Daily News - Thursday 25 September 2014

Posted 25 September 2014 8:28am

How the Senate may vote on controversial budget measures
Nick Evershed, Daniel Hurst and Bridie Jabour, The Guardian

This week a series of bills containing controversial budget measures will be introduced to Senate.

Some of the bills will make changes to Australia’s welfare system, such as taking people under 30 off income support for months at a time, reviewing some people’s disability support pension and increasing the pension age to 70.

Here, we’ve asked every party and independents in the Senate how they plan to vote on various budget measures to get a picture of which bills have a chance of passing and which will be blocked.


Twins’ fight to stay together
Leisa Scott, The Sunday Mail

The kettle is on, as required with a tale such as this, and Josey McMahon is midway through the saga that starts in the Western Downs town of Miles in the 1950s and ends here, in a brand new house on the Gold Coast. A tale of family. Of adversity, guilt, redemption and love. Of disability. Of a twin sister called Cathy who was swept out of sight by the attitudes of the time, now living in brilliant sunshine.


Centacare hosts pop up cinema
Laini Kirkman, Moree Champion

During the school holidays it can be tough to keep the kids entertained, especially when the drought is still pulling at many locals’ pockets; that’s why Centacare has decided to host a pop up cinema in Mungindi and Pallamallawa.

Media relations manager and drought coordinator, Emelia Saban, said the pop up cinema was free for anyone who would like to attend.

“The event is part of the Australian Government’s drought support package, aimed at assisting farming communities and those impacted by the drought to access free support services,” she said.


Refugee resettlement close
Steve Cannane, Lateline, ABC

The Cambodian Government says it will sign a refugee deal with Australia this week.

The deal has been months in the making, but the details have been shrouded in secrecy.

It's believed that up to 1,000 refugees processed on Nauru could be resettled in Cambodia.


Senate set to decide if family visas will go only to the rich
Khanh Hoang, The Conversation

This afternoon, the Australian Senate will be asked to vote on a Greens disallowance motion, which seeks to stop the Abbott government repealing several types of family visas. These include: the Parent Visa (non-contributory); Aged Parent Visa; Aged Dependent Relative Visa; Remaining Relative Visa; and the Carer Visa.

These visas allow Australian permanent residents or citizens to sponsor their parents and dependent relatives to come to Australia or, in the case of a carer visa, to sponsor a relative to care for them if they have a long-term or permanent medical condition.


What is the evidence for harm minimisation measures in gambling venues?
Charles Livingstone, Angela Rintoul, Louise Francis (via APO)

The use of electronic gambling machines (EGMs) in Australia and New Zealand constitutes the largest sector of the gambling industry. The costs arising from the harms of gambling detract significantly from its benefits, and in all Australian jurisdictions various policy measures have been implemented to reduce these harms. If successful, these would maximise the net benefits associated with EGM gambling. This article reviews the available evidence for a range of these practices, particularly those implemented within EGM venues via ‘codes of practice’.


SA Coroner Mark Johns continues inquest into sad life of Chloe Valentine, who died despite 21 child abuse reports to Families SA
Sean Fewster, The Advertiser

The first comment Chloe Valentine’s mother made after her birth was: “I’m glad that’s all over so I can get pissed again”, an inquest has heard.

Salvation Army regional operations manager Katie Lawson today told the Coroners Court of the state in which Chloe’s mother, Ashlee Polkinghorne, kept their first home.

She said Polkinghorne had seemed genuine at first about getting away from the “unsavoury” drug and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle and homelessness she had endured before falling pregnant.

Polkinghorne’s post-birth comment — reported to the Salvation Army by a concerned family friend — first sparked Ms Lawson’s suspicions.


Q&A in Rockhampton: have your say on mental health issues
The Morning Bulletin

ABC TV's popular current affairs talk show Q&A will be beamed live from Rockhampton next month.

It will be broadcast from the Pilbeam Theatre on Monday, October 6, as part of the ABC's Mental As... campaign, which is designed to kick-start a national conversation about mental health. Hosted by journalist Tony Jones, Q&A is the show where you ask the questions and locals are being encouraged to join the debate as part of the live studio audience.

This episode of Q&A will give Central Queenslanders the chance to put their issues on the national agenda.


South Australia - Freeze on mental health services by Medicare Local
Elise Fantin, ABC

Country South SA Medicare Local has put a freeze on new clients accessing the mental health programs it provides, with an exception for its suicide prevention services.

It says a loss of funding and difficulties attracting and retaining staff in the South East have prompted the move.

Waiting lists for its programs reached capacity last week.


Port Augusta - Local headspace starts indigenous mental health campaign
Steph Say, The Transcontinental

Headspace Port Augusta is taking part in a national youth-led indigenous mental health campaign.

On Thursday, September 18, headspace staff, youth crew members, politicians, councillors, SAPOL, media and community members attended the launch of the 'Yarn Safe' campaign at headspace headquarters.

'Yarn Safe' is all about telling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people there's no shame in talking about problems affecting their mental health.


WA mental health advocates appalled by 'Bedlam' attraction
Anna Vidot, PM, ABC

In 18th century London, the mentally ill were a tourist attraction.

