Daily News - Friday 19 July 2013

Posted 19 July 2013 8:14am

Just not 'disability' enough for DisabilityCare?
Jen Morris, Ramp Up, ABC

DisabilityCare might be good news for many Australians with disability, but what about those who don't quite fit the bill? As someone with a chronic health condition, Jen Morris ponders where 'treatment' ends and 'support' begins.

The World Today joins NT child protection workers on the front line
Sara Everingham, The World Today, ABC

Child protection in Australia has come under intense scrutiny with the recent deaths of more children. Those who work in this emotional and complex area are often barred from speaking publicly about their work trying to remove children from neglect and abuse. But the World Today has gained rare access to child protection workers in the Northern Territory where there's concern about an increase in neglect notifications and that state intervention comes too little too late.

UK - How is the government doing on child protection?
Ray Jones, The Guardian

As more and more families struggle, the government should stop blaming social workers and take responsibility

Debate continues over future of Refugee Convention
Amanda Cavill, SBS Radio

There appears to be mixed support for Australia to begin an international discussion about about changes to the United Nations Refugees Convention.

Boats 'our problem' not the world's: Tony Abbott
Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has dismissed Kevin Rudd's suggestion that Labor will seek to make changes to the UN Refugee Convention, describing it as a ''red herring'' in the asylum seeker debate, and saying the Prime Minister is always trying to ''internationalise'' problems.

... ''I say to Mr Rudd: stop making excuses, stop trying to say this is the world's problem, it's not. It's our problem and we need to take the appropriate action in this country, by this country, for this country to stop the boats and we need to do it now,'' Mr Abbott said.

People smuggler: Australian policies are irrelevant
George Roberts, PM, ABC

A people smuggler in Indonesia has told the ABC that none of the domestic policies being considered in Australia can stop the boats.

Kevin Rudd's hopes of changing UN Refugee Convention likely to come to nothing: expert
Brigid Andersen, ABC

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's chances of changing the 62-year-old UN Refugee Convention to suit his new-look asylum seeker policy are slim to none, according to an international policy expert.

Explainer: Australia’s obligations under the UN Refugee Convention
Azadeh Dastyari, The Conversation

Prime minister Kevin Rudd has indicated that he would like to revisit Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

We are yet to learn what this may mean, but it is important to clarify some misconceptions about the convention in the lead-up to his announcement.

Humane policy thrown overboard by dry souls
Ben Saul, Sydney Morning Herald

The UN Refugee Convention has its limits but its essential principles remain eternally valid and precious. We must not retreat from that.

A modest wealth tax will help cut income tax and boost economic growth
Adam Creighton, The Australian

Are workers' wages and salaries really the rightful target of the taxman's scrutiny, the best way to allocate Australia's crushing tax burden?

Discussion about Australians' relative welfare is framed almost entirely by how much people earn. So-called "high income" earners with $80,000-plus pay packets didn't get a cracker in the government's recent carbon-tax-inspired tax cuts. But it is not annual income that signals a person's command over resources or their ability to pay, but net wealth, which is much less equally distributed than income.

Health charities fear Rudd car tax move with hit frontline services
Anthony Gough, Courier Mail

Queensland charities have warned frontline health services will suffer in the federal government's overhaul of fringe benefit tax.

The proposed changes would force many organisations to keep log books on usage of their fleet cars, and make employee schemes for buying cars with salary sacrifice broadly unfeasible.

UK - Why tackling poverty is crucial in achieving a truly tolerant society
Dan Silver, The Guardian

To support tolerance and create a truly cohesive society, there needs to be much more focus on dealing with the marginalisation of white working class communities.

Coalition Wants New NFP ‘Philosophy’
Pro Bono News

The Federal Coalition has told the Associations Forum Conference in Sydney that it will bring a ‘new philosophy’ to the Not for Profit sector if it is elected to office during a debate on the status of the new charity regulator, the ACNC.

US - How Big Government Co-Opted Charities
James Piereson, The Wall Street Journal

For much of U.S. history, nonprofits have operated as a check on government by providing private avenues to serve the public interest. Unfortunately, American charities—and more broadly, the entire nonprofit sector—have become a creature of big government.

... The cozy relationship between nonprofits and the government should make us question the value of the charitable deduction in an era of expanding government. The original purpose of the deduction was to encourage charitable giving based on the belief that strong voluntary associations would reduce the need for government support. It no longer serves that purpose, given that private charities have become advocates for bigger government.

UK - NCVO to publish code of good practice for charity lobbying
Abi Rimmer, Third Sector Online

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is to publish a code of good practice for lobbying and campaigning by charities.

Fears, constraints, and contracts: The democratic reality for New Zealand’s community and voluntary sector
Sandra Grey and Charles Sedgwick, A report presented at the Community and Voluntary Sector Forum, March 2013

The important role of community and voluntary sector organisations to democratic debate and policy development is widely acknowledged by governments, academics, and the sector itself. However, our survey of 153 NZ community and voluntary sector groups shows that democratic engagement has been constrained under both Labour-led and National-led governments in the last decade. The ‘contract’ environment dominating funding for social service providers; a lack of understanding and appreciation of those who work in the sector; and, disparaging remarks and treatment of ‘dissenters’ by political elite were major factors constraining democratic debate in NZ.

Sorry, retweeting the pope won't get you out of hell
Rev. James Martin, SJ, CNN

Here were the tantalizingly weird headlines: “Follow pope online, get to heaven sooner - Facebook likes don't count.” “Cut your time in purgatory by following pope on Twitter.” And, worst of all, from Slate: “Pope now offering indulgences in exchange for Twitter followers.”

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