Daily News - Thursday 24 July 2014

Posted 24 July 2014 8:54am

DSS — Application Deadline Extended
Department of Social Services

Due to the high volume of applications being submitted, the Department is experiencing technical issues. As a result, the application period has been extended by 24 hours to accommodate the demand.

Applications must be submitted by 2:00pm AEST Thursday 24 July 2014.


Govt System Crashes as Funding Applications Flood In
Pro Bono News

The Department of Social Services has had to extend its Not for Profit application deadline after a flood of funding applications caused chaos to its online system late Tuesday.

... Not for Profits have told Pro Bono Australia News that the DSS system wasn’t issuing receipts confirming their applications late yesterday and when they called the Department to report the problem the voicemail inbox was full and they couldn’t leave a message or get through.


When tragedy strikes, even onlookers can suffer
Sarah Malik, The Drum

After a week dominated by tragedy and death - and a 24-hour news and social media cycle broadcasting it to us - what impact could this have on our mental health? Sarah Malik writes.


Working with families whose child is bullying: An evidence-based guide for practitioners
Jodie Lodge, Australian Institute of Family Studies

When children bully others at school, they are at significant risk of continuing this pattern of antisocial behaviour and having mental health concerns as they grow older. While bullying is often labelled as a school-related issue, it is also a family issue, as bullying is a behaviour often affected by the family environment. As such, working with families to interrupt the continuity from school bullying to later adverse life outcomes could be viewed as a form of early intervention for preventing crime, as well as a method of promoting health.


International approaches to child protection: What can Australia learn?
Rhys Price-Robertson, Leah Bromfield, and Alister Lamont, Australian Institute of Family Studies

The provision of child protection services varies considerably across the world. This paper offers a broad overview of some of the main approaches to child protection used internationally. Using examples from Canada, Sweden, Belgium and the Gaza Strip, it offers policy-makers the chance to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, as well as how these examples might be used to inspire improvements within the Australian context.


Disability workers stop-work in Newcastle, video
Michael McGowan, Newcastle Herald

Hunter disability workers have called on the state government to come clean about their futures at a demonstration in Hunter Street today.

About 100 workers, as well as parents and union supporters, turned out at a stop work meeting organised by the Public Service Association.

They were demonstrating their opposition to state government plans to transfer NSW government-run disability services to the private sector once the roll-out of the NDIS is complete.


Disability pensioners blocked from seeking work
Vicki Wood, Sunshine Coast Daily

Kevin Crawley has been on the Disability Support Pension for 10 years and wants to re-enter the workforce, but is continually being faced with road blocks.

Mr Crawley feels fit enough to go back to work, but has found he cannot get any help from job agencies without being taken off the DSP by Centrelink.


The dignity of risk for the disabled
Peter Gibilisco, On Line Opinion

Today disability is studied in two ways. The first is the medical model of disability, which looks at disability as a medical illness that either has to be medically cured at an individual level, or controlled to allow the person with a disability to become a normal functioning member of society. Secondly, there is the social model of disability that understands disability to be the outcome of social, political and economic processes, which have an impact on the lives of people identified as disabled, as well as on the lives of people who are not identified as disabled.

Whereas the medical model focuses on the individual as a "patient" by contrast, the social model focuses on the infinite social processes and dynamics of disability. The social model is empathetic to the view that disability discrimination and prejudice is made stronger by a lack of accessible and socially and economically rewarding information, technology, architecture and events.


UK - Loneliness: a silent plague that is hurting young people most
Natalie Gil, the Guardian

Loneliness has finally become a hot topic – last month, the Office for National Statistics found Britain to be the loneliness capital of Europe. We're less likely to have strong friendships or know our neighbours than residents anywhere else in the EU, and a relatively high proportion of us have no one to rely on in a crisis. Meanwhile, earlier this year, research by Professor John Cacioppo at the University of Chicago found loneliness to be twice as bad for older people's health as obesity and almost as great a cause of death as poverty.


Giving to others helps people cope
Angela Pownall, The West Australian

People who give their time, money and talent to help others can develop a resilience to cope with challenges and difficulties such as working in WA's mining industry during its downturn, West Australian of the Year David Flanagan says.


Voters fear budget will hit the poor, survey shows
Michael Gordon, Sydney Morning Herald

The big surprise in the most detailed qualitative study on post-budget sentiment is that the voters' hostility is largely driven by concerns it will promote a less equal and less caring society.

Rather than direct their anger at measures that hit their hip pockets, many of those surveyed repeatedly express concern about the impact on others, especially their children and the poor.

"People are scratching their heads and asking: are the cuts directed at the right people? Is it good for our country to make things harder for our young people?" says Laura Demasi, research director at the Ipsos Social Research Institute.


Hockey biography adds fuel to budget fire
David Crowe, The Australian ($)

Joe Hockey is coming under fire from Coalition colleagues over the timing of a biography to be launched today amid frustrations over how the government is selling the budget.

As Labor used the book to escalate its attacks on the government, senior Liberals called for a new strategy to overcome community fears about unpopular savings. The Treasurer took on the doubts over the budget yesterday by saying “critics have sometimes got the loudest voices” and insisting that making hard budget cuts today would generate economic gains tomorrow.


Colleagues throw book at Hockey
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian ($)

In the smoking ruins of the budget sales job, not the budget ­itself, Hockey has made life more difficult for Abbott, drawn Credlin further into dangerous cabinet infighting and created sympathy for Turnbull, who is seen as being ostracised for lesser crimes.