As many as 2,000 people a week were allowed to wander through the Bethlem asylum, also known as Bedlam, staring at the inmates and even taunting and provoking them.

It's a practice that sounds as archaic as bear baiting or cockfighting.

But now a recreation of Bethlem is due to open at the Royal Perth Show this weekend. It includes an open ward, with more than a dozen actors pretending to be disturbed patients.

And WA mental health advocates are not happy.


‘Physician heal thyself’ may be impossible task for a psychiatry profession in crisis
David Pilgrim, The Conversation

The announcement by Dinesh Bhugra, president of the World Psychiatric Association, that an independent commission will investigate what psychiatrists of the future will look like signals what all mental health researchers have known for the past 50 years: that the profession is in crisis.


Psychiatrists alleviate mental illness – don’t attack them
Peter Woodruff, The Conversation

David Pilgrim’s recent article in The Conversation argued that the profession is in crisis because the President of the World Psychiatric Association announced a commission into what psychiatrists in the future will look like. He referred to a mental health industry, where players jostle to have pre-eminence in diagnosis and treatment.

Serving people with a mental illness is not really an industry, in the sense of production and the implication of making profits. Pilgrim uses terms such as “winning the battle” when referring to the different professions –psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and others – emphasising rivalry between them. But the really important battle is the one that faces the psychiatrist every day in the hospital, clinic or community – and it is fought alongside his patient.


Social Policy Whisperer – “We are only Economists”: The Draft Report of the Competition Policy Review
Paul Smyth, The Power to Persuade

f I told you that the Prime Minister had rung me and asked if I would lead a panel of welfare experts to review the efficiency of the Australian economy, you would likely ring 000 and warn of a madman on the loose. Why is it then that no one blinks when economists are asked to review the health of the social sectors? The Draft Report of the Competition Policy Review confirms yet again that these economist led inquiries have become a giant fetter on social policy renewal in this country.


Charity Sector Complexity Not to Be Ignored - ACNC Report
Pro Bono News

A ground-breaking report commissioned by the national charity regulator, which reveals a complex Not for Profit sector that has grown by two per cent annually, has delivered a warning that the sector’s diversity should not be ignored by policy makers.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s Curtin Charities 2013 Report shows that Australian charities employ nearly one million people and that over 90 per cent of these are employed by only 10 per cent of charities.


Curtin University Not-for-profit Initiative’s research report

This research analysed data from more than 38 000 registered charities, which submitted through their Annual Information Statements (up until 30 June 2014) in their first year of reporting to the ACNC.

This analysis provides the first single-source, evidence-based research of the charity sector of its kind.


More NFPs Look to Social Enterprise Model
Pro Bono News

A report looking at the emergence of "social enterprises" in Australia has found a strong trend towards greater commercialisation among organisations that would traditionally have operated as Not for Profits.

A study of applications to a Westpac Foundation grant program has found that 70 per cent of organisations reported having a three or five-year plan to become more commercial, in an effort to fill the funding gap between government and philanthropic support and cover the growing costs associated with increased demand for their services.


Sorry, Kids, Changing the World Takes More Than a Killer App
Charles Kenny, Bloomberg Businessweek

The social enterprise movement is built on cynicism about the public sector and large-scale private enterprise. A recent survey of 12,171 people aged 18 to 30 across 27 countries found that while 68 percent thought they had an opportunity to become entrepreneur, only 45 percent believed one person’s participation could make a difference in the current political system. For cynics who nonetheless want to change the world for the better, social enterprise offers an attractive alternative to the snail’s pace of institutional change. With a double bottom line of profit and social impact—and the right killer app—social enterprises can innovate their way to a better world.


Funding for social change ‘dysfunctional’ says SVA CEO Michael Traill AM
Social Ventures Australia

Calling the current system ‘inefficient and dysfunctional’, Mr Traill argued that investing in social change needs to look more like investing in the business world. Speaking to both government and philanthropic funders, he said that a failure to fund based on the outcomes achieved by particular social programs was at the heart of the dysfunction.

‘While capital allocation in the business world is not perfect, it generally flows based on common metrics of performance. Defining performance expectations in the social purpose world is much more challenging, but it’s critical if we are to make sure that we are funding the right programs.’


Pope Francis appoints five women to theological panel
Catholic Herald

Pope Francis has named Australian theologian Tracey Rowland among the new female members of the International Theological Commission.

The Vatican announced her appointment this morning, along with those of Sister Prudence Allen RSM, Sister Alenka Arko, Dr Moira McQueen and Prof Marianne Schlosser.


Maybe Francis isn’t after a lurch to the left, but a new balance
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

... last Thursday’s appointment of Anthony Fisher as the new Archbishop of Sydney in Australia. A protégé of Cardinal George Pell, who today is overseeing Francis’ financial reform, Fisher is a Dominican theologian who would almost universally be seen as a conservative.

Writing for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Fr. Richard Umbers recently said that Fisher is “an exemplar of what George Weigel calls Evangelical Catholicism,” boldly committed to Catholic orthodoxy and impatient with “theological dishwater.”

On a personal level, Fisher is as gracious and erudite as they come, and he’s nobody’s idea of a liberal.

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