Daily News - Thursday 28 August 2014
Jobs plan not enough, says Andrew Forrest
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s organisation Generation One has declared that draft changes to the nation’s $5.1 billion job-placement system are inadequate and “fail to transform” employment service, rewarding agencies for doing nothing.
In a submission obtained by The Australian, Generation One says the Abbott government “has the opportunity to create real structural change to achieve generational outcomes”. It says this can only be done if employment services receive funding only after a jobseeker has been in employment for more than six months.
Tony Abbott warns school leavers to 'earn or learn'
Henrietta Cook, The Age
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned young unemployed Victorians it is "unacceptable" to leave school and go on welfare benefits, and says they should get a job or study.
Mr Abbott's comments follow revelations in The Age that the youth unemployment rate in Victoria had reached a 15-year high, with 13.8 per cent of young people looking for work.
Unemployment crisis means broken dreams for Warrnambool teen
Tammy Mills, The Age
Reality has broken Arie Eddy's dreams since he left school, and now a youth unemployment crisis in the state's south-west means that even getting a job in a cafe is out of his reach.
Arie, 18, left school in Hamilton at 16 because of bullying, leaving a job at McDonald's behind him in search of a better life in Warrnambool.
His love of adventure and the outdoors led him to attempt to enlist in the military, but four months into the process, he says, he was denied entry because of his severe asthma.
Mental health days are for morons, says Calare Public School principal Christian Cundy
Bruce McDougall, The Daily Telegraph
A primary school principal has outraged parents and disability groups by referring to students who may be bullying victims or have mental health problems as “morons”, “nut cases” and “village idiots”.
The government school principal even suggested staff attempting to identify students to participate in a mental health and social skills program look for children with “two heads” and “webbed feet”.
Hard battle for our minds
Liverpool City Champion
CatholicCare CEO Bernard Boerma said that youth with mental health issues often experienced stigma and discrimination, which could lead to exclusion and discourage them from seeking help.
The computer will see you now
Ellie is a psychologist, and a damned good one at that. Smile in a certain way, and she knows precisely what your smile means. Develop a nervous tic or tension in an eye, and she instantly picks up on it. She listens to what you say, processes every word, works out the meaning of your pitch, your tone, your posture, everything. She is at the top of her game but, according to a new study, her greatest asset is that she is not human.
Psychologists say overly connected children can’t read human emotion
Daniel Medina, Quartz
How to limit children’s use of digital devices is a hot topic for many parents. They worry their children, aka the most connected generation ever, are too obsessed with looking at screens and interacting with apps, and are failing to interact meaningfully with their fellow human beings because they don’t have enough face-to-face communication.
Now there’s actual scientific evidence to suggest that these worried parents are on to something.
10 Surprising Things Babies Can Do
Christian Jarrett, BPS Research Digest
Human infants are helpless. At first they can't even support the weight of their own heads. Crawling and walking take months to master. Compare this with the sprightly newborns of other mammals, such as kittens and foals, up and about within an hour of their birth. There are several theories as to why human development is so protracted - among them that this extra time is required for the human brain to develop. This post side-steps such debates and focuses on 10 studies hinting at the surprising abilities of babies aged up to one year. The research digested below suggests the infant mind is far more sophisticated than you might imagine.
Bosses run mental health legal minefield
Kim MacDonald, The West Australian
Employers are at increasing risk of costly legal action if they fail to address mental health issues in the workplace properly.
Mental health expert Tasha Broomhall said many employers were unaware that they could face discrimination claims if they refused jobs or promotions to those with mental health problems.
AMA: We must discourage our bulk-billing culture
Brian Owler, The Age
The pre-election commitment to not cut health was always going to be a problem for the government. So, taking $20 billion out of health by 2020 and putting it into the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) allows the government to say that the money has been kept in health. It also, as the Finance Minister has finally articulated, means that the government can make debt look better because the MRFF will offset debt. Ingenious!
