Daily News - Wednesday 8 October 2014

Posted 8 October 2014 8:23am

Mental Health Australia wants a 10 year reform plan to stop patients dying 30 years earlier
Sue Dunlevy, News.com.au

After 29 government inquiries and billions of dollars in investment, the mentally ill are dying 30 years earlier than the general population.

The mental health sector will today release a seven point plan to fix the crisis that calls for funding to be wrapped around individuals in a similar way to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.


Kids and teenagers with mental health issues deserve early intervention
Sean Parnell, The Australian ($)

Psychiatrist Nick Kowalenko says large-scale studies from Victoria show that low mood, perhaps in the form of undiagnosed depression, generally precedes serious drug and alcohol use by a matter of months. Instead of substance abuse triggering mental illness, as can occur with some conditions, it is a more common scenario that “as a person grapples with significant changes in mood, the solution they reach for is often alcohol or cannabis’’.


Noongar elders helping mental health services reach out to Perth community
Nicolas Perpitch, ABC

Irene and Albert McNamara tell yarns about their lives and experiences as Aboriginal elders to help mental health service providers better understand Noongar people.

Their stories are central to the Looking Forward Project, which aims to improve the way mental health, drug and alcohol services are delivered to Noongar people across south-eastern Perth.


Tune in to Little Ones
Northern Territory Department of Children and Families

Tune in to Little Ones is a resource to help workers understand and notice the needs, strengths and vulnerabilities of infants under 2 years old (little ones) and their families.

People who work in areas such as family support, family violence, child and maternal health, early childhood, alcohol and other drugs, mental health, community health, and disability (including in adult-focussed services) can use the kit to help them support families to 'tune in' and respond to their infants in ways that will support their learning, development and wellbeing - now and into the future.


Darwin football club recovers from domestic violence scandal
Emilia Terzon, ABC

A Darwin football player has been reinstated as captain of his team after making an emotional speech to his club about his perpetration of domestic violence.

... Mr Tolley was stood down as captain after Nightcliff Football Club learned of his pending charges.

The decision followed the club's involvement in No More, a campaign against domestic violence run by counselling service CatholicCare NT.

Nightcliff is the first club to have signed up to the program's Domestic Violence Action Plan.


Shocking data shows 20 a fortnight apply for DV order
The Gympie Times

A Sunshine Coast organisation which helps women desperate to escape violent relationships has revealed as many as 20 women are visiting Gympie Magistrates Court every fortnight to place orders against their partners.

Centacare's Scope domestic and family violence support service, has told how between women walking into their Maroochydore office, police referrals and phone calls for help, staff are constantly busy with women looking for somewhere to turn for safety.


Tender open for Employment Services 2015-20
Eric Abetz and Luke Hartsuyker, media release

The Australian Government today released the Request for Tender for Employment Services 2015-20, and invited bids from organisations that have the capacity and determination to help more job seekers find and keep a job.

Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz said the Government was investing $5.1 billion in a new model to operate from 1 July 2015 to better meet the needs of job seekers, employers and employment-services providers.


Tendering for government employment deal is 'a waste of time'
Bridie Jabour, The Guardian

Organisations could be wasting their time tendering to run the government’s employment services if proposed changes to the system fail to get through parliament, according to Jobs Australia.

Bidders to run the services for the next five years are being asked to allow for plans to strip unemployed people under 30 of income support for months at a time.

But Jobs Australia chief executive David Thompson said organisations could end up having to rewrite their tenders if the proposal is not legislated.


Government has listend to community feedback on job search requirements, says Abetz
Chris Uhlmann, AM, ABC

CHRIS UHLMANN: The final shape of the Abbott Government’s job-placement system will be detailed today. The draft plan sparked a backlash with its demand that the unemployed apply for 40 jobs a month to qualify for the dole. It appears there’s been a rethink on that, but the final plan will expand Work for the Dole and encourage people to relocate to find jobs. Eric Abetz is the Employment Minister. Eric Abetz, do you intend to press ahead with a push to make the unemployed make 40 job applications a month?

MINISTER ABETZ: The new request for tender, which we’re announcing today, will have a requirement that job seekers pursue 20 jobs per month. We have listened to the community feedback, and whilst we are very strongly of the view that a job seeker should have as their full-time job, gaining employment, we do understand that for business it would be a burden and it might diminish the value of job applications if we have too many applications being undertaken. As a result, we’ve listened to the community and we’ve restricted it to 20.


U-turn on job applications shows we listen, says Tony Abbott
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Tony Abbott says his government’s decision to backdown on a plan to force the unemployed to apply for 40 jobs a month demonstrates he is prepared to listen to feedback, but welfare groups say there are still major flaws with the Coalition’s new jobs plan.

