Daily News - Friday 31 October 2014

Posted 31 October 2014 7:43am

Baby boomers blasted for ‘retiring’ on dole money
Natasha Bita, The Australian

The Employment Department has accused baby boomers of ­“retiring’’ on the dole, as the number of over-50s on Newstart jumped 9 per cent in a year.

Unemployment is rising five times faster for Australians in their 50s than for those in their 20s, the latest social-security data reveals, creating a “grey army” of 50,000 long-term jobless.

Older jobseekers will soon be forced to hunt for full-time jobs, or lose their Newstart payments, as part of an Abbott government welfare crackdown.


Plenty of jobs to be had in remote areas, says Marcia Langton
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Job agencies claiming there are no jobs in remote Australia have been accused of effectively saying that only white people can do work in Aboriginal communities.

A non-executive director of the Cape York Partnership and University of Melbourne professor Marcia Langton, who worked on mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s welfare-to-work report into indigenous unemployment, said she was sick of the view that the jobs weren’t there.

Her complaint comes after Jobs Australia, which represents non-profit job agencies, attacked a plan to introduce 25 hours a week of work for the dole in 60 ­remote communities, arguing that it would be expensive and would not generate real and ongoing remote-area jobs.

“These representations from Jobs Australia simply repeat the mantra that there are no remote jobs in remote Australia,’’ Professor Langton said.

“But why are there so many jobs for white people in jobs in these communities?


Call for subsidised jobs scheme to reduce indigenous recidivism
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Tony Abbott’s indigenous council has been advised to design a scheme of “subsidised employment” for Aboriginal offenders leaving prison to ensure they do not return to a life of crime.

The Australian has seen the presentation by Don Weatherburn, director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, which says that if governments are serious about reducing indige­nous recidivism they must expand in-prison and post-prison access to drug and alcohol treatment, subsidise employment for those leaving prison and expand community service orders.

The presentation, supported by the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, said there must be wage subsidies to employers who hire indigenous employees. Governments must provide structured training programs for jobs in areas where demand for labour is high, and travel subsidies and support to areas with employment opportunities.


Scheme to avoid 'second stolen generation' criticised for paternalism
Bridie Jabour, The Guardian

A program aimed at stopping forced removal of Indigenous children from their homes has been labelled paternalistic by the group that campaigned for it and warned of a second stolen generation.

Family and Community Services (Facs) NSW have established a working group in northern NSW to trial alternatives to removing children from their families, such as putting them in the care of another family member.

Grandmothers Against Removals (Gmar) has welcomed the decision but has accused Facs of paternalistic behaviour by appointing a non-Indigenous person to chair the working group, with no input from the Gunnedah community.


Children in state care missing out on health care, guardian Pam Simmons says

In her annual report tabled in State Parliament, Pam Simmons said more than 2,500 children and young people under the guardianship of the Minister had inconsistent access to health care.

She said some were missing out on regular reviews of their physical and mental health.


When you say ‘end homelessness’, we think 'housing first’
Council to Homeless Persons, eNews

When people experience homelessness for the first time it’s critical that we stop the cycle of homelessness before it takes hold. That circuit breaker is almost always a safe, permanent, affordable home.

Rapid rehousing is a key plank of CHP's state election platform and we're calling for $54 million over four years to house more than 5,000 people in temporary and crisis accommodation each year. Full details of our election platform can be found here, along with other information relating to homelessness.


NSW - Homeless women's services saved from chopping block
James Robertson, The Age

Women's advocates have praised a new government funding deal, which they say will save a number of Sydney's long-running services for homeless women.

Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton announced on Thursday the signing of $8.6 million in contracts for a number of inner-city "outreach" services for the homeless.


Aged care -- Renewed call for individualised funding trial
Darragh O'Keeffe, Australian Ageing Agenda

Organisations supporting LGBTI seniors should join with Alzheimer’s Australia and other consumer peaks in the push for trials of individualised funding, initially in the area of respite care.

Speaking at the inaugural LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference in Melbourne yesterday, outgoing CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Glenn Rees said that older people should have choice around funding similar to the model being implemented in the NDIS.


