Daily News - Monday 20 October 2014

Posted 20 October 2014 8:00am

Hasty rollout of indigenous strategy to ruin groups, says Fred Chaney
Victoria Laurie, The Australian

Former Liberal Aboriginal affairs minister Fred Chaney has warned that “major collateral damage” will be inflicted on indigenous organisations as a result of the hasty rollout of the Abbott government’s new Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

Mr Chaney said 1400 organisations and 150 programs could be adversely affected as they compete for $4.8 billion in IAS funds, under five broad criteria drawn up and administered by a new network within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.

“Rolling 150 programs into five streams requires a conservative approach and incremental steps, or it will lead to creative destruction,” said Mr Chaney, co-founding chair of Reconciliation Australia.


South Australia - Welfare patrol of Murray riverbanks checks on homeless
Tom Fedorowytsch, ABC

Welfare agency volunteers are taking to the water to help some of South Australia's most vulnerable people.

With some of the homeless in the state's Riverland setting up camp along the Murray, the support group Life Without Barriers has started boat patrols near the riverbank.

Christy Kitto, from the group, said they wanted to find and support people who were sleeping rough.


Training colleges securing thousands in Government funds by targeting people with disabilities
Alison Branley and Claire Aird, ABC

Unscrupulous training colleges are targeting people with disabilities and the homeless in order to cash in on government education funding.

The ABC has obtained evidence some colleges are recruiting people with intellectual disabilities to costly diploma-level courses funded with expensive VET-FEE-HELP training loans.

But the training offered is often unsuited as those targeted have a low level of schooling and high care needs which means they are unlikely to ever finish the course.


Job-seekers driven to poverty as Newstart fails to keep pace with wages
Ethical Jobs

If you’ve ever had to live on the Newstart Allowance you’ll know that making ends meet after rent and bills are paid is an almost unmanageable task. In fact, when Greens MP Adam Bandt tried to live on Newstart allowance for just one week in 2013, he called the task “impossible”.

Now, an analysis of welfare payments from the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and the National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN) has revealed that the Newstart Allowance has dramatically decreased in value over the years, forcing many of the 695,000 jobseekers that rely on it into poverty.


Effective gambling regulation is not just ‘red tape’
Charles Livingston, The Conversation

The Queensland government has recently implemented changes to poker machine regulation under the banner of “red tape reduction”. Some of these are relatively minor at first glance; others have more obvious prima facie impact. All are designed to reduce the burden on industry and allow for the expansion of the gambling industry.


UK - Do you have a problem with stuff? How to rethink hoarding disorder
Jamie Hickling, The Guardian

There is a widespread belief in mental health that where a person lives can be a true reflection of their wellbeing. This is worth bearing in mind when working with someone with hoarding issues. But the day-to-day reality poses more complex issues.

Hoarding happens in all hostels I’ve helped to manage. Traditionally, we approach hoarding from a management perspective: we have a duty to maintain a safe building and health and safety has been seen as trumping all other considerations.

While we have focused on the practical support that staff can offer in hoarding situations it is alongside warnings, sometimes sanctions, that could ultimately (though rarely do) lead to evictions. This carrot and stick approach takes an enormous amount of energy and can make you feel like a dog chasing its tail.


Victoria - Mental health strategies for the justice system
Victorian Auditor-General's Office (via: APO)

This audit finds that there is currently no overarching strategy or leadership in Victoria for mental health and the justice system that focuses on improving outcomes for people with a mental illness.


Queensland - Mining downturn forcing more to turn to charities
Lee Constable, Daily Mercury

An alarming number of people have sought help from charities as a result of financial difficulty in the face of the mining downturn.

The Salvation Army reported reaching out to 1300 families in the past 12 months. This is a 30% increase on the previous year.

Salvation Army emergency relief worker Amanda Greham said more than one-third of people seeking help had never used a welfare agency in the past.

"The poverty line is the point when people can't afford food, after paying all of their bills," Mrs Greham said.


Young refugees denied visas to reunite family
Jane Lee, Sydney Morning Herald

Hundreds of young refugees who arrived in Australia by boat as unaccompanied minors are being denied visas that would reunite them with their families.

Rejection letters began arriving this month. Fairfax Media understands at least two refugees in Melbourne tried to take their own lives after learning of the decision.


Partnership to Promote a Generous Australia
Kevin Andrews and Tony Abbott, media release

The Commonwealth Government will re-establish the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership to bring together government, community and business leaders to develop practical strategies to foster a culture of philanthropic giving and volunteering in Australia.

Philanthropy plays a critical role in Australian society, empowering communities and creating a sense of purpose and belonging.


Cardinal Pell: Communion for divorced and remarried not majority position
Conor Gaffey, Catholic Herald

Cardinal George Pell has rejected claims that the majority of synod members accept Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposals for Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

Speaking to Catholic News Service on October 16 about the publication of working-group reports from the synod, the Australian cardinal also criticised the midterm report published on October 13.

... “We’re not giving in to the secular agenda; we’re not collapsing in a heap. We’ve got no intention of following those radical elements in all the Christian churches, according to the Catholic churches in one or two countries, and going out of business.”


Divided bishops water down welcome to gays and the divorced
John L Allen, Crux

A dramatic Vatican summit of bishops ended Saturday night by significantly watering down an opening to both gays and divorced and remarried Catholics contained in an interim report released Monday.

Paragraphs on those two points were the only items that failed to receive a two-thirds majority of the Synod of Bishops in voting on its final document. While there’s no magic to the two-thirds threshold in this sort of Vatican ballot, the results clearly reflect a divided hierarchy on both issues.

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