Daily News - Tuesday 1 July 2014

Posted 1 July 2014 8:01am

Housing for homeless saving lives and money
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

Providing chronically homeless men with long-term accommodation rather than a stop-gap stay in a homeless shelter has resulted in savings of more than $1800 a person.

New research by one of the nation’s largest welfare groups, Mission Australia, demonstrates the value — socially and economically — of a housing-first intensive case management approach to homelessness.


Why children with autism often fall victim to bullies
Judith Hebron, The Conversation

Bullying can affect anyone at any time, but young people with autism are especially vulnerable. The results can be devastating. Not being able to keep up with the teasing banter that often takes place among groups of young people can make the social world a very daunting place for children with autism. Being at odds with their peer group can lead to social isolation, rejection, and a lack of the supportive friendships that can protect against bullying.


Criticism plagues NDIS as its first anniversary approaches
Norman Hermant, PM, ABC

Robyn Goodman counts herself lucky that she can still drive, more than a decade after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

But day by day her fatigue grows, and her struggle with the NDIS isn't helping.


Ramp Up’s shut-down robs us of a needed voice on disability issues
Shawn Burns, The Conversation

Back to work: Disability support pension on the scrapheap, screamed Melbourne’s Herald Sun. Beating the bludgers will help the disabled was the lead on The Sunday Telegraph.

The mothballing of the ABC’s Ramp Up website, announced earlier this month, could not have come at a worse time for people with disability.


Disability Support Payment provides 'enormous incentive' for unemployed to claim a disability, says Kevin Andrews
Emma Griffiths, ABC

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has pointed to the higher rate of the disability pension as an "enormous incentive" for job seekers to seek eligibility for the payment.

Mr Andrews made the statement the day after the release of the interim report from the Government's review of welfare payments, which recommended the Disability Support Payment (DSP) be reserved for those with a permanent impairment.


Welfare review chief backs disability cutbacks
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The author of the McClure welfare reform report says not all those currently on the disability support pension should be “grandfathered” so they can ­retain their benefits under his proposed new system.

The comment by former Mission Australia boss Patrick McClure raises the prospect that people under a particular age or with episodic mental illnesses could receive lower payments.


McClure seeks to allay fears after proposing new welfare system
Alexandra Kirk, PM, ABC

The author of the controversial interim report into the welfare system, Patrick McClure, has sought to allay fears about it.

Welfare groups have called on the Government to rule out some of the more controversial measures.

The Opposition says it will only support changes if payments won't be cut.


McClure’s Mark 2 welfare blueprint has to contend with toxic political environment
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation

Welfare reform is always a fraught policy area. But releasing the McClure blueprint for sweeping change after a budget that targeted a swathe of government payments guaranteed a lot of negativity.


NZ spent half a billion dollars on welfare reforms
Dominic Swartz, Lateline, ABC

The New Zealand Government says its welfare reforms, which Australia is now looking at introducing, have helped move 15,000 people off welfare and into work over the past year. The Government has invested half a billion dollars in changes aimed at simplifying the system and reducing long-term welfare dependency. But not everyone's sold on the idea, as the ABC's New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz reports.


If the McClure reforms are adopted, get ready for the return of Daddy Warbucks…
Michael Vagg, The Conversation

The latest contribution from the Federal Government in what is rapidly becoming a pogrom against those Australians beset by illness or disability is the interim report entitled A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes.

The work of Mr Patrick McClure AO, the report reads in large part like an anodyne recitation of soothing statements in flawless bureaucratese. A fair bit of bait and switch is going on here, because the point of what McClure is proposing (and with a straight face) is buried knee-deep in the turgid prose. I’m going to ignore most of the report’s recommendations and focus on one specific area which I think is simply wishful fantasy that does not deserve to form the basis of serious policy that will affect hundreds of thousands of lives.


Why the excluded are still waiting
John Falzon, Eureka Street

If we really want to increase employment participation, whether for young people, older unemployed people, people with a disability, single mums or any other group that is locked out of the labour market, then we will start looking honestly at problems in the labour market and set about addressing its incapacities rather than pretending that the incapacity, or unwillingness, lies with the individual.


Work not welfare
Anna Henderson, Lateline, ABC

"People with disabilities want to work. We've demonstrated that again and again and again, but there aren't the jobs available for us to move into or we're not - those opportunities are not being created," says Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes.


Welfare Fix Needs Boost Not Cuts, Say Advocacy Groups
Max Chalmers, New Matilda

People receiving a disability pension could be the hardest hit if the Abbott Government acts on suggestions made in an interim report on Australia’s welfare system, according to welfare advocacy groups.


ACOSS - Payment reform must reduce poverty, complexity, and exclusion from employment
ACOSS, media release

In responding to the Interim Report of the Reference Group on Welfare Reform, ACOSS says reforms should ensure that no disadvantaged group is worse off, that payments are targeted to need and that the system supports employment participation.

“The current review is an opportunity for the Government to reset its income support reform agenda, away from reducing payments and towards reducing poverty, system complexity, and exclusion from employment,” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO.


Alliance proposes partnerships to secure jobs for disadvantaged jobseekers
ACOSS, media release

The Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Business Council of Australia today jointly proposed improvements to employment services to deliver better job outcomes for people disadvantaged in the labour market.

The proposal, put forward ahead of the announcement by the federal government of new national contracts with employment services providers, follows the development of an alliance between three organisations to work together to tackle entrenched disadvantage



Social Security Legislation Amendment (Stronger Penalties for Serious Failures) Bill 2014
Community Affairs Legislation Committee

On 17 June 2014, the Senate referred the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Stronger Penalties for Serious Failures) Bill 2014 to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.

Submissions should be received by 18 July 2014. The reporting date is 26 August 2014.


Senate inquiry - Domestic violence in Australia
Finance and Public Administration References Committe

On 26 June 2014, the following matter was referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by the 27 October 2014:

a. the prevalence and impact of domestic violence in Australia as it affects all Australians and, in particular, as it affects:

i. women living with a disability, and

ii. women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds;

b. the factors contributing to the present levels of domestic violence;

c. the adequacy of policy and community responses to domestic violence;

d. the effects of policy decisions regarding housing, legal services, and women‘s economic independence on the ability of women to escape domestic violence;

e. how the Federal Government can best support, contribute to and drive the social, cultural and behavioural shifts required to eliminate violence against women and their children; and

f. any other related matters.

Submissions closing date is 31 July 2014. The reporting date is 27 October 2014.


Royal Commission interim report released, request for two more years and $100 million
Emily Bourke, PM, ABC

After hearing nine months of often harrowing testimony, the child abuse Royal Commission has delivered its interim report to the Federal Government.

The national inquiry has conducted 14 public hearings and hundreds of private sessions with individual survivors, since the Gillard government set it up in November 2012.

The interim report has urged the Government to extend its final reporting deadline from 2015 to 2017, and asked for another $100 million to complete the task.


The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Interim Report now available
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse interim report, which was released by the Government today, is now available on the Royal Commission website.

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