Daily News - Tuesday 23 September 2014

Posted 23 September 2014 8:41am

Kevin Andrews spread false information on Kiwi dole: Macklin
Heath Aston, Sydney Morning Herald

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has been accused of peddling misinformation about the New Zealand welfare system in his push to restrict dole payments to the young.

Mr Andrews is negotiating with Clive Palmer and crossbench senators and his strongest pitch for their support is that the New Zealand government imposes a mandatory one-month waiting period on anyone claiming that country's equivalent of the dole.

In June, he said: "In New Zealand, everybody who is seeking to get welfare payments, the dole equivalent, has a one-month waiting period."

But research by the independent Parliamentary Library has confirmed no such waiting period exists in New Zealand.


Govt opens way to negotiate budget through Parliament
Naomi Woodley, PM, ABC

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott has given a clear indication that the Federal Government will accept some changes to get key budget measures through the Parliament.

Mr Abbott says his Government stands by its first budget, and all measures within it.

But he's told Parliament that he accepts that some will be the subject of negotiation before they're passed into law, and the Government will work with any party prepared to be constructive.


Changing minds one step at a time
The Land

The #changeyourmind campaign run by The Land has inspired a raft of people to put pen to paper and share their positive mental health messages on social media.

Politicians, farmers, students and even mental health professionals have helped us spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.

The idea behind the #changeyourmind campaign is to help change the way we think and talk about mental health in rural Australia in the lead-up to Mental Health Month next month.


Foster care's future in jeopardy
Darrell Cruse, Eureka Street

Since becoming a foster care family in 2006 we have been a part of the story of more than thirty children’s lives.

No matter how many times you experience it, you are never really prepared for the next children that visit your house.

The sadness you feel when inseparable brothers stay with you for a few days before they are told they will be sent two different households, because nobody can look after two boys at the moment, and its your job to sort through their single bag of belongings to work out which child is allowed to take the toy with them.


Australian disability reform and political participation
Gerard Goggin and Dinesh Wadiwel, Australian Review of Public Affairs

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an epochal reform in Australian social policy. The NDIS provides, on an entitlement basis, lifelong care and support to people with disabilities (National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013). Articulated by the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments, and supported by all Australian political parties, the NDIS has been confirmed in the May 2014 Budget by the Abbott Coalition government. Funding is planned until 2018–19, and implementation is proceeding.

The NDIS is a key plank in the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, a cross agency cross jurisdiction agreement between all federal and state governments (Council of Australian Governments 2011). While the Strategy is the overarching Australian policy approach to disability, the NDIS is its most prominent—if not iconic—contemporary element. As such, the NDIS has been widely debated, because its architecture, implementation, and implications, hold considerable importance for disability and indeed Australian social policy in general.


Homelessness hits top suburbs as housing affordability takes its toll
Natasha Robinson, The Australian ($)

In Sydney, populations of rough sleepers are springing up where they have never before been seen, in bushland bordering the Sutherland Shire and at Brooklyn at the Hawkesbury, ­according to the peak body Homelessness NSW.

In Bondi, where apartments now regularly sell for upwards of a million dollars, a growing ­underclass goes about its daily routines.


UK - Flagship programme struggles to turn around job prospects of troubled families
Derren Hayes, Children and Young People Now (via

Less than one in 10 out-of-work people to have been engaged through the government's Troubled Families programme have gone on to get a long-term job, latest research suggests.

Analysis of the flagship programme’s effectiveness at tackling entrenched unemployment found 7,200 of the 76,000 individuals who were in receipt of out-of-work benefits and had been worked with under the scheme between April 2012 and July 2014 went on to get “sustained” jobs.

The analysis by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also found that a further 7,200 people had started a paid job that had not developed into long-term employment.


Indigenous workers ‘ready for north jobs’, Warren Mundine says
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Indigenous Australians should be given priority for jobs under the federal government’s proposed development of northern Australia, Warren Mundine says.

The head of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council argues indigenous Australians will make up half the population of northern Australia by 2040. “Here is a source of human capital in northern Australia right under our noses.”

Mr Mundine said if the government’s northern development white paper did not put indigenous education and employment at the centre of its policy, “we’ll still be talking about this after I’m dead’’.


SA Indigenous commissioner takes Twiggy Forrest's review to communities
Natalie Whiting, PM, ABC

Some called it bold and brave, but the mining billionaire Andrew Forrest's report into ending Indigenous disparity is also proving incredibly divisive.

In South Australia, the state's Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement has begun touring Indigenous communities to discuss the review.


Federal Government's drought roundtable too little, too late, farmers say
Anna Henderson, ABC

The Federal Government's drought roundtable is being described as "too little, too late" by some farmers in severely affected country areas.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will today convene a roundtable meeting in Canberra, joined by seven banks, key farming groups and officials from the Agriculture Department and Treasury.

Top of the agenda is the rising farm debt levels in pockets of drought-afflicted New South Wales and Queensland.


How Diversity Makes Us Smarter
Katherine W. Phillips, Scientific American

... if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving. Diversity can improve the bottom line of companies and lead to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations. Even simply being exposed to diversity can change the way you think. This is not just wishful thinking: it is the conclusion I draw from decades of research from organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers.


Provider failure in human services is normal, says competition policy review
Competition Policy review, draft report

... allowing for consumer choice, particularly in areas where the government was previously the main or sole service provider, will open up the possibility that some providers cannot attract enough customers and so will fail. Provider failure is a normal part of operating in all markets and if providers face no threat of exit if they underperform then the full consumer benefits are unlikely to be realised. As previously noted, government will need to design the market policy and regulatory oversight. This will include arrangements for service continuity in case of provider failure (p 150).

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