Daily News - Thursday 15 May 2014
Homeless children in Brisbane on the rise as three-year campaign to combat homeless launched
Naomi Lim, Quest Newspapers
A staggering number of homeless people in Brisbane are children, according to research compiled as part of the 500 Lives, 500 Homes project.
Community service providers and volunteers surveyed 548 homeless individuals and 177 families around Brisbane during two weeks in March.
The project, coordinated by government and non-government agencies under the State Government’s Home for Good initiative, found 537 people captured by the study were younger than 17 years of age.
Statistics also reveal that almost half of children from homeless families were younger than five, while 80 per cent of children were younger than 13.
Centre to pick up the fight against violence
Incola Berkovic, The Australian ($)
In her 30 years working to tackle violence against women, Heather Nancarrow has seen a mother and her kids beaten with a hammer and a women’s shelter burnt to the ground.
Now she will lead a national research centre, to be launched tomorrow in Canberra, into sexual and domestic violence against women and their children. Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety will for the first time conduct national research into preventing and responding to violence against women. It will identify the elements of programs across Australia that are most effective to ensure frontline services are best targeted.
Psychologist Eman Sharobeem has not heard from one of her regular clients for three days and she is worried.
Sitting at her desk, she taps out a message on her mobile phone, her face illuminated by the screen.
"Hello dear," she writes. "Are you OK?"
Women fearing domestic violence borrow cameras from Community Against Crime
Kathryn Powley, Herald Sun
Women fearing domestic violence are borrowing security cameras from a crime-fighting community group to catch men breaching intervention orders.
At least one case has made it to court as a result of Community Against Crime’s camera loan scheme.
Still in its infancy, the scheme has two CCTV cameras available free of charge for two months, but will soon boost that number to 22.
Facing up to violence against women with disabilities
Clem Bastow, Daily Life
When she went to the police to report intimate partner violence, Rebecca* was met with a stark response: “They didn’t believe me.”
This was not solely because of institutionalised mistrust of victims of sexual violence, but because Rebecca is a woman with an intellectual disability who experienced intimate partner violence from a partner who also had an intellectual disability. Not being believed is a common thread through much of Rebecca’s experience dealing with both police and support services.
Reassessing disability support is 'ludicrous', says advocate
Tessa van der Riet, Sydney Morning Herald
Changing the requirements for those on the disability support pension, as announced in the federal budget, is "completely ludicrous", says disabilities advocate Stella Young.
"The reassessment of people on the disability support pension is always going to be a problem," Ms Young said. "It doesn't necessarily create jobs in the labour market, it doesn't create opportunities."
Under the changes, an estimated 28,000 people on the disability support pension who are able to work more than eight hours a week, will be reassessed to potentially move over to the lower Newstart allowance. They will have to actively search for work, take part in training, or work for the dole.
NDIS welcomed, Disability Jobs needed
Pro Bono News
Disability groups have welcomed the emergence of the NDIS unscathed from yesterday’s Budget announcement but have expressed concerns over changes to the Disability Support Pension.
Disability advocates have flagged the need for a jobs guarantee rather than a welfare guarantee in the wake of changes which they say are set to push people with disabilities into the workforce
Reducing welfare benefits for job seekers under the age of 30 will lead to indefinite unemployment and homelessness and will be bad for the economy, the opposition says.
The federal budget revealed on Tuesday that people under the age of 25 would get Youth Allowance, not Newstart, and people under the age of 30 would face a six-month wait for unemployment benefits and must work for the dole.
Needy spared dole blitz, others must earn or learn
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
Charities warned that people would go hungry and knock on their doors as they struggled under the punishing new rules.
However, a full list of the categories of unemployed people exempt from the tough new rules, which will force those younger than 30 off the dole every six months, shows that the most vulnerable unemployed, will be exempt.
TONY JONES: OK. What about the many changes affecting young Australians and in particular young unemployed Australians, a six-month wait to go on the dole, as we just heard, a period then of work for the dole and then another period beyond that where they'd have to go off payments again. We hear fears that will affect very badly young parents with no parental support in particular. Is that something you would try to carve out of the Budget?
