Daily News - Wednesday 3 September 2014

Posted 3 September 2014 7:52am

Child Abuse Royal Commission granted a two year extension
George Brandis and Kevin Andrews, media release

We announce today the decision of the Government to extend the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for a further two years.

The Governor-General will be asked to amend the current Letters Patent to enable the Royal Commission to deliver its final report by 15 December 2017.


Newstart breakthrough hopes rise
Stefanie Balogh and Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Clive Palmer has delivered the Abbott government a sliver of hope that he will look at a pared-back one-month waiting period before young unemployed people can access Newstart payments.

The Palmer United Party leader said he was against the proposal to make unemployed Australians aged under 30 wait six months before accessing the dole, saying a safety net needed to be in place. But he indicated PUP senators could look at a one-month waiting period, although he said yesterday he didn’t believe there was any need for a delay.


One month wait 'recipe for homelessness'

Forcing unemployed people under 30 to wait one month rather than half a year for unemployment benefits will still be a recipe for homelessness, the Greens say.

The Abbott government is planning to back down on its original timeframe and might adopt that of New Zealand, which has a one month waiting period for its unemployment benefit, The Australian newspaper reports.


NSW government funds homelessness services to operate differently
Ainslie Drewitt-Smith, ABC

Four homelessness service providers in Wollongong and Nowra have been awarded a state government grant, after their funding was withdrawn in July.

Shoalhaven Youth Accommodation, Shoalhaven Women's Resource Group, Wollongong Emergency Family Housing and Lighthouse Community Care failed to win a tender under the government's Going Home, Staying Home reforms.

Those organisations have now been re-funded by the government for an 18 month period.


8th National Homelessness Conference: Homelessness: Complexities & Countermeasures
Homelessness Australia

Homelessness Australia welcomes you to the 8th National Homelessness Conference: Homelessness: Complexities & Countermeasures.

Several hundred delegates from Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific will come together for three days, between 10–12 September 2014, on the Gold Coast, home to the famous Surfers Paradise beach, exhilarating theme parks and the majestic Gold Coast hinterland.


Marketing Disability Services – Focus on What Works
Penny Knight, Pro Bono News

I was at a conference recently where the topic of marketing of disability services was being discussed. It was clear that people in the audience were interpreting the terms used quite differently, and that some of the marketing advice given to them was simply not right for the sector. Many disability service providers will soon need to start actively marketing services, so it is worth clarifying the jargon and understanding the unique nature of marketing in this sector.


Longer waits for battlers as government merges social services
A Current Affair

Australians are facing longer waits for their benefits as the government continues its mergers of Centrelink and Medicare centres.

There have been 150 mergers across the nation so far, and customers told A Current Affair that they were facing waits that stretched into hours.


FACS overload: no help for 80% of at-risk children
Lisa Wachsmuth, Illawarra Mercury

Fewer than one in five children at risk of harm in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven are being visited or assessed by a community services caseworker.

The number of children from the region notified to the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) as being at risk of significant harm hit 4504 in the June 2014 quarter - up nearly 500 from the September 2013 quarter.


UK - Sure Start: investing in early childhood
World Health Organisation

Investing in early childhood is the most effective way to ensure that all can reach their full developmental potential. Poverty, however, can roughen an otherwise easy road to health.

Being poor is not only a question of how much money comes into one’s bank account every month but also a fragile way of living. Only one unplanned expense can make an already tight budget collapse, just like dominoes falling.

“I mean the biggest thing, especially for poor mothers and fathers is, if anything goes wrong, you’ve had it. So if the washing machine breaks down, you don’t have the extra money to fix it,” says Naomi Eisenstadt, former director of Sure Start in the United Kingdom.