Will the Productivity Commission deliver for the childcare sector?
Gerardine Neylon, The Conversation

Last year in an open letter to the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, early childhood employers and peak bodies joined forces to ask for a commitment to early learning. They warned the political leaders that prices will rise and the quality of services suffer unless more government funding is made available to boost the wages of childcare workers.

They argued that the wage of a Certificate III educator is A$19.07 an hour, similar to the wage of a fast-food worker. That’s well below wages of workers with comparable qualifications in other sectors. This wage does not reflect the high level of responsibility, training and expertise of educators.


Inclusion reform in NSW continues at lightning speed
National Disability Services

This week NDS made a submission on the exposure draft of the Disability Inclusion Regulation. The Regulation will accompany the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014 when it is enacted on 3 December 2014, the International Day of People with Disability.

Consultation with NDS members identified 10 recommendations regarding financial assistance, disability planning, probity checks and the meaning of 'supported group accommodation'.


Survey -- Draft NSW Disability Inclusion Plan
NSW Department of Family and Community Services

The NSW Disability Inclusion Plan is an important part of bigger reforms that are changing the way people with a disability access supports and services and participate in society. This includes the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It is important to note that the NSW DIP is complimentary but separate from the NDIS.

Feedback provided through this consultation is confidential and will help ensure the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan makes a positive difference to the lives of people with disability in NSW.


Access to Justice for Disabled Key for WA Budget
Xavier Smerdon, Pro Bono News

The Western Australian Government needs to do its part to give disabled people greater access to the justice system, according to a Pre-Budget Submission from a peak disability services advocate group.

National Disability Services Western Australia (NDS WA) released its submission to the State Government this week, outlining critical disability issues that it believes need funding in the 2015-16 WA State Budget.


How hoarding can lead to squalor, neglect and child endangerment
Adam Cooper, The Age

County Court chief judge Michael Rozenes looked at the photographs before him and called it straight.

"There isn't a single square inch of that house where anyone can [do anything] without having to suppress a gag instinct," he told the court this week.

"That's how bad it looks to me."

And he never went inside. Detective Sergeant Mark Guthrie, who did, has never seen – or smelt – anything like it in more than 25 years of policing.


Why Teenagers Cut, and How to Help
Jessica Lahey, The New York Times

I noticed Sarah’s arms as soon as I met her. It is hard not to, as 15 years of self-injury have rendered them more scar than skin. Sarah isn’t my student, but I’ve taught plenty of kids like her, and she offered to talk to me about why she has cut herself for a decade and a half, and how the adults in her life could have helped her manage the pain that prompted her to self-injure.

By the time she first cut herself at 12, she’d already endured seven years of abuse at the hands of a parent.


The Samaritans’ ‘cry for help’ app is no solution – but it’s a start
Anouchka Grose, The Guardian

As of Wednesday, Twitter users are being invited to sign up to Samaritans Radar, a web app that keeps tabs on your friends’ tweets, and brings your attention to signs of mental anguish. In order to do this it keeps its digital eye out for keywords such as “depressed” or phrases like “no one to talk to”, and sends you a private email when they feature in your friends’ output. The Samaritans has reason to believe this might help, as there’s said to be a high correlation between suicidal messages and actual suicides.


Tasmanian Government urged to take action over ice problem
Selina Bryan, ABC

The Tasmanian Government is under pressure to take urgent action over reports of skyrocketing use of methamphetamine in the state.

Health authorities have estimated up to 10 per cent of people in Smithton on the far north-west coast use the drug, also known as ice.


Health Department report shows no ice epidemic in NW Tasmania

Concerns over a reported ice epidemic in the Tasmania's north-west are unfounded, the state's Health Department says.

Community fears that an increasing number of young people were using the methamphetamine, prompted the State Government to release a progress report on its review of drug treatment services in the region.

... Health Minister Michael Ferguson told Parliament there was no evidence of an epidemic among teenagers in the north-west.


