Daily News - Wednesday 6 August 2014

Posted 6 August 2014 8:36am

Law Enforcement No Solution to Homelessness - Report
Pro Bono News

Law enforcement is not the way to respond to public space issues and homelessness, says a recently released report out of Justice Connect’s Homeless Law program.

The report was by Lucy Adams, Manager and Principal Lawyer of Justice Connect’s Homeless Law program, who travelled to the US, Canada and Europe on a Churchill Fellowship and spoke to more than 60 experts from 40 organisations in nine cities to gather evidence and data about the ‘criminalisation’ of homelessness.


Homelessness rising
Chris Burns, North West Star

The number of people seeking financial aid for their electricity bills in Mount Isa has tripled.
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Mount Isa Centacare homelessness program manager Chris Town said the numbers of people seeking financial assistance from Centacare for electrical bills had tripled.


Older women at increased risk of homelessness as rents rise and jobs disappear
Nicolas Perpitch, ABC

Older women who find themselves out of the workforce and do not own their own home in Western Australia have emerged as a new group increasingly at risk of homelessness.

UnitingCare West chief executive officer Sue Ash said historically the homeless had been single and older people.

However, welfare providers were now helping more families, people with disabilities, and older women who were lacking secure accommodation.


Victims' Assistance and Counselling Program launched
The Ararat Advertiser

Victoria Police at the Ararat, Stawell and St Arnaud Police Stations, together with Centacare and the Department of Justice has launched the Victims' Assistance and Counselling Program across the region.

The Victims' Assistance and Counselling Program (VACP) is a network of agencies from around Victoria that provide services to victims of violent crime against the person.


ACT women with disabilities offered way to escape domestic violence
Anna Morozow, ABC

A new scheme has been introduced to help Canberra women with disabilities escape domestic violence and sexual assault.

It means existing agencies will be able to respond to crisis situations for women with disabilities and help them secure a safe place to live.

The program was put together after the Domestic Violence Crisis Service expressed its frustration at the inability to help women with a disability escape from violence in their home.


Pregnancy prejudice pervasive
Kim MacDonald, The West Australian

Pregnancy-related discrimination in the workplace is pervasive and systemic, according to a report that shows half of mothers and a quarter of fathers experience the problem.

The Australian Human Rights Commission report, which surveyed 3000 parents and a range of employers, showed 49 per cent of mothers experienced discrimination during pregnancy, maternity leave or on their return to work, mostly in relation to pay and duties.


Non-English speaking youths overlooked for Australian jobs despite training: report
Malcolm Sutton, ABC

Youths from non-English speaking countries are being overlooked in their search for work despite their high participation rates in training, according to a national report released today.

Just 55.9 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) countries such as China, India, the Philippines and Iraq were in employment, compared to 71.6 per cent of Australian-born youths.


Forrest report offers a way forward
Ken Wyatt, The Australian ($)

All sides of politics need to come together and create a meaningful, decade-long compact on a way forward on ­indigenous affairs based on the Forrest Report.


Tudge cautions against "generation change" concept
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister on Indigenous Affairs, Alan Tudge, has cautioned against the “generation change” concept that argues all the focus should be on indigenous children.

“First, it’s not right in principle to draw a line between generations and give up on the parents,” he said in Sydney last night.

“Second, if adults are idle, there are too many distractions for kids to succeed. We have heard this from our local school attendance officers. We need whole communities to be employed or at least active in order to get school attendance up and to give children the peace to thrive.”

Mr Tudge used his speech to the Sydney Institute to push for the direct instruction model spearheaded by Cape York leader Noel Pearson.


Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child
Trisha Jha, Centre for Independent Studies

In 2013–14, $32 billion was spent on family payments, amounting to 7.7% of total federal expenditure in that year, and 22% of total federal spending on social security and welfare.

Family Tax Benefits (FTB) and child care fee assistance are the two areas in which spending is the most significant and, in the case of child care assistance, the most likely to grow rapidly if left unchecked. Over time, governments have attempted to shape policies that are all things to all people instead of reforming with a clear, unified set of purposes.


The budget, fairness and class warfare
Peter Whiteford, Inside Story

With the Senate threatening to block a majority of the government’s proposed savings measures, the 2014 federal budget is undoubtedly the most controversial for many years. Even though the fiscal contraction expected from this year’s budget is about two-thirds that of the Howard government’s first budget in 1996, the reaction of voters has been very different.


Why Abbott’s two million jobs promise isn’t as good as it sounds
Fabrizio Carmignani, The Conversation

Abbott’s promise does not look particularly ambitious. Seasonally adjusted data on Labour Force Status published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate that in the ten years preceding the formation of Abbott’s government (that is, from September 2003 to September 2013), employment in Australia had already grown by 2.06 million units.

... Obsessed with a debt problem (that in fact does not exist), the government is driving fiscal policy towards a path of austerity that is not going to benefit employment and is making more difficult for the unemployed to cope with economic hardship.


Coalition of churches calls for release of children from immigration detention

A coalition of West Australian churches and not-for-profit groups is calling on the Federal Government to release asylum seekers with very young children from offshore detention into the community.

The group, made up of 11 agencies, is offering to house and support families with infants in the community while their claims are processed.


Immigration detention psychiatrist Dr Peter Young says treatment of asylum seekers akin to torture
Lexi Metherell, ABC

The psychiatrist who had ultimate responsibility for mental health services in immigration detention has likened the Government's treatment of asylum seekers in detention to torture.


Govt Cuts Shutdown Disability Advocacy - Innes
Pro Bono News

The Federal Government is effectively trying to shut down an advocacy voice in the disability sector through funding cuts, says former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes.
Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes at the Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference.

Innes, who made the opening keynote address at the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit’s (DARU) two-day Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference on Monday in Melbourne, said recent decisions by the Federal Government, particularly the recent Budget, were driven by a philosophical agenda.


Ask ACNC sessions
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

These sessions will provide information about the ACNC and charity obligations, and will have ACNC staff available to answer questions. As the deadline for submitting the 2013 Annual Information Statements has just passed for most charities, we are actively reaching out to charities who may not have submitted in time (for any number of reasons), and delivering these sessions as part of our broader approach, which focuses on providing education and advice before considering regulatory powers.


Sick of this market-driven world? You should be
George Monbiot, The Guardian

Today the dominant narrative is that of market fundamentalism, widely known in Europe as neoliberalism. The story it tells is that the market can resolve almost all social, economic and political problems. The less the state regulates and taxes us, the better off we will be. Public services should be privatised, public spending should be cut, and business should be freed from social control. In countries such as the UK and the US, this story has shaped our norms and values for around 35 years: since Thatcher and Reagan came to power. It is rapidly colonising the rest of the world.

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