Daily News - Monday 31 March 2014

Posted 31 March 2014 12:02pm

Andrews leads fight to abolish charities commission
Mike Seccombe, The Saturday Paper

There are two groups that want the charities regulator and its oversights scuppered: the financial services industry and the Catholic Church. They have a friend in the government.


Homelessness agreement between states and Commonwealth extended with $115m funding promise
Latika Bourke, ABC

The Federal Government has announced it will extend a national agreement aimed at dealing with homelessness for another year.

The Coalition is putting forward $115 million to extend the deal between the Commonwealth and the states which is due to expire at the end of June.


New asylum seekers lose free law aid
Nick Butterly, West Australian

Asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat or air will no longer get free legal advice as the Government slashes $100 million from immigration services.


Childcare funding needs major overhaul, say researchers
Matt Wade, The Age

Complex childcare subsidies worth billions should be streamlined and a long-term plan developed to give preschoolers universal access to high-quality childcare, a leading childcare expert says.

Professor Deborah Brennan, from the University of NSW's Social Policy Research Centre, has called for the federal government's two big childcare subsidies - the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate - to be rolled into one ''early learning subsidy'' that covers up to half of the ''reasonable'' hourly costs of childcare. She also wants a medium-term plan devised to provide ''universal, high-quality, low-fee'' childcare for all families.


Paid Parental Leave
Sunday Extra, Radio National

The Prime Minister wants to give working women their regular wage for six months after the birth of a child capped at $75,000. His $5.5billion proposal is now a signature policy, at a time when the Liberal government is working to bring the budget back into line. Despite this, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is determined make his Paid Parental Leave Scheme a reality. Some are for it, others are not.

Presenter Jonathan Green with guests: Professor Peter Whiteford, Professor Marion Baird, and Trisha Jha.


Has feminism lost its way?
Eva Cox, The Saturday Paper

In the ’80s I reframed childcare policy into what I called econospeak, to make Labor accept the need for it, so mea culpa! However, I did recant in my 1995 ABC Boyer Lectures entitled “A Truly Civil Society”, when I claimed we needed to value social capital more highly than financial capital. However, by then, too few of those in power recognised the flaws of materialism.


NDIS trial costs blow out by 30pc: scheme hits $46,000 a head
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian ($)

Costs on the pilots for the new national disability care program blew out by as much as 30 per cent in the first six months, hitting $46,000 a person, punching a hole in the May budget and threatening billion-dollar hits in the years ahead.


A ‘wicked’ challenge reaching the neediest
Rick Morton, The Australian ($)

The national disability insurance scheme in the Northern Territory will serve only 103 people in one of the most remote regions in Australia when it begins in July as the agency responsible for its delivery grapples with “wicked” issues in the rollout.

The Barkly region is 1 1/2 times the size of Victoria and home to almost 10,000 people, almost half of them indigenous and many with disabilities, but the first stages of the NDIS there will be stunted to cope with the “tyranny of distance” and problems in kickstarting a market for services.


SA - Foster parents demand parliamentary inquiry
Lauren Novak, The Advertiser

Foster parents want a parliamentary inquiry into foster care in South Australia, amid concerns government policies are splitting families and driving away carers.

They will seek a meeting with Child Development Minister Jennifer Rankine to raise concerns about children being taken from families with little notice or the chance to object.


BCA–FYA Partnership to Increase Opportunities for Young Australians
Business Council of Australia, media release

“The BCA regards youth unemployment as one of the greatest national priorities for government and business to tackle. It is simply unthinkable that in a country with strong economic fundamentals, we can’t ensure all young people have a job or career opportunities,” incoming BCA President Catherine Livingstone said.

“Our CEOs are deeply concerned about youth unemployment, but even more so because many young people applying for jobs, or who are new to the workforce, don’t appear to have the right skills or capacity.


UK - Stories not stats
Deborah Mattinson, LabourList

For a recent Fabian Society pamphlet on multiple needs I was asked to take a look at the public politics of helping the most disadvantaged in society. On the face of it, the public opinion battle is incredibly challenging. When asked: ‘how many welfare recipients are ‘scroungers’ who lie about their circumstances’, 25% say a small minority, 39% say a significant minority 22% say around half and 7% say most. That’s 68% agreeing some are scroungers against a paltry 3% saying very few or none.

The political activists’ knee jerk response is to challenge what they see as the widely held myths. But the ‘if only they knew what I know’ school of persuasion has very limited appeal. The problem is, we’ve learned, that if you don’t start your argument where people actually are, they will simply switch off and your efforts to ‘educate’ them are wasted.


'The Vatican Diaries' author John Thavis looks at the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Francis
Randy Dotinga, Christian Science Monitor

There is an old guard at the Vatican which encompasses much of the Curia, and they've lost control of the papacy.

I've been back to Rome quite often over the past year, and every time it has struck me how the level of enthusiasm around the world for this new Pope is definitely a notch or two above that inside the Vatican.


Me to 20-year-old me: Pope Francis' voice matters
Kate Childs Graham, National Catholic Reporter

So now we're having this worldwide conversation about corporate greed and poverty and economic inequality, and Pope Francis is at the center of it. It's incredible, really.

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