Daily News - Thursday 1 August 2013

Posted 1 August 2013 8:46am

Income spread evens out a bit
Tim Colebatch, The Age

Income distribution in Australia has become slightly more even in the wake of the global financial crisis, but the richest fifth of households still own 61 per cent of Australia's household wealth.

A Bureau of Statistics survey of more than 14,000 households reports that despite Australia's national income soaring as mineral prices rose, little of this percolated down to households.

... The bureau highlights the huge impact of government in reducing inequality by pensions, benefits and free services.

US - How Much Equal Opportunity Do We Really Want?
David Callahan, Demos Policyshop

Most people want their children to do better than them. We want our hard work in building up financial assets and social capital to translate into protections and advantages for our kids. At the very least, we want to make sure our kids don't end up falling downward economicallly.

No parent -- at least any parent who has achieved a middle class or higher level of success -- wants their kid to have the exact same chance and opportunity as everyone else. Instead, we want to pass on whatever cumulative gains we've made to the next generation and hope for steady upward mobility over generations.

NSW - Homeless truth is hidden
Parramatta Sun

The extent of homelessness in Parramatta is under-estimated because of a misconception it refers only to rough sleepers.

But Western Sydney Homeless Connect director Steve Butel says homelessness includes people in crisis accommodation, couch-surfers, people who sleep in cars and caravans or youth refuges.

"A lot of homelessness is hidden so people don't realise the full extent of it," he said.

Vic - Call for police checks, licences and rent caps for rooming house operators
Kylie Adoranti and Rebecca David, Leader

Social housing and welfare organisations have called on the State Government to introduce licences and a cap on rent for rooming house operators.

They say owners and operators should have a police check and obtain a licence to run a rooming house.

But the government says licensing would only create costs, which would be passed on to tenants.

Cairns' homeless shame
Nick Dalton, cairns.com.au

A demographic study has revealed 1.6 per cent of the population, or 2303 people, are living on the streets; the highest proportion of Australia's 18 largest cities.

The next highest is Darwin, 1.1 per cent (1359), according to the State of Australian Cities 2013 report compiled by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

Are your children a tenancy dealbreaker?
The Cairns Post (11 July 2013)

Picky landlords are said to be ignoring rental applications on the basis of race and family status in red-hot rental markets.

New parenting program to help families of people with a disability cope
Nance Haxton, The World Today, ABC

Now to a parenting support program for parents of children with disabilities which is being trialled along Australia's east coast.

The Stepping Stones Triple P Project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

But it is separate from the Federal Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme, which is focussed on the needs of the person with a disability.

Abolishing Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian will put state's most vulnerable at risk, warns former head
Michael Madigan, The Courier Mail

Queensland is in danger of losing a crucial watchdog that, for nearly a decade, has protected vulnerable children from pedophiles, according to a former senior public servant.

Elizabeth Fraser, who served most of the past decade as head of the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, has gone public to attack a recommendation that the commission be disbanded.

Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection
Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (June 2013)

The Commission considers there is no longer a need for the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian to be retained in its current form. In its place the proposed Family and Child Council should monitor and report on the overall performance of the child protection system and provide authoritative advice on child protection research and practice. The council should use its cross-agency status and strengthened research and policy expertise to build the capacity of the whole sector.

Asylum Solutions: temporary visas with a difference
Andrew Jakubowicz, The Conversation

Anyone who wants to design a solution to the asylum seeker dilemma needs to start by understanding it’s not the product of a single phenomenon: there are five issues, all connected. To create a workable policy solution you have to address all five.

Bleeding hearts ignore the complexity of the asylum-seeker issues
Greg Sheridan, The Australian

... most of those favouring a hard line believe that refugee assessment procedures, in Australia and elsewhere, have become so lax, so wide in their definitions and so easily gamed that they are all but meaningless.

Most advocating compassion as the basis of policy believe that everyone declared a refugee is a genuine refugee, this status is lifelong and possession of this entitles you to Australian residence.

Vic - Regional focus for new domestic violence foundation

Victoria's peak body for domestic violence prevention says women in regional areas will be a key focus of a new domestic violence foundation.

The Commonwealth and Victorian governments have committed $6.5 million for the foundation, to be led by former Democrats' leader Natasha Stott Despoja.

New Research: is there a link between genetics and crime?
Media release, University of New South Wales

In new research discussed in the Indigenous Law Bulletin (‘ILB’), University of Sydney researcher and PhD candidate Allan McCay has raised the question of whether links between genetic predisposition, social environments and criminal behaviour can have an effect on sentencing in Australia.

Greens bid to divert indigenous offenders from jail in pilot program
Patricia Karvelas, the Australian

A radical $60 million program focused on diverting funds away from prisons and into crime reduction in targeted communities will be unveiled today by the Greens in a bid to end high incarceration rates of indigenous Australians.

UK - Big hurdles to be overcome if Social Impact Bonds to move from margins of public services, says think tank
Media release, Social Market Foundation

Harnessing private cash to finance public services via ‘Social Impact Bonds’ could be an important way to boost innovation in these services but is unlikely to appeal to mainstream investors because of the impossibly high risks they would have to shoulder, new research reveals today (Wednesday 31 July).

UK - Charities criticised for bearing financial risk in GLA social impact bond
Vibeka Mair, Civil Society

A member of the London Assembly’s budget and performance committee has criticised the structure of the Greater London Authority’s first social impact bond for being too risky for the charities involved.

UK - Corporate analysts collaborate with charities to tackle social issues
John Burn-Murdoch, The Guardian

Professional data scientists and corporate analysts are collaborating with charities and public bodies to identify and combat social problems in the UK and worldwide, as part of a new series of projects launched by DataKind UK.

Top tips for charities that use images to appeal to donors and supporters
Vicky Reeves, The Guardian

Images engage readers, support your written points, present information differently or break up the monotony of text. They can affect what a user thinks, feels or does and make your website more attractive. This matters because more attractive websites make the user want to stay and engage with you.

Pope Francis: people’s pontiff or sharp politician?
Tin Beattie, The Conversation

Francis may have a deep pastoral concern for the poor and marginalised, but he is also a shrewd politician. It is one thing to step aside from the power and privilege of the papacy to touch the lives of ordinary people, but it is another thing altogether to tackle the corruption and ruthless ambition among some of the Vatican power brokers.

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