Daily News 22 April 2015

Posted 22 April 2015 1:38pm

NFP’s Hit Out at Funding Process During Senate Inquiry

Lina Caneva - Pro Bono Australia

Not for Profit peak bodies and leading welfare organisations fronted a Senate Inquiry in Canberra today venting their anger and frustration over the Department of Social Services’ so called “open tender” process in which just 15 per cent of applications for funding were successful.

Peak bodies told a Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee inquiry that the tender process by the Department of Social Services had been deliberately divisive and had “pulled the rug out from underneath” the sector. 

Australia’s housing and homelessness peaks also called on the Senate Committee to urgently restore funding to the peak bodies who provide a voice for vulnerable Australians.

Other welfare peaks called on the Federal Government to restore funding stability to the whole sector for the continued delivery of community services as well as ongoing employment.


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One million Australians living in poverty - it's just not good enough

Judith Ireland - The SMH

When we think about poverty, we don't think of Australia.

We pride ourselves as being lucky - as an extremely safe and peaceful country, with a comprehensive welfare system, schools and hospitals available to everyone and a GFC-resistant economy.

Average disposable incomes here are about $40,000 a year, well above the OECD average of about $30,000.

Poverty is something that developing countries have to deal with. Or places such as the United States that don't have the same social safety nets as we do.

And yet, research released by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia on Tuesday finds that 4 to 6 per cent of Australians - that's between one and 1.5 million of us - live in poverty, with little hope of escaping it.

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From welfare to unfair: how budget savings rate

Mike Steketee - The ABC

The Government has a fair point to make on keeping welfare payments sustainable, it's just that until now they've honed in on politically easy targets that aren't a growing threat to the budget bottom line, writes Mike Steketee.

According to the Abbott Government, Australia's welfare system has "grown relentlessly and become unsustainable".

So it said in its statement accompanying the release in February of the review of welfare headed by Patrick McClure, a former head of Mission Australia. It echoed comments the former minister for social services, Kevin Andrews, made before last year's budget.

The Government has a point. It is just that last year it expended a great deal of effort, not to mention political capital, on targeting areas that fitted perfectly with a prejudice against stereotypical welfare bludgers but that were neither growing relentlessly nor becoming unsustainable.

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Red tape forces church to stop giving food to homeless

Kathy Sundstrom - Sunshine Coast Daily

WORKPLACE Health and Safety concerns have forced a service for the homeless on the Sunshine Coast to stop its popular Friday night car park burger barbecues.

Burgers in Nambour, an initiative of Flametree Church, has been feeding those doing it tough for 15 years.

Up to 80 people would gather in the train station car park for a hamburger and to get some bread and donations for the week.

It has provided locals like Kimberley Bensted a needed meal, a social outing, "bread for the week" and warm clothes in winter.

But two weeks ago the church stopped this service to make sure it was compliant with Workplace Health and Safety legislation.

Senior Pastor Joel Baker said the church was living in a "different day" to when it started 15 years ago.

"Today with the insurance, liabilities, Workplace Health and Safety, food service and all the regulations which come into society, we need to catch up,'' he said.

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Sydney storms: wild winds, rain hit NSW for third day

The Australian

11.30am: Passengers of the Carnival Spirit are relieved to be on terra firma in Sydney after a torrid two nights stranded at sea.

A Sydney Harbour pilot boarded the cruise ship on Wednesday morning to bring it in, after wild storms battering the NSW coastline had prevented the ship from entering the harbour.

“We’re so relieved to just get off,” passenger Courtney Randall said as she disembarked.

“Inside everyone was sick, it was really quite rocky.”

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