Daily News - & May 2015

Posted 7 May 2015 11:56am



Federal Budget 2015: pensions overhaul to help the poor and hit the rich

Matthew Knott - The SMH

The Abbott government will overhaul Australia's pension system in next week's budget, with over 170,000 low to middle income pensioners to be $30 a fortnight better off.

We're helping those with more modest assets

But the tightening of the pensions assets will hit wealthier retirees, with around 91,000 expected to lose access to the part-pension and 236,000 people to have their pensions decreased.

The changes replace the plan announced in last year's budget to change the indexation of the aged pension from average weekly earnings to the lower Consumer Prince Index.

The plan triggered an angry backlash from voters and the Coalition backbench.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday that nine in 10 pensioners would either be better off or not be affected when the changes come into effect in 2017.

"We're helping those with more modest assets," Mr Morrison told the Nine Network on Thursday.

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Mt Druitt community leaders hurt, angry and feeling sick after Struggle Street documentary

Kate Aubusson - The SMH

Twitter may have given Struggle Street a reprieve, but two Mount Druitt community leaders were left hurt, angry and feeling sick when the credits rolled.

Director of education at Mount Druitt College Sharon Kerr, and head teacher of plumbing Norman Brown, switched on the much-maligned SBS show after watching more than 450 young people graduate from the TAFE on Wednesday afternoon.

"It just makes me feel ill," Mr Brown said of the observational documentary that centred on a Mount Druitt family struggling with drug dependence, violence, mental illness and a broken welfare system.

"We work so hard to make sure our students are motivated in a positive way, and this show just undermines all the good work we do," Mr Brown said.


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Catholic teachers could stop responding to parent emails after hours

Tim Williams - The Advertiser

CATHOLIC school teachers may stop responding to parent emails outside business hours and cut back on parent interviews as they campaign for relief from spiralling workloads.

A survey of 1200 teachers, commissioned by the Independent Education Union to underpin enterprise bargaining negotiations, found teachers spent the equivalent of half a day’s extra work a week dealing with emails from parents, students and colleagues.

Some were spending up to 10 hours a week trawling through their inboxes on top of an average eight hours on student assessment, such as marking and reports, and managing student behaviour issues.

The survey report by UniSA researcher Dr Tony Daly identified several workload issues, with teachers working through lunch breaks three to four days a week and a fifth of them working for more than five hours on weekends.

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Joe Hildebrand dresses up as homeless person to raise awareness for Red Shield Appeal


STUDIO 10’S Joe Hildebrand has dressed up as a stereotypical homeless person to put himself in the shoes of one of the 100,000 people who live on the streets in Australia.

To raise awareness of The Salvation Army’s red shield appeal, Hildebrand went undercover as a “filthy” man on the streets of Melbourne to see how people treated him.

And he says he was more than surprised at the reaction he got from strangers.

“It’s strange, it’s actually a really confronting and debilitating experience, I know that sounds strange, but when you put on the clothes and you make yourself look like you don’t belong, you actually feel like you don’t belong.”

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