Daily News - Friday 12 December 2014

Posted 12 December 2014 7:56am

Jobless rate ticks up as more people look for work
Sue Lannin, PM, ABC

The last time Australia's jobless rate was this high, the Coalition of the Willing hadn't invaded Iraq, John Howard was in his seventh year as prime minister, and Peter Hollingworth was still governor-general.

The jobless rise reflects a slowing economy and a faltering international outlook.

The Bureau of Statistics says the jobless rate inched up to 6.3 per cent in November as more people looked for work.


Foyer opens path to security
Katherine Fleming, The West Australian

Just off bustling Oxford Street in Leederville and set behind glass sliding doors lies the place that changed the lives of Rikeisha Voss, Bronwyn Hille and Emily King.

Inside is Foyer Oxford, a multimillion-dollar youth accommodation service, the biggest in Australia.

Next week, nine months after it opened, it will be full - with 98 at risk young people, including 24 young parents, given a chance of a secure home and help to improve their lives.


Homeless charity sees 25% rise in demand
The Exodus Foundation, media release

The Exodus Foundation, the largest frontline provider of free meals to the homeless and needy of Sydney, has recorded a startling 25.2% rise in demand for meals over the past 12-months. Every day over 1,200 meals are now served from the famous Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant in Ashfield and the Foundation's mobile food van in the City of Sydney.

The reasons for the increase in demand are many and complex. Primary among them are cutbacks in both state and federal government funded programs for the poor, as well as increases in rent and food prices. A tougher unskilled job market is also driving the increased demand.


Time to weed out the disability rorters: Crackdown on $16 billion welfare scheme
Daniel Meers, The Daily Telegraph

Rorters who try to falsely claim millions of dollars in ­Disability Support Pensions will be flushed out of the ­system under a ­crackdown on the $16 billion welfare scheme.

From January 1, all new DSP ­applicants will be sent to ­Commonwealth-appointed doctors before they can be ­approved as part of a sweeping overhaul that will stamp out the “doctor shopping” rort.

The federal government will today announce that regular doctors will no longer be allowed to approve new DSP applications in the new year.


Call for Action on NDIS Rollout
Pro Bono News

The supporters of Every Australian Counts campaign have sent over 1000 emails calling on the State and Federal Disability Ministers to clarify when the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be rolled out.

On Friday the Ministerial Council on Disability Reform which includes all State and Territory Ministers will be meeting to discuss the progress of the NDIS.

This week Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield said that there will be no delay to the rollout of the NDIS unless requested by the State and Territory Governments.


Stella Young: a support worker’s thanks
Kirstin Whalen, Overland

I didn’t go into disability work to be a better person or to ‘give’ anything in particular. Through my mother’s illness, I had developed a reliance on my own necessity, and I was selfish in my need to be needed. I still feel relief when I walk into a home and hear the words, ‘Thank God you’re here,’ tumble from a grateful mother’s throat, even though I know that my validation comes at someone else’s suffering.

I couldn’t articulate any of this until I came across the work of Stella Young. Her TED Talk, ‘I’m Not You’re Inspiration, Thank You Very Much’, gave voice to the discomfort I felt within myself when spending time with friends and clients in the community, and the outrage I felt in my role as an advocate for a young man I worked with in his search for independent housing and work.


Indigenous imprisonment rates still rising, figures show
Nick Evershed and Helen Davidson, The Guardian

The number of Indigenous Australians in prison has grown by more than 80% in 10 years, and the overall imprisonment rate is at its highest level in 10 years, new data has revealed.


Mick Gooda to stay vocal in second term as social justice commissioner
Helen Davidson, The Guardian

Mick Gooda will use his renewed term as social justice commissioner to push the case for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and continue to lobby the government to set justice targets addressing Indigenous incarceration.

The federal government will recommend the reappointment of Gooda for another two-year term in the role, the attorney general, George Brandis, announced at the Human Rights Awards on Thursday evening.


Indigenous Expenditure Report 2014
Productivity Commission

Total direct expenditure on services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in 2012-13 was estimated to be $30.3 billion, accounting for 6.1 per cent of total direct general government expenditure. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians made up 3.0 per cent of the population in 2013.

Indigenous expenditure increased in real terms by $5.0 billion (19.9 per cent) from 2008-09 to 2012-13, while non-Indigenous expenditure increased by 9.0 per cent. Expenditure per Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person increased by 10.3 per cent, and expenditure per non Indigenous person increased by 2.2 per cent.


