Daily News - Wednesday 25 March 2015

Posted 25 March 2015 3:17pm
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Healthy Welfare Card: Architect of card, Andrew Forrest, says there should be no access to cash

Anna Henderson - ABC News

The Federal Government's debit card for welfare recipients is under fire from the architect of the policy.

Leading mining figure Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest recommended a Healthy Welfare Card as part of the review he conducted for the Abbott Government on Indigenous employment last year.

Mr Forrest envisaged an across-the-board system for Indigenous and non-Indigenous welfare recipients.

They would be blocked from using the card to buy alcohol or to gamble.

Those on the age and veterans pensions would be exempt.

A central feature of the card was a ban on access to cash payments, which Mr Forrest argued would stop people circumventing the system to purchase alcohol, to gamble or to buy illegal drugs.

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Catholic schools' dubious funding pleas fall on willing ears at election time

Ross Gittins - The SMH

Election campaigns are busy times for interest groups. They turn up the pressure on governments and oppositions to give them written promises to grant them particular benefits, or not do things the groups don't fancy, during the next term.

It's surprising how often the pollies give in to such tactics. They do so for fear the interest groups will campaign against them if they don't sign on the line.

In the last federal election, for instance, the banks and other financial institutions got the Labor government to promise not to make any more adverse changes to the taxation of superannuation for five years, then persuaded the Coalition to match Labor's promise during its first term. A lot of promises have been broken since then, but not this on

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Dear Prime Minister

Mental Health Australia

We, the undersigned, are writing to implore the Australian Government to take urgent action to ensure continuity of services and programs for Australians who live with mental illness, and those who care for them.

Right now, hundreds of contracts for community based mental health services andprograms funded by the Department of Health are due to end 30 June 2015.

Archbishop Prowse said he attended the vigil to pray ahead of Holy Week - the seven days before Easter Sunday - because the pro-life movement was linked to "the essence of the [Christian] gospel".

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Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse prays at pro-life vigil outside Canberra abortion clinic

Megan Gorrey - The SMH

Canberra Goulburn's Catholic Archbishop has led prayers during a vigil outside a city abortion clinic as part of a global pro-life movement in the lead up to Easter.

The same movement has led women's groups to re-examine whether exclusion zones could be a viable option to stop protesters targeting women who accessed ACT clinics to end a pregnancy.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse was among a clutch of anti-abortion demonstrators, many linked to religious groups, who gathered outside the ACT Health Building on Moore Street on Tuesday.

Members of the group held rosary beads and displayed signs in support of the 40 Days for Life campaign - a worldwide movement that advocates for the eradication of abortion.

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