Kevin Andrews to negotiate on family benefit reforms, but dole plan locked in
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews is prepared to look at other options from the Senate crossbenchers in negotiations over the Family Tax Benefit system.
Mr Andrews said he was still committed to the budget plan to deny under-30s the dole for six months but was open to receiving new policy to keep family tax benefits under control.
They can’t manage their Budget but the Abbott Government is set to take over yours
Renee Viellaris, The Courier Mail
Gamblers and victims of domestic violence face having their welfare payments managed by federal bureaucrats under a dramatic expansion of income quarantining.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said he was considering whether “certain individual characteristics” should trigger management.
Mr Andrews said no decision would be made until he received expert advice about the success of income management, which so far has been rolled out in several locations throughout Australia including Logan, Rockhampton, Livingstone and Cape York.
'We need less people judging'
Fenella Wagener, 3AW
The head of the Victoria Council of Social Services has rejected suggestions pensioners should have compulsory income management.
It comes after mining magnate Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest recommended that the government radically expand the current income management system.
John Pilger: Australia is a land of excuses, not the land of the fair go
Steve Dow, The Guardian
Tony Abbott’s government has declared a “civil war of rich against poor” with the Indigenous population at the coalface as the country’s “people most denied”, the film-maker and journalist John Pilger has warned.
This year’s Australian federal budget was “a copy of the kind of declaration Margaret Thatcher made when she came to power”, says Pilger on the line from Britain before his return to Australia to appear at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House.
Unpaid fines destroy lives with jail time
Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer
Hundreds of Australians endure the ordeal of jail because of unpaid fines, their poverty a burden. Disproportionately First Nations people are incarcerated ‘to pay off’ their fines. According to the president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Ray Jackson this “draconian practice criminalises people and destroys families and futures.”
Recently, ‘unpaid fines’ cost the life of a 22-year-old Yamatji woman, Juliecka Dhu. On Saturday, August 2, Ms Dhu was arrested along with her boyfriend, Dion Ruffin, and both were detained by Western Australia’s South Hedland police. They were to be released on Tuesday, August 5 but Ms Dhu died on the Monday, 48 hours into her detention in the South Hedland police lock up. Around noon on the Monday Ms Dhu was transferred from the police lock up to the South Hedland campus where soon after she was pronounced dead.
The Federal Government has announced changes to its school chaplaincy program to get around a recent adverse High Court decision.
In June, the court upheld a challenge to the National School Chaplaincy Program, saying providing funding directly to chaplaincy organisations was constitutionally invalid.
Kevin Andrews named ‘Natural Family Man of the Year’ by Christian group
Michael Safi, The Guardian
A conservative Christian group holding its annual conference in Melbourne this weekend has named the federal social services minister, Kevin Andrews, as its 2014 “Natural Family Man of the Year”.
The World Congress of Families (WCF) gave the equivalent for women to the Nigerian activist Theresa Okafor, a vocal supporter of that country’s tough anti-gay laws, which make same-sex relationships punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
World Congress of Families conference in chaos as venues decline to host
Melissa Davey, The Guardian
The controversial World Congress of Families conservative Christian conference is in chaos only days before its scheduled start, after four Melbourne venues backed out of hosting the event.
Kevin Andrews books out parliament room for anti-gay marriage conference
Helen Davidson, The Guardian
Social services minister Kevin Andrews has booked out the main committee room of parliament house on behalf of an anti-gay marriage organisation which is linked to the controversial World Congress of Families.
Not a good time to be Catholic
Kevin Donnelly, Eureka Street
Now is not a good time to be a Christian – especially, if you are a Catholic. Read The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, listen to the ABC or read Irfan Yusuf's recent piece and it's obvious that the critics are on a roll.
Wendy Squire's op-ed in The Age provides a good illustration of the often vitriolic and very public campaign to tarnish religion and to undermine the beliefs of the 61 per cent of Australians who describe themselves as Christian.