Daily News - Friday 28 March 2014

Posted 28 March 2014 8:29am

State forces Church back to its mission basics
Frank Brennan, Eureka Street

Prior to Cardinal Pell's appearance before Justice McClellan at the Child Abuse Royal Commission, I wrote in the Fairfax press: ‘The spotlight on the Ellis case should lead to better church administration for the good of everyone, especially those abused or wronged by those in authority. Together, Pell and McClellan can provide us with a better-lit path through the thickets of past abuse and maladministration.’

Huge shortfall predicted in disability housing as NDIS is introduced
Narda Gilmore, ABC

The full introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is expected to prompt huge demand for disability-friendly housing.

Providers fear a projected shortfall of up to 120,000 suitable and affordable dwellings across the country will hit an already over-stretched market.

NDIS is creating a mini jobs boom for public servants
Phillip Thomson, Canbera Times

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has created a tiny jobs boom for public servants. But the agency looking after the scheme says the fact the jobs were advertised on the same day it received harsh criticism about a lack of progress is merely a coincidence.

It is tough work securing a job in the public service at the moment but a large slab of jobs are now available with the National Disability Insurance Agency.

ACNC Abolition Bill Goes to Review Committee
Pro Bono News

The Not for Profit sector has been thrown a lifeline to again make its case to save the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Legislation to abolish the ACNC under the Federal Government Repeal omnibus has been referred to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry.

Action urged as rent scheme fails poor
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Half a million Australians who receive rent assistance from the commonwealth are experiencing housing stress, as the scheme fails to keep pace with rising rents.

A report, produced by the National Welfare Rights Network and to be released today, shows that 40 per cent of Rent Assistance recipients, more than 502,000 people, pay more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.

Creeping spread of income management must be challenged
Eva Cox, The Conversation

One of the bizarre bipartisan policy overlaps between the Coalition and Labor is in the area of income support known as welfare payments. Labor has been seen as the party that cared about the poor and disadvantaged, but the former ALP government adopted and extended a range of the Howard government’s paternalistic and punitive measures.

State of Play: Income Management in 2014. A briefing paper by the National Welfare Rights Network March 2014
National Welfare Rights Network

The NWRN’s position is that Compulsory Income Management is fundamentally flawed. As a compulsory measure, it is counter-productive with respect to building decision-making capacity and is unnecessary given the guardianship laws available in states and territories.

Anger as unions told Coalition welfare review is ‘internal’
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

The Trade union movement is outraged that it’s been excluded from the Abbott government’s review of the nation’s welfare regime, after it received a letter from Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews’ office saying it was “internal”.

A minimum wage increase will benefit over 1 million women
ACTU, media release

Unions say an increase in the minimum wage is a crucial part of supporting women to remain in the workforce and plays an important role in closing the gender pay gap.

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said a raise in the minimum wage would boost the pay-packets of well over 1 million low paid women.

Phyllis Zagano, National Catholic Reporter (US)

The crowded and often nasty Catholic blogosphere predicts schism in the church. The right is getting "righter" and the left is getting "lefter." Is there a center? Can it hold?

Social media, such as it is, means anyone with a computer or a tablet or a smartphone can send and receive electronic messages. That means anyone can broadcast and anyone can receive. There are no fact-checkers.

"It's the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets" - President Obama talks about his meeting with Pope Francis
White House, media release

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think the theme that stitched our conversation together was a belief that in politics and in life the quality of empathy, the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes and to care for someone even if they don't look like you or talk like you or share your philosophy -- that that's critical. It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars. It's the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets. And obviously central to my Christian faith is a belief in treating others as I’d have them treat me. And what’s I think created so much love and excitement for His Holiness has been that he seems to live this, and shows that joy continuously.

The Catholic Roots of Obama’s Activism
Jason Horowitz, New York Times

A White House accustomed to archbishop antagonists hopes the president will find a strategic ally and kindred spirit in a pope who preaches a gospel of social justice and inclusion. Mr. Obama’s old friends in the priesthood pray that Francis will discover a president freed from concerns about re-election and willing to rededicate himself to the vulnerable.

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