The government’s draft proposal to double the number of job applications to be made was broadly criticised as punitive and a burden for businesses.


Abetz Takes Pity On Businesses, Drops Punitive Measures Aimed At Jobless
Max Chalmers, New Matilda

Don’t you just hate it when you try to make life harder for the unemployed but accidentally cause an inconvenience for business? Max Chalmers explains.


Federal plans for unemployed unlikely to help
VCOSS, media release

Federal Government plans to expand work for the dole and to force people to relocate for work while removing income support for six months will not help address Victoria’s high rate of unemployment, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service.

“Victorians who are out of work are facing some the toughest job conditions in decades, with high levels of unemployment generally, and youth unemployment at its highest level in 15 years,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS.


How hard is it to find a job? 18 year old Zahna Mackay explains
Clive Hunton, ABC (audio)

Clive Hunton spoke to 18 year old Zahna Mackay from Melbourne's outer west about her job seeking efforts. Ms Mackay says she's relieved the Federal Government won't make people, receiving the dole, to apply for 40 jobs a month in order to keep the payment. She says she has put in well over a hundred applications in the past 13 months.


Government that ignores evidence sets up welfare policies to fail
Eva Cox, The Conversation

The mess of federal budget negotiations has taken over the limited space for social policy debates. However, we are due to get final reports on a range of inquiries. These include the McClure report on social security, which will take into account Andrew Forrest’s Creating Parity report on Indigenous welfare and employment.

The report will trigger major changes to income-support programs, so any input from related evaluations may have considerable impact. One of the ideas being touted, particularly by Forrest, but also mentioned by Social Security Minister Kevin Andrews, is the extension of some forms of income management.


Disabled face loss of benefits for compliance failures
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

The tough new rules targeting people under 35 on the disability support pension mean their payments will be either suspended or cancelled if they fail to comply with strict eligibility rules.

Welfare Rights will today put out an analysis of the changes that passed the Senate last week that shows for the first time since Australia introduced social security assistance for people with disabil­ities early last century that people receiving the DSP will knock up against a tough compliance regime.


Disability Support Pension “bludger” mantra does nothing to improve policy
Matthew Taylor, The Drum

The Daily Telegraph’s recent report about websites that allegedly coach welfare fraudsters on how to claim the Disability Support Pension (DSP) highlights some of the challenges the government faces in ensuring that the $16 billion spent annually on DSP goes to those who need it.

DSP is more complicated than other pensions. The reason we never hear about age pension “rorters” is that it is easy for the government to verify whether a claimant has reached the eligibility age. But not all disabilities are “manifest” in this same way.


Confronted by begging for spare change? Vouchers might be better
Michael Liffman, The Conversation

Even before reports of police seizing the takings of Melbourne’s beggars as proceeds of crime, their plight has been a disturbing one in this, the world’s “most liveable city” - and in other major Australian cities too. Few of us are so callous or cynical not to feel uncomfortable when confronted by someone sitting on the footpath asking for a couple of dollars for a meal or somewhere to sleep for the night. Yet many of us decline to respond to the request.


Victoria - Vulnerable households in outer suburbs under stress as rents rise
Matt Johnston, Herald Sun

One in three vulnerable households in outer suburban electorates is in rental stress, leading community groups to call for an urgent social housing stock increase.

Broadmeadows tops the list, with 37 per cent of households who earn $640 a week or less paying more than 30 per cent of their wage on rent.

Yuroke and Thomastown, also in Melbourne’s north, are next on the list, while the key marginal seats of Frankston and Buninyong also feature in the top 10 and have 30 per cent or more low-income households in rental stress.

The Council to Homeless Persons has produced the snapshot using the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, and will on Wednesday urge major political parties to boost social housing stock to the national average of 5 per cent, by 2020.


Moral trade-offs are for the common good
Ross Gittins, The Canberra Times

The good thing about holidays is getting time to read books. I'll look at all the museos, oratorios, cappellas and duomos in Italy provided I can go back to my book when day is done. On this trip one book I read was Moral Tribes, by Joshua Greene, a young professor of psychology at Harvard.

One of the hottest areas of psychology these days is moral psychology - the "science of moral cognition" - which seeks to explain why we have moral sentiments and what use they are to us. It's pretty coldly scientific and evolutionary, which may be disconcerting to readers of a religious disposition.

According to Greene and his confreres - another leading thinker in the area is Jonathan Haight, author of The Righteous Mind, which I've written about before - humans are fairly selfish individuals, but we're also highly social animals who like to be part of groups.

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