Daily News - Thursday 26 June 2014
Unemployment plan as unworkable as it is unfair
Cassandra Goldie, The Australian ($)
The federal budget proposal to remove income support from young people for six months of every year of unemployment is such a breathtaking departure from 70 years of social security policy that the Australian Council of Social Service and many others were puzzled about its purpose, and where it came from.
Parliamentary Secretary Alan Tudge’s article, “Welfare Benefits A Broad Church’’ (The Australian, June 17), provides some clues. The goal appears to be to replace social security entitlements for unemployed people with charity. It appears that young people and Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders are among the first targets, as they were with similar policies such as income management.
Centacare's Christo Youth Service to cease
Melissa Pretorius, Port Macquarie News
It was the passion and perseverance of a group of volunteers which saw the establishment of the Christo Youth Service in Port Macquarie more than two decades ago.
But it has now been confirmed the refuge as the community has come to know it will close its doors from July 31.
The loss of funding, under the NSW Government's Going Home Staying Home reforms, has come as a surprise to staff.
Qld - Public housing rent rules to be tightened
Hailey Renault, The North West Star
Public housing tenants will have to cough up more for rent soon as the government moves to tighten up the rules it uses to assess each tenant's income.
... Centacare assistant director and regional manager (West) Marilyn Jacob said one blanket rule for all tenants appeared equitable and `fair' but warned it might not be flexible enough to account for people's individual circumstances.
``For some, this shift in how their income is assessed may spill them over the Department of Housing and Public Works income threshold for eligibility for public housing.''
Poor outlook for ex-prisoners, new research finds
University of Melbourne, media release
People with a history of mental disorder experience particularly poor outcomes following release from prison, a new Australian study has found.
In one of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever conducted, University of Melbourne researchers and interstate collaborators analysed the severity and complexity of the health-related needs of former prisoners.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Stuart Kinner said that people released from prison often struggle to reintegrate into society.
From the Margins: Writing talent emerges from Adelaide homeless
Caroline Winter, ABC
Some of the most marginalised people in South Australia are learning to express themselves with the written word.
Workshops are being run for the homeless and disadvantaged, who often are seen on street corners of Adelaide selling The Big Issue magazine.
Cairns suburb is no ghetto: resident MP
Cleo Fraser, AAP
A Cairns suburb named in a secret report into youth sexual abuse and domestic violence has its problems but isn't a ghetto, its resident MP says.
Cairns West and the Cape York indigenous community of Aurukun are at the centre of a Newman government report which hasn't been released at the request of its author.
Time spent caring for others on the rise
ABS, media release
In Australia, 12 per cent of people provide informal care to an older person or to someone with a disability or long-term health condition, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
A $1 maximum bet on pokies would reduce gambling harm
Charles Livingstone, The Conversation
The Greens have tabled a bill in the Victorian parliament that would introduce a maximum bet of $1 per spin for the state’s 30,000 poker machines. While the bill is almost certain to fail, the introduction of $1 maximum bets would allow the poker machine industry to truthfully argue it was focused on providing enjoyment and fun to patrons – a claim it can’t, in good faith, make at the moment.
Joanne Commerford, Child Family Community Australia
The ways in which enduring relationships are lived and felt by couples has been recently highlighted by the Enduring Love? research project, conducted in Britain.
The project examined long-term couple relationships in Britain via an online survey. A convenience sample of over 5,400 responses was received worldwide. The final survey report examined the responses of 4,494 UK-based respondents who are in long-term intimate relationships. The results of this report are summarised here.
Parents seek custody ‘to cut maintenance costs’
Natasha Bita, The Australian ($)
Warring parents are seeking custody of children to avoid paying maintenance, the nation’s largest counselling group has warned the federal government.
Relationships Australia has told the government’s child support inquiry that some parents are insisting on shared custody just so they can pay less — or claim more — maintenance through the Child Support Agency.
Research on Family Support Programme family law services
The department commissioned Allen Consulting Group (now known as ACIL Allen Consulting) to undertake independent research as part of the review of Family Support Programme (FSP) family law services in January 2012.
The research was in response to a 2010 performance audit by the Australia National Audit Office on the implementation of FRCs, which recommended that a value for money analysis of the outcomes of FRCs be undertaken.
The overall aim of the review was to identify opportunities to obtain improved value for the government's investments in the FSP family law services.
