Daily News - Friday 13 June 2014

Posted 13 June 2014 9:05am

Kevin Andrews says welfare can deny citizens the opportunity to be ‘virtuous’
Bridie Jabour, The Guardian

Andrews said if the government became too involved in charities it put at risk what helped citizens form their “virtue” and referenced the prime minister saying people were denied the chance to achieve something for themselves when the government tackles problems best addressed in the community.

He attacked a “one size fits all approach to social problems, ensnared by contractual obligations designed to fit governmental silos, which rob many of individual initiative and personal initiative which should initiate charitable activity”.


Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews says government is not out to 'gag' welfare sector
Peter Martin and Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald

The government has promised not to gag the welfare sector as it has outlined plans to shrink the number of payments and supplements from 75 to as few as four.


Calls for New Way for NFP Sector to Work Together
Freyla Ferguson, Pro Bono News

An Indigenous leader has called on the community sector to reconfigure the way it works together, in the opening keynote address at this year's ACOSS National Conference in Brisbane.

June Oscar, CEO of Marniniwarntikura Women's Resource Centre Aboriginal Corporation based in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, was last year named as a Australian Financial Review and Westpac Women of Influence for Social Enterprise and Not-for-Profit, for her work towards improving the lives of children living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).


Establishing the National Centre for Excellence for Civil Society
Kevin Andrews. media release

The Centre for Social Impact is preparing advice for the Australian Government outlining the best models for establishing the new National Centre for Excellence for Civil Society.

Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews said an interim report will be delivered to Government in July and will be based on CSI’s research and consultation. This will provide a basis for concrete discussions with stakeholders on the form and functions of the Centre for Excellence.


Top Community Sector Awards Announced
Pro Bono News

A former female prisoner mentoring other prisoners affected by the criminal justice system, one of Australia’s oldest women’s refuges and a disability advocate leading a fair wage claim have won top honours at the 2014 HESTA Community Sector Awards.

Announced at the ACOSS Conference in Brisbane, the winners were recognised for excelling in service provision, advocacy and leadership in the community sector in the categories of Unsung Hero, Organisation and Social Impact.


The prime provider model: an opportunity for better public service delivery?
Janine O'Flynn, Helen Dickinson, Siobhan O Sullivan, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence is developing a research program that aims to critically examine ‘ prime ’ or ‘ lead ’ provider models of public service delivery. This discussion paper forms part of the initial exploration and provides an overview of the factors driving the adoption of prime provider models, the current approaches that have been observed in Australia and overseas and a brief analysis of the perceived benefits and challenges. We also present four cases from the Brotherhood of St Laurence of the prime provider model in practice, reflect ing different policy areas and relating to different level s of government. From this discussion we set out a series of questions to guide the program of research.


Patrick McClure says welfare system too complex and unsustainable
Lindy Kerin, The World Today, ABC

It was a tough crowd for the Social Services Minister, who's trying to sell a budget full of tough new welfare measures.


Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews wants to streamline welfare payments
Emma Griffiths, ABC

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has signalled he wants to streamline welfare payments, describing the structure of the current system as being as complicated as a "bird's nest".

In the next couple of weeks Mr Andrews is set to release the first report from a review into the welfare system, conducted by former Mission Australia head Patrick McClure.


‘Crisis’ alert for jobless youth
David Uren, The Australian

The proportion of young Australians with a job has plunged to its lowest level in two decades, with evidence that fewer than 60 per cent are working sparking calls from employers for the government to respond to an emerging crisis with steps to cut penalty rates and youth wages.


Young people to complete numerous job applications while waiting for Newstart

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has confirmed young people will have to complete numerous job applications while they wait for the Newstart allowance.

Under changes announced in the budget, job seekers under 30 face a six-month waiting period before being eligible for the welfare payments.


Disability pensioners 'better off working'

Disability support pensioners with depression and anxiety would be better off working, says a former charity boss who is reviewing Australia's welfare system.


‘A Budget for Opportunity’, Joe Hockey's address to the Sydney Institute
Joe Hockey, speech transcript

This year the Australian government will spend on average over $6,000 on welfare for every man, woman and child in the country. Given that only around 45 per cent of the population pays income tax, the average taxpayer must pay more than twice this amount in tax to fund welfare expenditure.

In other words the average working Australian, be they a cleaner, a plumber or a teacher, is working over one month full time each year just to pay for the welfare of another Australian.

Is this fair?


Hockey’s fairness lecture won’t help him fix the budget
Flavio Menezes, The Conversation

One month on, the job of selling Australia’s budget continues. Treasurer Joe Hockey argues criticism of the budget has been unfair and misguided, akin to class warfare.

He has countered the critics by asking if it’s fair that the average Australian works over one month full time each year to pay for the welfare of another Australian.


Joe Hockey was having a 'Mitt Romney moment', says Bill Shorten
Gareth Hutchens, The Age

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has accused Treasurer Joe Hockey of having a ''Mitt Romney moment'' after the Treasurer said half of all households received welfare from the government and that we ought to be rewarding ''lifters'' and not ''leaners''.


Treasurer Joe Hockey and the 47 per cent
Andrew Leigh, The Age

You know Joe Hockey is in trouble when he starts sounding like Mitt Romney. As the multimillionaire Republican US presidential candidate hit the skids in 2012, he gave a speech to a $50,000-a-head fundraiser in which he claimed that 47 per cent of Americans "are dependent upon government" and "believe they are victims".

This week, Mr Hockey stepped into the same desperate territory, bemoaning that "over half of Australian households receive a taxpayer-funded payment from the government". We must, he said, "discourage the leaners". In effect, Mr Hockey is arguing that half the Australian population are leaners, not lifters.


Dental health: Study uncovers an epidemic of bad teeth among nation's homeless
Andree Withey, ABC

A new study finds poor dental health is one the most detrimental and least understood aspects of homelessness in Australia.


Obesity is not a disability
Tanya Gold, The Guardian

Is obesity a disability or a choice gone awry? Danish child-minder Karsten Kaltoft was fired from his job because he was too overweight – at 25 stone – to tie a child's shoe laces. He is suing for discrimination. His case will he heard by the European court of justice in Luxembourg today. If Kaltoft is successful, the ruling will be binding throughout the EU. Employers will be required to treat overweight employees as disabled and therefore requiring special treatment – priority parking, for instance, and sturdy furniture – and they will be unable to fire them for being overweight.


Manus Island inquiry: Students tell of working in detention centres without job interviews, training
Naomi Woodley, PM, ABC

Two former workers at offshore immigration centres have told a Senate inquiry they were recruited by the Salvation Army through social media and were not given any training before being sent overseas.


Decision to unwind offshore processing made Australia's waters among most dangerous: Shorten

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the former Labor government's decision to unwind offshore processing made the waters between Australia and Indonesia some of the most dangerous in the world.

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