US - How Much Could We Improve Children’s Life Chances by Intervening Early and Often?
Isabel V. Sawhill and Quentin Karpilow, Brookings

Children born into low-income families face barriers to success in each stage of life from birth to age 40. Using data on a representative group of American children and a life cycle model to track their progress from the earliest years through school and beyond, we show that well-evaluated targeted interventions can close over 70 percent of the gap between more and less advantaged children in the proportion who end up middle class by middle age. These interventions can also greatly improve social mobility and enhance the lifetime incomes of less advantaged children. The children’s enhanced incomes are roughly 10 times greater than the costs of the programs, suggesting that once the higher taxes and reduced benefits likely to accompany these higher incomes are taken into account, they would have a positive ratio of benefits to costs for the taxpayer. The biggest challenge is taking these programs to scale without diluting their effectiveness.


Property and financial matters upon the breakdown of de facto relationships
Rachel Carson, AIFS

Reforms introduced in 2009 to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) have meant that most same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples (in all states and territories except Western Australia) who end their relationships can now have their property and financial matters dealt with in substantially the same way as married people. This paper aims to provide non-legal professionals in the family law sector with a general outline of the relevant reforms, their genesis, and the arguments in favour of and against their introduction.


US - The Economics of Marriage, and Family Breakdown
Isabel V. Sawhill, Brookings

Economists have long argued that there is such a thing as a market for spouses. The old theory, associated with University of Chicago Nobel laureate, Gary Becker, is that people marry for the same reason that nations trade with one another: comparative advantage. If men are better at earning money in the labor market and women are better at taking care of home and children, it makes sense for them to combine forces within marriage so that they can then specialize in what they each do best. The problem with Becker's theory is that with the expansion of labor market opportunities for women, it now needs revision.


Are cars the way to address outer suburban transport disadvantage?
Alan Davies, Crikey

Progressives should embrace the idea that the best way of improving the mobility of most very low income outer suburban residents is by assisting them with defraying the high costs of driving


Bringing the community sector into emergency planning

It’s time for Victorians to start talking about how to better protect our vulnerable people in emergencies.

Key to this will be recognising that community sector organisations are crucial to assisting these people before, during and after emergencies.

We need to weave the community sector’s expertise and connections to vulnerable people into Victoria’s emergency management planning reform, if we are to better protect these people.


Influencing policy — Q&A with David Hayward
The Power To Persuade

Where should we be putting more energy when it comes to engaging with others (e.g. formal submissions, informal conversations, committees, linkage grants)? Where should we be putting less?

We spend a bit too much time talking to ourselves, and not enough time engaging with others outside the sector. Research is critical to good policy, and should be seen as an investment. The best research in social policy involves partnerships between providers and researchers. The most effective research makes sure that those involved have a say and are kept informed for results. It also is used to support a policy cause, including ending things that don’t work as well as starting things that have promise.


My Company Adopted a Holacracy. It Kind of Sucked
Mike Arauz, Mashable

My first holacracy meeting made me want to quit my job. One year later, in spite of its shortcomings, I can’t imagine going back to our old way of working.

I work at Undercurrent, a consulting firm that helps Fortune 500 companies respond to technological change and profit from disruption. About a year ago, we decided to try a new way to run our own company, called a holacracy.


Religious Freedom Fundamentally Important - Attorney General George Brandis
Sydney Archdiocese

At a time when religious freedoms are increasingly being eroded in the Western world, Senator Brandis both as Shadow Attorney General in opposition and now as the Commonwealth's Attorney General, has been a fierce and outspoken defender of religious liberty which he regards as a fundamentally important value.


No evidence of media prejudice against Catholicism
Jonathan Holmes, Sydney Morning Herald

The Catholic Church still seems to wield enormous influence in the ALP and the wider labour movement. Overwhelmingly popular social measures, from same-sex marriage to voluntary euthanasia, have been blocked in the Federal Parliament, largely thanks to the opposition of Christian, and especially Catholic, union leaders and parliamentarians of all parties. This is not a church that is suffering – to outside eyes at least – from persecution, discrimination or loss of political clout.

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