Daily News - Wednesday 17 September 2014

Posted 17 September 2014 8:18am
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Pokie palaces running childcare: how bizarre ideas suddenly become credible
Adam Brereton, The Guardian

Andrew Wilkie described Clubs Australia’s proposal to start offering childcare services as a “sick joke”. Well ha ha, here’s the punchline: their proposal won’t just put childcare a stone’s throw away from the pokies, but will do something much sicker, which is to use the provision of critical social services like child care and aged care as collateral against future attempts at poker machine reform.

Now that’s a rib tickler! And the funniest part is how little current arrangements would need to change in order for it to become reality.

 

Disability and murder: victim blaming at its very worst
Stella Young, The Drum

When we hear that a murdered wife had a disability, we can find ourselves a little less horrified. But whichever way we dress it up, it remains a story of domestic violence, writes Stella Young.

 

House prices are changing the way we live
Matt Wade, The Age

The inner-ring property price premium is already creating some glaring economic distortions. Workers on averages wages, or lower, are being forced to live a long way from most of the city's jobs. This threatens to make it more difficult for CBD businesses to find lower skilled labour. The inner-ring premium also raises the spectre of increasing social exclusion.

House price trends are making Sydney and Melbourne increasingly divided cities.

 

Indigenous support agencies work to save services from budget cuts
Zoe Daniel, ABC PM

Indigenous health and domestic violence agencies are holding crisis meetings as they work to save their services from folding under Federal Government budget changes.

The changes mean that existing organisations have to re-tender to continue delivering services they've been operating for more than a decade in some cases.

Many fear the loss of their funding would leave Indigenous communities without direct support.

 

Funding Indigenous organisations: improving governance performance through innovations in public finance management in remote Australia
Mark Moran, Doug Porter and Jodie Curth-Bibb

Due in part to the application of contestability principles, public finances in remote Indigenous contexts have generally become fragmented and unstable, leading at times to considerable duplication and administrative burden. This can divert limited resources and talents available to Indigenous organisations away from delivery of outcomes to their constituency.

 

Implementing indigenous policy can work, says Fred Chaney
David Donaldson, The Mandarin

Australia has already learned how to fix many of the problems that bedevil bureaucratic intervention in indigenous welfare, says former minister for aboriginal affairs Fred Chaney. The trouble is that we “seldom, if ever” act in accordance with that knowledge.

Chaney, a former deputy chairman of the Australian Native Title Tribunal, told The Mandarin that normal bureaucratic processes are unlikely to be effective at dealing with “wicked” problems like indigenous disadvantage “because the problems are multi-factoral, and usually the program only authorises acting within a very defined space.”

 

Abbott pushes on with NT plan
Elise Scott, The Age

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will meet his indigenous advisory council and federal ministers to discuss the Forrest indigenous employment review.

Mr Abbott is in northeast Arnhem Land making good on his promise to spend a week each year in indigenous communities.

The head of the prime minister's indigenous advisory council, Warren Mundine, joined him on Tuesday before a planned meeting with ministers on Wednesday.

On the agenda will be mining magnate Andrew Forrest's indigenous employment review and the McClure welfare review.

 

Would you risk losing your home for a few weeks of work?
Kerstin Zander and Stephen Garnett, The Conversation

If you were unemployed and living in a small community with few jobs around and someone offered you a month of work, you’d jump at the chance – right? Not necessarily, if you didn’t want to risk being left worse off or even homeless as a result.

Weighing up whether to take casual work is a common dilemma facing unemployed or underemployed Australians. In the communities we often work with across the Northern Territory, Indigenous people are sometimes approached to work as short-term consultants with industry, government bodies or researchers like us.

Yet such job offers can be riskier – and costlier – than you might think.

 

How crowded homes can lead to empty schools in the bush
Sven Silburn, The Conversation

Earlier this year, Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion attracted national media coverage on his visits to remote Top End Aboriginal communities, where he urged new local truancy officers clad in bright yellow T-shirts and bearing loudhailers to “get the kids to school”. But after an initial spike in attendance at bush schools – often from an alarmingly low base – our more recent analysis suggests that little lasting improvement has been achieved.

 

Time for action on rural debt
Colin Bettles, The Land

Queensland LNP Senator Barry O’Sullivan says there’s a false belief among many observers that resolving debt and drought issues with debt mitigation or rain will simply restore producers’ fortunes and “everything will be all right”.

But he said while drought and debt issues have compounded producers’ circumstances, the problems they’re now facing have been coming for 20 years.

“It is about a lack of profitability in their enterprises,” he said.

“These enterprises are reporting, in many cases, zero return on investment and those that are operating effectively are operating on about three or four per cent return on investment.

 

Seiminar: Walking the line: Research, advocacy and impact
Kelly Johnson, AIFS

Applied researchers with a particular focus on families and social policy are concerned both with the development of new knowledge and also in how their research can lead to positive change in the wellbeing of the people who are “subject” to it. At the same time, there are pressures on researchers that make it difficult to advocate for or further develop the outcomes from the research.

In this seminar, Professor Johnson will explore the nature of some of these pressures. In doing so, she will draw on case studies of research with people with disabilities, in both Australia and overseas, to identify some of the ways in which research can be used to support better outcomes.

The seminar will illustrate how engagement by researchers with people with disabilities, their families, community organisations and government can provide increased possibilities for social change.

 

e-Book -- Bridging the ‘Know–Do’ Gap: Knowledge brokering to improve child wellbeing (2010)
Gabriele Bammer with Annette Michaux and Ann Sanson (eds), ANU

In this book, we focus on three of the groups—policymakers, service providers and researchers—to examine how we can enhance their ability to work together. Our particular emphasis is on how we can improve the uptake of sound research evidence into government policy and into service provision. How can research knowledge be brokered to achieve effective decision making and action that improve children’s wellbeing?

 

Impact investing carves new path in matching positive social outcomes with financial returns
Rosemary Addis, The Canberra Times

Growing our economy is often the primary focus for our political leaders, so much so that it can take on a life of its own. The real question is to what end?

We are still failing to meet the needs of millions of people worldwide and in our own backyard. From global challenges of poverty and sustainable development, to local issues such as ageing populations, rising demand for health services and Indigenous disadvantage, countries including Australia face growing gaps between what society needs and what governments can afford.

 

The ideological chasm of budget fairness
Simon Cowan, the Drum

There are growing differences between the left and right about budget fairness stemming from a deeper ideological divide on the role of government in the economy. This is driving the anti-budget sentiment.

The re-emergence of this division is a recent occurrence. In the 1980s and '90s both sides of politics aimed to reduce government intervention in the economy and this led to decades of uninterrupted economic growth.

 

Taxation, the states, and redrawing our fiscal constitution
Alan Fenna, The Conversation

It is hard to believe today, but the Constitution assigns the States powers over taxation almost equal to those of the Commonwealth. One wouldn’t know this for the simple reason that for well over half a century now, the Commonwealth and the High Court have ensured that the States cannot exercise those powers.

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