Daily News - Tuesday 31 March 2015

Posted 31 March 2015 1:45pm




ACT disability providers spending thousands to prepare for National Disability Insurance Scheme

Clare Colley - The SMH

ACT disability providers are spending thousands of dollars to prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, but fear service prices have been set too low jeopardising quality.

Under the former block funding model, providers paid back unused government money, meaning they have never had the opportunity to accrue funds for new infrastructure, representatives from several organisations told a public hearing into the roll-out.

Koomarri CEO Miranda Garnett said her organisation had spent $500,000 in new computer systems and infrastructure, but the uncertainty over the NDIS design meant the investment was one of "blind faith".

The joint parliamentary committee chairman Mal Brough said the same situation had occurred during the Tasmanian NDIS trial, with providers struggling to make necessary investments.


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Australia risks generation of homeless older women says social commentator

Annie Gaffney and Jon Coghill - ABC News

A prominent social commentator and writer says the rate of older homeless women is set to soar unless two problems are fixed: superannuation rates and the closure of homeless shelters.

Jane Caro from the University of Western Sydney says many women over the age of 50 are becoming homeless because they do not have enough superannuation after spending years out of the workforce bringing up children or they cannot find refuge after leaving a violent relationship.

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A Man for All Seasons: Pope Francis and the Environment - A Response to Clive Hamilton

Celia Deane-Drummond - ABC News

That the first encyclical of Pope Francis will be dedicated to environmental issues represents a remarkable convergence with the renowned green Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I.

Catholic conservatives who might be inclined to resist this message have failed to spot the obvious: that creation care is a fundamental aspect of what it means to be a Christian - even in a traditional, orthodox sense.

This raises the question: How new is this strand in Catholic social thought? Is this a theological shift or not?

Certainly, in as much as the emphasis of Pope Francis's predecessor was a preoccupation with the moral and structural ills of modernity and the temptations of relativism. Francis, instead, will carve out something that is distinctive and characteristic of his vocational identity in alignment with that great patron saint of ecology, Saint Francis of Assisi.

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