CLIVE PALMER: Well we're very concerned about that. You'll see an increase in youth suicide, increase in crime. How are these people supposed to get money to eat or support themselves if their parents don't support them? Who's going to look after them? And what sort of society do we want to be as Australians? Do we really hate people so much? This is an ideological budget, it's just about ideology and about smashing someone. It's not really about what's best for the country.
Many will lose under 'earn or learn'
Jason Om, Lateline, ABC
Welfare groups fear tens of thousands of unemployed young people will fall through the cracks under new measures that will leave some of them without the dole for six months.
The new ethos of "earn or learn" is designed to keep Generation Y off welfare and in work.
But as Jason Om reports, there are fears that many could instead be made destitute.
Denying help to young jobseekers would be harsh
Tony Nicholson, The Australian ($)
... the changes in this budget affecting young unemployed people appear to be a first step down a more radical policy path, diverging from the best available evidence of what works.
I say “appear to be” because the budget papers provide scant detail on how this new approach may operate.
In this instance, I hope the saving grace for this welfare policy may be contained in the detail yet to come — about the nature of assessments of the young people’s needs, the extent of exemptions available and the quality of the job preparation assistance that will be offered to them. This will be the key.
Young people are now on the edge of our reconfigured welfare state
Veronica Sheen, The Conversation
The 2014-15 federal budget continues the deconstruction of Australia’s post-war welfare state. In fact, the budget takes it a step further, particularly for the young. People under the age of 30 will now have a quite different relationship to the social protection system. Essentially, their rights and entitlements to payments are heavily circumscribed. There are certainly no “entitlements”, as treasurer Joe Hockey promised.
Budget wields big sticks and offers few carrots to young people
Lucas Walsh, The Conversation
So what does the Coalition’s ... policy agenda [for unemployed young people] add up to? It’s a confusing mix of carrot and stick that, in a worst-case scenario, will mean young people end up unemployed, demoralised and out of work for the long haul. The government risks entrenching the very problems it seeks to redress.
Regressive measures won’t help youth into work or training
Linda Graham, The Conversation
The 2014 federal budget implemented a so-called crackdown on what Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews calls young people who are content to “sit on the couch at home and pick up a welfare cheque”.
The crackdown will change access to income support for people under 30 years of age.
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says while the rural health sector was spared savage cuts in the Budget, the new $7 Medicare co-payment for GP consults would have a big impact in the bush and out additional pressure on rural practices.
Abbott open to talks to pass budget
Paul Osborne, AAP
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is open to "horse trading" to get his government's first budget and associated laws passed by the Senate.
Labor and the Greens will allow the budget appropriation bills - which channel money to departments and agencies - through parliament.
But a number of controversial measures from Tuesday's budget will require changes to other legislation, which could be blocked by a combination of Labor, the Australian Greens and crossbench senators.
The federal opposition has warned it won't horse-trade over the government's planned Medicare co-payment, which looks unlikely to pass through the Senate.
Labor, the Australian Greens and the Palmer United Party have all declared they will oppose the $7 payment to see the doctor, which the coalition says will help pay for its new Medical Research Future Fund.
Budget double-dissolution threat
Andrew Tillett, The West Australian
Tony Abbott has threatened to call a double-dissolution election if a hostile Senate thwarts his Government's deep spending cuts and tax rises.
Tax still the elephant in the (budget) room
Miranda Stewart, The Conversation
The biggest question, the real one about our shared identity as a nation and our vision for fairness and prosperity, is also hidden in the background to this budget. That is, what size of government do we want and what should it do?
PPL scheme only attracts cursory mention in budget
Alexandra Kirk, PM, ABC
Tucked away in the budget papers is just one paragraph referring to Tony Abbott's signature policy.
The paid parental peave scheme is relegated to just a little more than a footnote. Provision's been made for it has been made in the contingency reserve: a bucket of money reserved for decisions taken, but as yet not announced by government, decisions too late to be included in portfolio estimates and so on.