Social cohesion undermined by racism in neighbourhoods and shops
Australian Human Rights Commission

Australia remains a cohesive society with one of the highest levels of positive sentiment towards multiculturalism and immigration in the western world, according to the Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion survey.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane welcomes the findings of the survey, released today, while noting the prevalence of racism in neighbourhoods and shopping centres.

According to the survey, 85 per cent of respondents agreed that multiculturalism “has been good for Australia”.


NFPs Trip Over their Own Rules -Report
Pro Bono News

The role of Not for Profits and non-government organisations in delivering services to many Australians is being compromised by an over-reliance on both external rules and self-imposed rules, according to global professional services firm Deloitte.

In a new report, Get out of your own way: Unleashing productivity, Deloitte has found that the rules Not for Profits and NGOs place on themselves – self-imposed red tape – generate a significant additional burden.

The report looks at a range of industries and their compliance burden and shows that the average worker in a NFP and NGO spends more than six hours a week on self-imposed red tape.


Moving social marketing beyond personal change to social change: Strategically using Twitter to mobilize supporters into vocal advocates
Jeanine P.D. Guidry, Journal of Social Marketing (via: Pro Bono News)

.. the results suggested three best practices for Twitter usage in social marketing efforts. First, the most successful engagement stems from communication that asks questions of social media followers and encourages them to respond to online and offline calls-to-action rather than simply focusing on publicity and information sharing. Second, social marketers must dedicate portions of their day to engaging in conversations and responding to individuals’ social media comments and questions. Finally, even though fundraising, event promotion and publicity tweets did not result in significant engagement, they have their place in social marketing. Organizations should strive for retweets, conversation and having their tweets favorited, but they should not avoid spreading messages about their own initiatives concerning fundraising, events and marketing.


Michael Thawley appointed as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Prime Minister, media release

The Governor-General has appointed Mr Michael Thawley AO as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for a period of five years commencing 1 December 2014.

... Mr Thawley’s appointment follows the resignation of Dr Ian Watt AO.


The issue of child sex abuse increasingly prominent
Francis Sullivan, Truth Justice Healing Council

Travelling throughout Australia this week and attending workshops, meetings and the Blue Knot Day launch, it has become increasingly clear that the once silent issue of child sexual abuse is now high on the radar of governments, institutions and the community at large.


A Catholic church schism under Pope Francis isn’t out of the question
Andrew Brown, The Guardian

Until this weekend, I had largely believed in the liberal narrative which holds that Pope Francis’s reforms of the Catholic church are unstoppable. But the conservative backlash has been so fierce and so far-reaching that for the first time a split looks a real, if distant, possibility.

One leading conservative, the Australian Cardinal George Pell, published over the weekend a homily he had prepared for the traditional Latin mass at which he started ruminating on papal authority. Pope Francis, he said, was the 266th pope, “and history has seen 37 false or antipopes”.


Pope's Address to Popular Movements

The poor not only suffer injustice but they also struggle against it!

They are not content with empty promises, excuses or alibis. Neither are they waiting with folded arms for the aid of NGOs, welfare plans or solutions that never come or, if they do come, they arrive in such a way that they go in one direction, either to anaesthetize or to domesticate. This is a dangerous means. You feel that the poor will no longer wait; they want to be protagonists; they organize themselves, study, work, claim and, above all, practice that very special solidarity that exists among those who suffer, among the poor, whom our civilization seems to have forgotten, or at least really like to forget.


Pope's Message to Italian Young People at Bishops' Conference

In visits carried out in Italy, as well as in meetings with people, I have been able to see for myself the situation of so many unemployed youths, redundancy funds and precariousness. However, this is not only an economic problem; it is a problem of dignity. Where there is no work, dignity is lacking -- the experience of taking bread home! And, unfortunately, there are so many young people in Italy without work.

To work means to be able to plan one’s future, to decide to form a family! One really has the feeling that the time we are living represents “the passion of young people.” The “throwaway” culture is strong: everything that does not serve for profit is discarded. Young people are discarded because they are without work. However, in this way the future of a people is disposed of, because young people represent the future of a people. And we must say “no” to this “disposable culture.”

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