Sexism rife in politics, says Liberal MP Fierravanti-Wells
Natasha Bita, The Australian ($)

Women must work twice as hard as men to be regarded as “half as good’’, Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells declared yesterday as she denounced sexism in politics.

... Senator Fierravanti-Wells also voiced her ambition to be promoted from her role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, with responsibility for multiculturalism, in an exclusive interview with The Australian after her speech. She said it was Tony Abbott’s prerogative to ­appoint only one woman to cabinet.


We know Abbott's budget emergency is fake. So where are his real enemies?
Boris Frankel, The Guardian

Abbottville is the logical conclusion of a disastrous policy framework first inaugurated in 1983 by Hawke and Keating. For thirty years, this policy framework has led to the marketisation and pricing of nearly all social activities. Abbott’s agenda is merely a sharp extension of policies pursued to a lesser or greater degree by both Coalition and ALP governments. There has never been a truly universal social welfare, health and education system that Abbott can tear apart.

... There are numerous imaginative ideas of how to simultaneously fund and organise urban and regional community housing, social services and environmentally sustainable infrastructure without falling back on the old bureaucratic state and federal department processes. Building community alliances through the promise to deliver community designed social agendas is potentially the basis for a successful political strategy as well as a political necessity to combat climate change and dilapidated public services.


Tony Abbott achieves the impossible: unity among economists
Warwick Smith, The Guardian

There’s a joke about economists: if you ask five economists the same question you’ll get six different answers. Granted, it's not a very good joke, but it’s a fair call. Ours is a complex field, and a growing number of economists are acknowledging that the theory sitting behind mainstream economics is mostly rubbish. As a result, it’s very difficult to find consensus on real world events.

But that's where Abbott and Hockey have achieved what many thought impossible: a true consensus. Unfortunately for the coalition government, the consensus is entirely against them. The Abbott government’s agenda has been driven by three major claims, all of them economic in nature. Let’s see how economists view these three themes:


Parliamentary babies may be out in the cold as childcare centre set to close
Primrose Riordan and Noel Towell,

New paid parking laws, security restrictions and requirements for casual places for MPs are being blamed for the potential closure of childcare services at Parliament House.

Parents met at Aussies cafe inside the building on Wednesday in shock after the childcare provider, Anglicare announced to parents via a letter that it will not be renewing its contract for Capital Hill Early Childhood Centre past this September.


Asylum seekers and the dignity of work
Peter Mares, The Conversation

My interview with Mr Syed did not get off to a great start. We’d arranged to meet at the Dandenong library – part of the city council building, a huge, bright orange edifice in the redeveloped heart of Dandenong in Melbourne’s southeast.


Growth and Diversity: How Immigration Presents Challenges and Opportunities for Australia and the United States
Andrew Leigh, speech to Progressive Policy Institute

... if we accept the moral and political arguments for diversity, and we understand that while benefits of diversity come in the form of economic vibrancy and trade, there are costs in the form of distrust and racism, what can we do to maximise the benefits and minimise the costs?

One important measure is to forge national identities based on values, rather than ancestry or stereotypes.


Forget mining, big cities are the real engine in nation's economy
Ross Gittins, The Age

Old notions die hard. If you took all the production of goods and services in Australia and plotted on a map where that production took place, what would it look like?

... A report issued this week by the Grattan Institute finds that, these days, 80 per cent of the dollar value of all goods and services in Australia is produced on just 0.2 per cent of the nation's land mass. Just about all of that is in our big cities, as close in as possible.


The Robot Economy and the Crisis of Capitalism: Why We Need Universal Basic Income
Thomas Wells, ABC

Universal basic income is the idea that governments should guarantee all their citizens an income sufficient for a decent standard of living. It is not a new idea - versions of it can be found in Thomas More's Utopia and Thomas Paine's pamphlet on Agrarian Justice - but it may be one whose time has come.

In the idealistic 1960s and 70s the idea enjoyed some political support and experiments were even carried out to see how it might work in practise. Yet the grip of the moral ideology of work made it politically unfeasible - even hard-nosed economists worried that paying people to do nothing would undermine the work ethic on which the economy depended, including the taxes needed to pay for the basic income itself.


Progressives' hot new poverty-fighting idea has just one basic problem: Science
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

Many young progressives think they have found a fail-safe way to end poverty: a universal basic income (UBI). The idea is very simple, they say: Every month, the government cuts a check to everyone. Period. That way, no one has to fall below the poverty line.

The UBI is an old idea, which also has a storied history on the right. Many conservatives like the idea of a simple welfare system that would replace arcane programs and nosy bureaucracies.

And indeed, right-winger that I am, I was for a very long time a strong proponent of a UBI. But now I oppose it.


How to build a successful fundraising strategy from scratch
Agngela Cluff, The Guardian

In today's volatile financial climate charities need to continually reassess their ability to generate funding – adapting current strategies and introducing new income streams when needed.

For many organisations, particularly those once reliant upon government grants, this means venturing into a brave new world of fundraising. This is no mean feat – the fundraising climate is tough and looks set to remain that way into the future.


Catholics face Good Samaritan dilemma on Christmas Island
Mike Bowden, Eureka Street

One of my sons worked in the school on Christmas Island about four years ago for two years. So news about Christmas Island is always topical in our family. We pricked up our ears when we heard that the Catholic Education Office in Western Australia (CEOWA) had announced the opening of the Christmas Island Learning Centre on contract to the Department of Immigration and Border Security from term three this year.

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