Daily News - Thursday 31 July 2014
Andrew Forrest’s revolution for welfare
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
About 2.5 million welfare recipients on “working-age payments”, including disability support pensioners and carers, would be forced into a cashless world where 100 per cent of their payments were income managed and they were banned from purchasing “prohibited” goods.
The radical proposal is contained in mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s blueprint for indigenous welfare and employment, which he has delivered to the Abbott government.
Under Mr Forrest’s plan, all welfare recipients, including non-indigenous Australians — but with the exception of aged pensioners and veterans — would be forced into income management with no discretionary spending.
Divorce now costs Australia $14 billion a year
Bill Muehlenberg, News Weekly
The sexual revolution of the ’60s gave us a lot of harmful and destructive things, and no-fault, easy divorce was certainly one of them. By making the marriage contract hardly worth the piece of paper it was signed on, marriage became one of the most easily broken contracts around.
Indeed, instead of viewing marriage as a covenant, we managed to reduce it to a mere contract, and a contract extremely easy to unilaterally break. It is harder to get fired from McDonald’s Family Restaurants today than it is to walk out on a marriage.
More than 135,000 Australian children, or about 26 in every 1,000 children, received child protection services in 2012-13, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
40 applications a month 'unworkable' for rural unemployed
Bush Telegraph, ABC
The the Federal Government's proposed changes to unemployment benefits have been labelled as close to unworkable in rural Australia.
... Professor Bill Mitchell of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity at the University of Newcastle says the Government should concentrate on creating new jobs and not punishing those seeking work.
'It's totally unworkable in rural Australia, regional Australia and also capital cities,' he said.
Work for the dole 40-job rule flexible in rural areas: Sussan Ley
Nigel NcNay and AAP, The Border Mail
Border federal MP Sussan Ley yesterday said some leeway could be given to rural residents unable to apply for 40 jobs a month under new work for the dole rules.
The member for Farrer said some parts of Australia obviously had fewer job opportunities.
'Bush bible' outlines support for drought-hit graziers
Chrissy Arthur, ABC
A new 'bush bible' been distributed across parts of drought-affected western Queensland to connect graziers and rural businesses with support services.
The publication is an initiative of the Suncare community services group and the Rural Financial Counselling Service.
Drought loans start to flow
Craig Zonca, ABC
Queensland primary producers have so far received $4.5 million under the Federal Government's drought concessional loan package.
The state was allocated $100 million for the program that offers loans of up to $1 million at an interest rate of four per cent.
Little town raises big money for drought support
Sally Bryant, ABC
Organisers of the Mulga Bill Quick Shear at Yeoval, in Central West New South Wales on the weekend, were a bit nervous about the weather on Saturday morning; there'd been good rain on Friday night and they didn't have a 'Plan B' if things didn't clear up.
Queensland job seekers on frontline in fight against weeds
Blythe Moore and Ash Moore, ABC
Dozens of job seekers in western Queensland are learning skills of the land as part of a Federal Government program to get them ready for work in the outback.
Coalition plans to toughen rules for job seekers are 'close to exploitation', says crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm
Latika Bourke, Sydney Morning Herald
A key crossbench senator has lashed the federal government's proposal to toughen work-for-the-dole requirements as bordering on exploitation and called for ''proper'' industrial relations reform instead.
Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has told Fairfax Media allowing young job seekers to negotiate salaries lower than the award, and to strike individual contracts would be a better way of getting them into work.
Crossbench senator Bob Day brands welfare reforms ‘nuts’ and ‘insane’
Jared Owens, The Australian ($)
Crossbench senator Bob Day has branded the government’s welfare reforms “nuts” and “insane” ahead of budget negotiations with Joe Hockey this afternoon.
... Senator Day, speaking ahead of the meeting, criticised the government’s proposed reforms to unemployment benefits — including a requirement that jobseekers make 40 job approaches each month — as costly and ineffective.
Senator Day suggested the government instead allow workers to surrender workplace entitlements, such as sick leave, to make themselves more attractive to employers.
“It’s nuts; it’s just insane,” Senator Day told ABC TV.
Treasurer Joe Hockey says the government is flexible on its work for the dole reforms but has played down concerns about a plan to force jobseekers to apply for 40 jobs a month.
The government is simply asking them to send one application in the morning and one in the afternoon, he says.
Sorting fact from fiction in dole policy
Greg Jericho, The Drum
Anecdotes are great fun at a sportsman's night, but when a government is using them to develop policy, they're scary - especially when it affects the lives of some of the most vulnerable.
The Government's new policy measures for the unemployed, announced on Monday by Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker, encapsulate this Government's belief in the anecdotes and stereotype over facts and well-researched policy.
‘No justification’ for failing dole schemes
Patricia Karvelas and Jared Owens, The Australian
Existing work-for-the-dole schemes are among the least effective ways to help people into jobs, according to new Senate estimates data.
A report from March shows only 19.8 per cent of people participating in work for the dole have jobs three months later.
“This is less than half the rate of the most effective measure. Work for the dole also has the second lowest overall ‘positive outcomes’ of any measure, at 36.2 per cent, ” Greens welfare spokeswoman Rachel Siewert said.
A new slogan for the PM: rethink, reboot, reshuffle
Niki Savva, The Australian ($)
Essential to any successful reshuffle of Abbott’s ministry at year’s end will be the booting of the poor performers whose use-by date expired in November 2007, chief among them Kevin Andrews: not because he is a capital C conservative, and not only because a senior member of his staff has faced accusations of meddling in Victorian politics, but because he is not up to the job.
An array of headlines beating up on welfare recipients does not signify success.
Keeping it civil – difference, tradition and morality in policy conversations
Kathy Landvogt, Power to Persuade
How we choose to do policy work from the platforms offered by our community organisations is a pressing question, especially when progressive policies are being swept away faster than we can count them. This is not the equally important question about which policies we argue for as a sector, although of course we must passionately explore and debate these. It is the question of our role in the policy process itself.