Daily News - 14 April 2015

Posted 14 April 2015 1:36pm

Tony Abbott’s main chance: Childcare

David O'Byrne - The Daily Telegraph

In military circles it is accepted wisdom that you avoid fighting battles on multiple fronts. It diverts resources and takes time and energy for little, if any, gain. It crushes morale and ­almost certainly ends up in defeat. The federal government is learning this lesson the hard way with public opinion and the majority of the Senate taking turns to give it a whack.

Where is the shard of light Tony Abbott desperately needs to provide the clear air, space and momentum for a change in his fortunes? What can he do to break the cycle, to create some respite so a brighter day can come? One thing is certain — more of the same will not cut it.

The government needs a game changer and it is early childhood education and care or, as most people know it, childcare.

Why is childcare the game changer? Because childcare matters for everyone: Children, families, women returning to the workforce and those managing businesses in a volatile economy and our society as a whole because children are our future.

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Welfare cuts harsh but needed for immunisation

The Daily Liberal

The federal government plan to cut welfare allowances to parents who do not vaccinate their children is likely to have wide support.

The use of vaccines to prevent the outbreak and spread of diseases in society has been widespread for decades.

Vaccination has been provided for the most vulnerable – children.

There were and are few parents who would object to public health measures to protect their off-spring.

But, with safety measures in place memories have faded about the dangers posed by communicable diseases – some potentially fatal - and their ability to spread in the schoolyard or other high-contact areas.

Anti-vaccination groups have sprung up and use the internet to push their views – some of them quite shaky. Some people have become blasé and even ignorant about vaccination and the reasons it is so important.

Despite overwhelmingly strong arguments from governments, educators, the medical profession and others, some people refuse to vaccinate.

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Time for Tony Abbott to sweat some blood on Indigenous recognition

Michael Gordon - The SMH

Before Noel Pearson's latest intervention, the push to recognise Indigenous Australians in the nation's constitution was running behind schedule and in danger of running out of puff.

Now, the enigmatic leader from Cape York has thrown his weight behind an idea that abandons the threshold proposition that the recognition be afforded in the nation's founding document, or "the big law".

It is an idea with considerable merit, but one that has taken many Indigenous leaders by complete surprise, prompting them to wonder what they have achieved in five years of campaigning. "We're back where we started," said one.

It is also problematic because it only addresses one aspect of recognition: the yearning for a symbolic statement acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were the original custodians of this land.

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Newcastle Catholic diocese expands refugee outreach, with thanks to long-serving Sisters

ABC News

'Penola House' was established by the Sisters of St Joseph at Lochinvar, but will this month come under the CatholicCare Social Services organisation.

The church says the move will enable it to expand its support of refugees, and potentially offer services to other marginalised community members, such as the homeless.

The refugee service will continue to be run from the offices in Mayfield West.

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