Family Responsibilities Commission


Who is the FRC?

The FRC is the Family Responsibilities Commission. We are a statutory body in partnership with the State and Australian Governments and the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, as part of the Cape York Welfare Reform trial. The FRC has been conceived by Aboriginal Australians and is driven by community members.

What does the FRC do in community?

We want to ensure that all welfare and Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) members are behaving responsibly in community, and are supportive of their families, neighbours and the general community. We are in the communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge to assist them in restoring their culture and Indigenous authority.

To do this, we assist the community to achieve the following:

  • children attend school every day so they can receive a good education to ensure a good future for them and the community;
  • kids are healthy, thriving and cared for;
  • drug, alcohol and violence is not affecting you, your family, or the community;
  • homes are being cared for

We support the Queensland Government’s Statement of Objectives by striving to ensure:

  • safe and caring communities
  • healthy communities
  • well educated communities
  • efficient service delivery for communities

Who does the FRC apply to?

All Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community residents on welfare or CDEP. The FRC also applies if you receive ABSTUDY, youth allowance, Newstart, parenting payments, carer benefits, disability support pension or age/service pension.

How can we help?

We'll listen to your side of the story. We'll suggest support services to help build a better future for you and your family. Your Commissioners will follow up and help to improve the lives of your family.

How does it affect me?

The FRC are here to help all community members. If you are involved in a Child Safety matter or children in your care miss three (3) days of school in a school term without a reasonable excuse, you don't meet the conditions of your social housing tenancy agreement or are convicted of an offence in the Magistrates Court, you can be required to attend conference.

What happens when you meet with the FRC?

You can have your say. Sit down with your Commissioners and talk to them. Meetings can be in local language or English and are private. You can bring a support person with you. Commissioners will not discuss your problems with anyone outside the FRC. They will offer guidance and advice. Decisions are made to help you and your family. If you don't go to conference, the FRC may decide to have your income managed for you.

What happens next?

You will get support to meet your responsibilities. If you are not meeting your responsibilities, your welfare benefits can be income managed by Centrelink.

What is 'income management'?

The Commission can decide (or you may request) to have your income managed. 'Income management' means Centrelink will put part of your fortnightly payments on a BasicsCard. An income management order can be made for up to one year, but can be extended or reduced if your circumstances change. If you feel your circumstances have changed you can apply to the FRC to have your order changed or ended. The Commissioners will listen to why you wish to change or end the order in conference. For more information about income management visit the Department of Human Services website at http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/income-management.