Daily News - Monday 1 July 2013

Posted 1 July 2013 7:34am

Brighter light for disability
Dan Harrison, The Age

It began with a mother's plea and had many champions. Australia's groundbreaking disability insurance scheme starts today.

Myer in row with disability chief
Tim Boreham, The Australian

Myer is refusing to retreat from a stoush with the Human Rights Commission, with chairman Paul McClintock criticising the nation's top anti-discrimination officer for launching an online campaign to persuade the department store to introduce a 10 per cent quota of disabled workers.

Myer in human rights row
Nabila Ahmed and Claire Stewart, Australian Financial Review

Myer chairman Paul McClintock has demanded the Attorney-General review the Australian Human Rights Commission’s conduct, igniting an extraordinary war of words over chief Bernie Brookes’s comments on the national disability insurance scheme.

Mr McClintock says that AHRC president Gillian Triggs reneged on a promise to make a public statement distancing itself from its disability commissioner’s criticism of Mr Brookes. The Myer chief in May questioned the funding of the NDIS through a rise in the Medicare levy.

Coming up on ABC - On the Brink
Geoff Thompson and Morag Ramsay, Four Corners, ABC

Could you live on $35 a day and pay for your food, clothing, transport and other bills? That's what single unemployed people are entitled to on the Federal Government's Newstart allowance.

Youth jobless rate up in Sydney's south-west
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald

Unemployment rates for young people in some parts of Sydney and Melbourne are almost four times the national average and experts blame education cuts.

In outer south-western Sydney, almost one in seven people aged 15 to 24 are looking for a job.

Northern Territory alcohol mandatory treatment is an affront to liberty
Julie Edwards, The Guardian

Throughout Australia, legal systems generally confine imprisonment to cases of serious criminal misconduct and contain safeguards that protect individual liberty. This is rightly so. Prison should be used as an option of last resort. Given this fundamental starting point, it is concerning that legislation currently before the Northern Territory parliament seeks to remove safeguards and significantly limit the liberty of people who are drunk in public.

Homeless worst hit in squeeze on welfare
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald

Welfare agencies specialising in services for the homeless, legal assistance, the needs of youth and emergency relief are the most strained in the community sector.

Findings from the Australian Council of Social Service's annual Australian Community Sector Survey, to be released on Monday, reveal extreme pressure on some services.

Services forced to turn out homeless
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The annual Australian Community Sector Survey of more than 500 agencies shows that housing availability and affordability is the greatest unmet need for clients of welfare services, followed by community-based care and treatment for mental illness and emergency relief. The survey will directly challenge Kevin Rudd, who made homelessness a signature issue in his first incarnation as prime minister.

Call for unified approach to tackling homelessness

A social worker in Mount Isa says reducing homelessness in Queensland will require more flexibility between social service providers.

The State Government says it wants to halve the number of homeless people in the state by 2020 and it has released a strategy that includes looking at the underlying factors like mental illness or domestic violence.

Centacare's Chris Town says the strategy will need government funding and support.

"I suppose it needs more than anything flexibility between services," he said.

Specialist homelessness services: July-December 2012
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Specialist homelessness agencies helped more than 157,000 clients and provided more than 3.6 million nights of accommodation in the 6 months from July to December 2012. Almost half of clients were already homeless at the beginning of their first support period and the rest were at risk of homelessness. The most common main reasons given for seeking assistance were related to domestic or family violence and financial difficulties.

Refugee knows pain of forced relocation
Greg Ellis, Illawarra Mercury

When Zeljka Cankovic arrived in Australia with her parents and sister as an 18-year-old in 1995, she left many friends and family behind.

But Wollongong provided a new start after her family were displaced from their Bosnian home three years earlier.

Forced to go back 'home'
Amanda Hodge, The Australian

A handful of despondent young men huddle around the doorway of a neat halfway house on the fringes of Kabul. They are deportees, this week mostly from Norway. The centre - the Jangalak reception centre - is run by Afghanistan's Ministry for Refugees and Repatriation with funding from asylum-seeker source countries, including Australia, and was established to help the resettlement process for Afghanis returned home after failing in refugee claims overseas.

Tony Burke to take up the fight on boats
David Crowe, The Australian

Labor will escalate its fight with Tony Abbott on border protection by moving former environment minister Tony Burke into the portfolio today as part of a cabinet overhaul that will also sharpen the attack on broadband and education.

Aussie fair go under threat as the rich get richer
Jessica Irvine, Perth Now

New figures reveal the gap between the richest and poorest Australians has blown out to its biggest in half a century.

The proportion of household income going to the richest 1 per cent of Australians has nearly doubled over the last three decades, according to figures compiled by federal Labor MP and economist, Andrew Leigh, in a new book "Battlers and Billionaires" to be released this week.

Why The Left Should Back A GST Rise
Ian McAuley, New Matilda

Kevin Rudd is back, and, as Bernard Keane wrote in Crikey this week, he has a clean slate when it comes to policy. Building on the big-ticket policy items set up by Julia Gillard, Rudd might have the opportunity to work on a few neglected areas, either before the election or, should he win it, during his second tilt at the prime ministership.

Kevin Rudd picks up where he left off in Newspoll
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian

According to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, the ALP primary vote jumped six percentage points from 29 to 35 per cent after Mr Rudd was made Prime Minister.

The Coalition's primary vote dropped from 48 per cent to 43 per cent in just a week while primary support for the Greens went from 9 to 11 per cent.

Primary vote support for the Coalition is at the same level it was at the 2010 election, while Labor's support is three percentage points lower.

Based on preference flows at the 2010 election, the Coalition still holds an election-winning lead of 51 per cent to Labor's 49. At the 2010 election the two-party preferred result was 50.1 per cent to Labor and 49.9 per cent to the Coalition.

Pope Francis: The Vatican’s rebel
Brian Bethune, Maclean's

It was just another weekend at the office for Pope Francis, more of the series of actions, words and gestures that have kept him a fixture in the international media since his March 13 election. On June 15 he took a major step toward reforming the scandal-wracked Vatican bank by appointing his own man, Msg. Battista Ricca—who also runs the Vatican hotel where Francis lives—as interim prelate overseeing the bank’s management. The next day, as several thousand bikers gathered along Rome’s Via della Conciliazione, the main road leading to St. Peter’s Square, as part of Harley-Davidson’s 110th birthday celebrations, Francis arrived in his open-topped jeep and gave them his blessing. He then presided over an open air mass in the square, crowded with ordinary Catholics, nuns and priests in habit, and bikers in Harley jackets.

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