If you would like to obtain a copy of the research report please email FLSIsection@ag.gov.au.
Post-separation parenting, property and relationship dynamics after five years
The department commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to undertake a third wave of the Longitudinal Study of Separated Families (LSSF) titled 'Post-separation parenting, property and relationship dynamics after five years'.
A mentally impaired Aboriginal woman who has been held in jail without trial or conviction for 21 months will be released next week to be closer to her family.
Rosie Fulton, 24, will be transferred from Kalgoorlie Prison in Western Australia to Alice Springs, where she will live in a house managed by staff from the Department of Health.
Andrew Forrest’s womb-to-work strategy for indigenous jobs
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has delivered the Abbott government a 230-page blueprint that calls for radical, far-reaching changes to the nation’s indigenous jobs strategy and the rollout of new integrated childhood services that target kids from conception to the age of three years.
The chairman of Tony Abbott’s indigenous employment review calls for 200 communities to be targeted with the goal of transforming the lives of children and ensuring they are able to go into jobs, education or training when they come of age.
... It is understood that Mr Forrest wants to expand a model he is funding in Western Australia called the Challis Early Childhood Education Centre.
Located on the grounds of the Challis Primary School in Armadale, the centre provides innovative developmental support, based on international and local research, to children three years old and younger and their parents. Children participating in the program have had an unprecedented improvement in their Australian Early Development Index results.
US - Eight Sobering Thoughts for Social Impact Bond Supporters
Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quarterly
At the Council on Foundations’ annual meeting, during a plenary on the state of philanthropy, White House social innovation and civic participation director Jonathan Greenblatt touted the potential of “social impact bonds,” or, in the Obama administration’s nomenclature, “pay for success.” It’s hard to imagine a concept that has taken off quite like social impact bonds—which aren’t actually bonds, but more like equity investments in social problems with a government payout of costs plus an investment return if the programs meet predetermined outcomes.
US - Rhode Island Union: Social Impact Bonds Are About Greed, Not Good
Jake Blumgart, Next City
Social impact bonds sound pretty great. What could be wrong with additional funds to help the poor, the homeless, the formerly imprisoned? Governments are cutting back, but need is greater than ever. So let Wall Street provide (while netting a fine payout in the process)? Rhode Island’s largest public employee union, AFSCME Council 94, isn’t buying that solution.
The High Court’s decision in the second School Chaplains case (Williams No 2)
Gareth Griffith, NSW Parliamentary Research Service
... the limited scope and nature of the High Court’s decision leaves all the other relevant Commonwealth programs subject to constitutional challenge, particularly it is suggested those programs in such areas as sport, the arts, roads and the environment. Precisely how this will play out is hard to predict.
Senate power players: Meet the crossbenchers who will hold balance of power
Emma Griffiths, ABC
July 1 will mark a new world order in the Senate, with eight colourful micro-party senators holding the Abbott Government's legislative agenda by the throat.
If it cannot secure support from Labor or the 10 Greens senators, the Coalition will need six of those eight micro-party crossbench votes.
Vatican infighting over NSW priest
Annette Blackwell, The Age
The decision by an Australian bishop to stand aside a NSW priest because of complaints he molested children led to Vatican infighting which pitched powerful bodies against one another.
It also led to a decision that has ramifications across the globe as to how Catholic bishops can deal with priests who are suspected child sexual abusers.
Why Bishop Morris was sacked
Frank Brennan, Eureka Street
I have followed the Morris saga closely. My one new insight from reading Bill's book is that he was sacked because he was too much a team player with his local church. By sacking their local leader, the Romans hoped to shatter the morale and direction of those who had planned the pastoral strategies of a country diocese stretched to the limits as a Eucharistic community soon to be deprived of priests in the Roman mould. I imagine it is still not possible for Pope Francis to apologise for the wrong done to Bishop Morris and the diocese of Toowoomba. The Roman Curia and its mindset would at least have that much of a hold over him. But wouldn't it be a grace for everyone, including those who perpetrated the wrong if he did?
A fresh look at 'Caritas in Veritate,' a valuable gift
Tony Magliano, National Catholic Reporter
Catholic social teaching is unfortunately the church's best-kept secret.
But because it directly addresses the world's most pressing social justice and peace issues, Catholic social teaching instead needs to come out of hiding and be discovered, read, preached, proclaimed and lived in our parishes, schools, universities, media, homes and society.