The 2014 FCAQ Conference
was held at the Q1 at Surfers Paradise on the 19th, 20th & 21st March 2014.
The theme was "Together towards tomorrow".
Our FCAQ President, Mark Phillips, addressed the conference. He talked about many of the issues being faced by Queensland Financial Counsellors at this time.
An extract is published here for your information:
Queensland financial counsellors have just come through a major unnatural disaster in 2013. The Queensland government ended all state funding of financial counselling at 30th June 2013. Queensland is now the only state in Australia that does not fund financial counselling. A lot of Queensland financial counsellors lost their jobs, and many more were affected by reduced hours, and job location changes. Thankfully, the new Commonwealth Gambling funding came along in time to offer some new positions for some of the retrenched FCs.
Queensland financial counsellors still have a lot to worry about. Without Federal Government funding in Queensland, there will be no financial counselling profession here. June 2014 is getting closer, and all Commonwealth FC positions are up for renewal. To date we have not received any indication of future Commonwealth government funding of financial counselling. A large number of Queensland FCs could be terminated with little warning, and many have no redundancy pay entitlements. This could cause a critical loss of FC skills in Queensland. Many of us would leave the FC profession permanently, because we cannot live on the edge year after year. We call on everyone (FCs and business reps) to contribute their ideas and energy so that both the Queensland and Commonwealth governments are aware of the urgent need to fund financial counselling in a long-term and sustainable manner. It is ironic that Queensland financial counsellors are worried about our professional survival, whilst we are still dealing with long waiting lists and an ever-increasing demand for our services.
On the national front, Queensland is working towards unified standards for all Australian financial counsellors. This will give all financial counsellors a national identifying number, and Australia-wide recognition of their qualifications. We are also working on national professional development standards and access to nationwide training resources.