Daily News - Thursday 26 March

Posted 26 March 2015 3:47pm
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Overwhelming community support for new welfare card

Heidi Braithwaite - Courier Mail

Federal member for Rankin Jim Chalmers said he could not confirm whether Logan would be chosen to trial the cards which were aimed at preventing welfare payments being spent on alcohol and gambling.

He said the policy had the potential to affect the Logan community and that he was urgently seeking more details of the proposal before he came to a concrete view.

“In principle, targeted income management can be helpful for vulnerable people in our area and especially those dealing with drug and alcohol abuse.

“I don’t think that everyone on income support requires income management but I know from engaging with our community that we should have an open mind to better targeting our assistance.”

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Union and welfare agencies at war over Mike Baird's affordable housing plan

Sean Nicholls - The SMH

The union representing community workers has attacked two key NSW welfare bodies over their support for Premier Mike Baird's pledge to create an affordable housing fund contingent on the partial privatisation of the electricity network.

The Australian Services Union has described the position of the Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) and St Vincent de Paul Society as "disgraceful".

But the groups have denied they support the privatisation, and NCOSS has accused the union of "playing politics with people experiencing poverty".

Mr Baird has announced that, if he is re-elected on Saturday and can proceed with the partial privatisation, he will endeavour to create a fund worth "up to $1 billion".

But none of the money would come from the anticipated $20 billion in proceeds from the privatisation. Instead, the government has indicated it would contribute an unspecified amount in partnership with the private sector.

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Catholic crusader Peter Westmore blesses daughter's gay marriage in New Zealand

Royce Millar - The Age

The head of the leading Catholic-based lobby group campaigning against same-sex marriage in Australia has attended and blessed his daughter's wedding to another woman in New Zealand.

Peter Westmore is the successor to the high-profile B. A. Santamaria as president of the National Civic Council (NCC), a conservative group that for decades has sought to  shape public opinion and policy on key social and political issues, including on same sex marriage.

The NCC is one of the religious groups opposed to Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm's "freedom to marry" bill, scheduled for debate in Federal Parliament on Thursday. It is encouraging supporters to use their email accounts to lobby MPs against the bill.

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