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Community Services Act

Background to the Act
How the Act applies
The Regulations
How the Act affects community workers
Where to find the Act and Regulations

Background to the ActBack to top

The Queensland Parliament passed the Community Services Act 2007 on 23 August 2007.

The Act sets out laws about services funded by the Department of Communities. It provides an up-to-date legal foundation for supporting the work of community organisations and ensuring Queenslanders have access to high-quality, safe and accountable community services.

The laws were developed as part of the Strengthening Non-Government Organisations strategy. They are designed to:

provide greater transparency and certainty about how the Department of Communities gives funding and other assistance to community organisations
ensure services meet the needs of Queenslanders and their families and communities
clarify how the department and community organisations can work together to build sustainable communities.

How the Act appliesBack to top

Object and guiding principles
The Act has an object and a set of principles to clarify how the Department and the community services sector can work together to provide quality services for Queenslanders.

Organisational obligations are set out in the Community Services Act 2007 and the Community Services Regulation 2008, which commenced on 31 March 2008.

Setting service standards
The Act provides for the Minister to make Standards for Community Services.

Specifying prescribed requirements
The Act enables a Regulation to be made setting out requirements that the Department reasonably expects all funded service providers to meet. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure accountability for the use of public funding and the quality and safety of services.

Some key provisions in the Act include:

Notification of change of address within 30 days (s.22)
Service Agreements are made between the Minister and Providers (s.27), including prescribed clauses (s.28)
Regulation can prescribe requirements about operational matters (s.29)
Compliance notices (s.32) and reports (s.33) where the Act is contravened and consequential suspension or cessation of funding (ss.34-37)
The exercise of powers by authorised officers including powers of entry (s.50), powers of search, inspection, sample and seizure, copying documents, questioning (s.57), power to require information (ss.60-61)
Appointment of managers (ss.68-91)
Review of decisions to exercise powers (ss.92-97)

The RegulationsBack to top

The Regulations deal with a range of issues:

Requirement to keep a document (r.6)
Requirement to implement a document (r.7)
Protecting users and others from harm (r.8)
Hours of operation and contact arrangements (r.9)
Dealing with complaints (r.10)
Financial management and accountability generally (r.11)
Assistance to be used for agreed purpose (r.12)
Roles and responsibilities of executive officers and employees (r.13)
Volunteers’ knowledge of, and supervision in performing, tasks performed for provider (r.14)
Executive officers’ knowledge of legislation and governing Documents (r.15)
Conflicts of interest (r.16)

How the Act affects community workersBack to top

As a community worker your actions and those of the community organisation you work with may be governed and regulated by the Act. If this is the case you should understand how the Act works and how it impacts on your daily activities.

Where to find the Act and RegulationsBack to top

Community Services Act
Community Services Regulation 2008