth, a stranger’s donation changed Jane’s smile (ABC News, 22 March 2022)
- Interview with ABC News re access to dental health (21 March 2022)