Daily News - Tuesday 13 August 2013

Posted 13 August 2013 8:40am

"Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale" says WHO report
Rick Morton, The Australina

An alliance of social and health groups will meet today to highlight the government's failure to act on the recommendations of two reports dealing with social factors that create serious health consequences.

The Social Determinants of Health Alliance, which includes 50 organisations, will call on all politicians to commit to the low-cost recommendations of a March Senate committee report on social health influences which listed as its first priority the adoption of a 2008 World Health Organisation report on the same subject.

Maximising return on health dollar investment
Liz Banks-Anderson, The Age

The major social and economic processes that affect population health include social class, race and ethnicity, poverty and income distribution, social networks and support, community cohesion, work and neighbourhood environments.

Professor Kawachi says the most pressing issues in public health today are income inequality, that is, the unequal distribution of wealth, the changing nature of employment towards greater job insecurity and finally the continuing lack of investment in early education.

Victoria - Wantirna Caravan Park turning homeless people away as eastern suburbs battle housing crisis
Kate Ashley-Griffiths, Knox Leader

Melbourne's east is in the grip of a housing crisis and there are no local emergency accommodation centres available to help desperate families facing homelessness, according to a housing worker.

The worker, who was worried about being named, said the main crisis accommodation centre for the eastern metropolitan region, Gateways, run by the Salvation Army in Croydon, was constantly packed to capacity.

Help for asylum seekers left in limbo
Dana McCauley, Bayside Leader

As the asylum-seeker debate rages on the eve of the Federal Election, local charities are struggling to help those left in limbo by the Labor Government's shifting policies.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Project's Pamela Curr said while Prime Minister Kevin Rudd touted Labor's plan to settle refugees in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, those living in Melbourne under Labor's harsh "no advantage" policy faced destitution.

NGOs urge asylum seeker policy rethink

Sixty-four church groups, charities and refugee advocates have called for an end to the "negative and distorted" political debate on asylum seekers.

PNG plan is cruel: Christmas Is councillor

Labor's Papua New Guinea asylum seeker solution won't stop boats from making the perilous journey to Australia, a prominent Christmas Islander says.

Gordon Thomson, shire councillor and general secretary of the Union of Christmas Island Workers, said the threats faced by minority groups in countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan were compelling and often outweighed any concerns about going to PNG.

Safety concerns on Nauru after detention riot
Kathy McLeish, PM, ABC

New video tape has emerged of the riot at the detention centre on Nauru which caused $60 million damage. It shows what actually happened outside the camp.

Is vulture capitalism swallowing the most vulnerable?
Antony Loewenstein, The Conversation

Too often we ignore an examination of which companies will benefit from massively expanding facilities for asylum seekers. For the last few decades, Australia has outsourced this policy to countless unaccountable multinationals, such as Britain’s G4S and Serco, who make huge profits from asylum seekers languishing in their non-care.

Qld govt wants Cape York welfare changes

Queensland's government wants changes to welfare reform trials in Cape York indigenous communities before funding them for another year.

Abbott's Indigenous engagement promise cautiously welcomed
Sara Everingham, PM, ABC

TONY ABBOTT: I don't want to be too prescriptive now. And I don't want to store up trouble and dissention by going off half-cocked here. I think it's pretty clear that we need to try to ensure that Indigenous land is an economic asset and not simply a spiritual and cultural asset. And that's what I will be working towards bringing about.

Depression is more than simple unhappiness
Margaret McCartney, The Guardian

If people in exquisite mental agony hear a message – no matter how well-intentioned – saying that they may just be merely unhappy, we have failed them. Clearly, doctors can and do get the diagnosis wrong. I prescribe more antidepressants than I would like – but when there's a four- to six-month waiting list for cognitive therapy, how many patients, in distress and suffering, can patiently wait?

People with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment in the criminal justice system: cost-benefit analysis of early support and diversion
Ruth McCausland and other, Australian Human Rights Commission (via APO)

Research in the field and the case studies presented in this paper demonstrate that early holistic support is crucial for the development and well-being of children and young people with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment, particularly Aboriginal children and young people and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Without such early intervention and diversion, the costs to individuals with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment, to their families and communities, as well as the costs to government can be extremely high. Such costs increase over time, as people with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment become entrenched in the criminal justice system and are further disadvantaged.

Master your anger – or at least try to understand it
Nick Haslam, The Conversation

Like paranoiacs, angry people tend to see themselves as righteous victims who have an obligation to give wrongdoers their just desserts.

UK - Ministers refuse to punish charities that pay staff over £100k a year
Christopher Hope, The Telegraph

Nick Hurd, the charities minister, was pressed to remove withdraw organisations' charitable status or impose new sanctions on them if they were found to employ staff on more than £100,000 a year.

However Mr Hurd said the Government would not be changing the law and said it was up to trustees to keep an eye on boardoom pay.

FactCheck: how strong is Australia’s economy?
Fabrizio Carmignani, The Conversation

The data indicates that the Prime Minister’s statement about the debt position of Australia is correct. The economy is doing relatively well by international standards. The new information recently released by the Treasury depicts a somewhat softer short-term outlook, but it does not substantially change the overall positive assessment of Australian economic performance in the global context.

Controversial change can be done
Ross Gittins, Brisbane Times

... these days there's little ideology or principle in the opposing positions the parties adopt, just opportunism. You would implement much the same policy if you were in government but, since you're in opposition, you seek to gather the support of whoever is disaffected with the policy.

Our rival management teams are always seeking advancement by concocting difference where little exists. So the key to getting controversial reforms implemented is not to urge governments to be brave but to persuade their opponents to exempt this particular measure from their efforts to differentiate themselves, foster discontent and collect the support of disaffected minorities.

A Social Justice Conclave
Ken Briggs, National Catholic Reporter

Assuming the pope means to follow through on his appeals for the church to shoulder responsibility for the poor and downtrodden, a dramatic display of determination to do so would seem necessary. The form it might take would be for the pope to convene a call to action in Rome that would consist of two major emphases: exploring the content of Catholic Social Teaching and mustering strategies for implementing its imperatives.

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