TasCOSS works to prepare and shape policy that makes a real, lasting difference and values and respects the diversity of Tasmanians. During the 2019/20 Financial Year, TasCOSS worked to prioritise and innovate in the area of collection and incorporation of lived experience and the voices of Tasmanians within the bulk of policy submissions to state and federal governments. Public consultations with Tasmanians provided a rich resource of firsthand experiences and insights that have raised the quality of our policy work.
The COVID-19 health crisis shone a spotlight on existing cracks, chasms and vulnerabilities in our state and federal systems. Identifying and responding to these challenges were a key focus in the latter part of this year. TasCOSS engaged with members and stakeholders to ensure solutions were developed that supported service users and our community, in particular vulnerable Tasmanians. The lessons learned will inform future policy development and work to ensure the post-COVID-19 recovery rebuilds a better, more resilient Tasmania for all Tasmanians.
Work continued in key areas including energy affordability and the Working Together project that is demonstrating success in understanding and addressing barriers to early years education.
TasCOSS’s Good Life project continued throughout the reporting period. This project asks people ‘What is a good life in Tasmania?’. Hundreds of Tasmanians told us that a good life means more than money. A good life also means: health; connection; learning for life; feeling valued, included and heard; and hope for the future. TasCOSS is integrating these Tasmanian voices into our review of advocacy priorities for 2021.
Consultations throughout the year were also integrated into TasCOSS submissions providing the lived experience in our calls for change, in areas including regulation of gaming markets; housing affordability; digital inclusion; adult learning; harmful sexual behaviours; and local government reform.
TasCOSS also continued its contribution to national COSS campaigns, including the Raise the Rate campaign and activity supporting raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14.
All TasCOSS submissions and reports are available online in The TasCOSS Library (The Vault).