Study shows suicidal patients discharged from hospitals too early, without follow-up information, or not admitted at all
Bridget Brennan, ABC

Mental health experts say suicide treatment in Australian hospitals is inconsistent, and people trying to get help are often dismissed and misunderstood.

Concerns have also been raised that suicidal patients are being discharged from hospitals too early, or not admitted at all.

A new study, conducted by mental health charity SANE Australia and researchers from the University of New England, observed Australians who have attempted suicide.


Medical staff treating asylum seekers 'advocating' for detainees and putting government in difficult position: Immigration Department report
Jason Om, ABC

The Immigration Department believed medical staff contracted to take care of asylum seekers were advocating too strongly for detainees and it preferred doctors who complied with the government's wishes, a leaked report reveals.


Scott Morrison may gloat but asylum seekers' boats haven't really stopped
Sunili Govinnage, The Guardian

For all the slogans and military operations, over 54,000 people have boarded boats across the Indian Ocean this year, with around 20,000 in just the two months of October and November. As much as Scott Morrison may gloat, the boats haven’t really stopped.

The point you won’t see on any media release or hear at a doorstop press conference is this: even if people haven’t drowned on the way to Australia, they’ve still drowned. Because people fleeing countries in the region are still getting on boats.


Australia turns its back on a world in need
Paul O'Callaghan, Eureka Street

Between September 2013 and May 2014 our Government cut the aid budget by close to $8 billion over the next five years. Australia’s overseas aid program only makes up 1.3 per cent of the Federal Budget, we feel that the 20 per cent of total savings the aid budget absorbed in May were more than a fair share of the budget burden.

Australia prides itself on being a fair country. But how is it fair to have the world’s poorest people to shoulder more cuts? As the tenth wealthiest country on earth, this trend damages our reputation and undermines our ability to be taken seriously as a global leader.


Generation Y have every right to be angry at baby boomers' share of wealth
Greg Jericho, The Guardian

A new study by the Grattan Institute on wealth across generations shows that the older Australians benefitted the most from the strong economic times of the early 2000s, and that by virtue of being effectively shut out of the housing market, members of “Generation Y” may be the first generation to be less wealthy than that of their parents.


Sophie Mirabella's message to the National party: no seat belongs to you
Sophie Mirabella, The Guardian

The most significant result of the Victorian state election from the Coalition’s perspective was evidenced in the two largest swings in the state – both against the National party. Morwell (-11.6%) retained by the Nationals, and Shepparton (-28.4%), which was lost to Independent Suzanna Sheed.

... The National party claims they were taken by surprise by the short, sharp campaign by Shepparton Independent Suzanna Sheed. However it had probably been a long time in the making. For all the loyalty shown by local voters in supporting the Nationals candidate for the past 47 years, Shepparton’s social and economic fabric has changed. There are deepening issues with entrenched unemployment and the increasing impact of drug use and other social dysfunction. Gradually the foundations of a thriving regional town have corroded. Yet Shepparton is still a city reliant on agriculture.


Incorporated Charities Caught in Registration ‘Hiccup’
Lina Caneva, Pro Bono News

It has been claimed that thousands of incorporated charities may have been caught up in a technical data hiccup between the charity regulator, the ACNC, and the corporate watchdog ASIC.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is continuing to invoice incorporated charities for their annual registration review and fee which is no longer payable for charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.


Truth Justice Healing Council - Activity Report December 2014
Truth Justice Healing Council (pdf)

Throughout the public hearings and as the Council has engaged with stakeholders, many issues have been raised about the Church’s culture and the way in which it may have played a part in contributing to child sexual abuse within the Church.

There has also been much discussion about the impact of ’clericalism‘, which can be understood as referring to approaches or practices involving ordained ministry geared to power over others, not service to others. Clericalism has been seen as a contributing factor to the way in which the Church has responded to abuse claims and engaged with survivors.


With Pope Francis to name new cardinals in February, what's at stake?
John L Allen, Crux

The Catholic Church’s most exclusive club will have new members come February, as the Vatican announced Thursday Pope Francis will hold a consistory to create new cardinals Feb. 14-15.

Almost nothing a pope does is as critical to the direction of Catholicism, in part because cardinals are the most influential leaders in the Church after the pontiff himself. In part, too, a pope shapes the future by selecting cardinals, because they will eventually elect his successor.

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