Daily News - Wednesday 9 October 2013

Posted 9 October 2013 8:00am

Let's put cranes over cities to build housing for vulnerable
Toby Hall, The Australian

While investors are chasing returns, no one is putting their money into social housing - the section of the market where we have the greatest deficit of all. The result is thousands of people edging towards homelessness.

Australia has fourth highest rate of children living in jobless families in OECD, report show
Emily Bourke, The World Today

One of Australia's leading and oldest charities has painted a bleak picture of disadvantage among Australian children.

A new report compiled by the Benevolent Society found Australia has the fourth highest rate of children living in jobless families in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Prevention and early action changes lives and saves money
Benevolent Society, media release

The Benevolent Society today released a report to mark its 200th Anniversary that sounds a serious warning about the wellbeing of Australia’s children, and unsustainable future costs to fix social problems which can be prevented by more investment in support for families during children’s early years.

“In dealing with increasing problems such as crime, obesity, anti-social behaviour, child abuse and mental illness, our governments are stuck in a cycle of reacting too late when it’s more costly and less effective,” said The Benevolent Society CEO Anne Hollonds.

Support disabled in community, not facilities, advocate says
Stephanie Anderson, Canberra Times

Families of people with disabilities should be looking to the community for support as the government prepares to close respite services, advocate Jan Kruger says.

Ms Kruger, whose son Jack has a developmental disability, said the community would become increasingly important for families of people with disabilities as the ACT government prepares to close or offload respite services across Canberra.

Campaign presents the unpaid carer's daily life
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

Lobby group Carers Australia will today launch four television commercials presenting a day in the life of an unpaid carer -- one as young as nine -- to place pressure on employers to provide flexible hours.

The peak body will be joined by the new Assistant Minister for Social Services, senator Mitch Fifield, to put the issue on the national agenda.

Unemployment up as growth slows: Hockey

Australia's unemployment rate is due to rise in 2014 as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgrades growth prospects for the nation.

Treasurer Joe Hockey on Wednesday confirmed figures released overnight in the IMF's World Economic Outlook, outlining future risks for Australia and the global economy.

UK - Campaign launches to give voice to people supported by benefits
The Children's Society, media release

The vast majority of people believe benefits are an important safety net for people in need, a new campaign has revealed today. But one in four people who claim benefits have hidden the fact because they worry what people will think.

Reducing the stigma
Kim Chappell and Penelope Kilby, The Land

Community groups are helping build awareness of mental health issues in local communities this October for Mental Health Month.

[NSW] State Minister for Mental Health Kevin Humphries said the issue of mental health is close to his heart.

Make a mental health pledge
Australian Ageing Agenda

Aged care workers are being called upon to make and share a mental health promise this week to prioritise their own wellbeing and help them be a better carer.

It’s good to be king: how social status affects health
Robert Douglas, The Conversation

The traditional view of health is a biomedical one – stop people from getting ill by preventing infection and treating disease. But a growing body of research showing that health is the result of social conditions has now gathered enough momentum to prompt a rethink about how social policy is made.

Get richer, die younger: study

We all live longer when times are good, right?

Not so, according to a new study which says that in developed countries, the elderly have a higher mortality rate when the economy goes into higher gear.

Even its authors are baffled by the outcome.

NZ - Key under fire over expat welfare
Greg Ansley, New Zealand Herald

Prime Minister John Key has come under heavy fire for his acceptance of Australia's right to discriminate against New Zealanders living in Australia.

Mr Key said after meeting Australian counterpart Tony Abbott in Canberra on Wednesday that he acknowledged a deal between the previous governments of John Howard and Helen Clark that in February 2001 led to the exclusion of expats from most government support and welfare programmes.

NZ - Social bonds project
NZ Ministry of Health

The Government has decided the time is right to test social bonds in New Zealand.

Social bonds are an innovative way for governments to contract to achieve specific social sector outcomes. The Ministry of Health (the Ministry) is leading cross-government work to pilot social bonds in New Zealand.

The ethics of giving service
Alice Johnson, Eureka Street

In a contemporary society where the focus lies amid a whirlpool of egocentricity, self-gain and self-improvement, one must question where the true motive for giving service lies, and as a result what defines ethical service giving.

Australia needs a clear direction for a better future
Jeff Kennett, Herald Sun

There is no long-term picture of where we want our country to head, no long-term goals, and no one working to try and define, let alone educate us, on how we are going to answer these questions and meet this great Australian challenge.

We go from day to day responding to issues, rather than trying to create an exciting Australia which by 2100 is not only independent, free and democratic but is an outstanding country in which to live.

Surely this is the great Australian challenge, trying to define where we want to get to, and how we are going to do it. And that should be a matter of public conversation and effort.

Pope Francis calls extraordinary synod for only third time in modern Church history
Catholic Herald

Pope Francis has called for an extraordinary synod in October 2014 to discuss the subject of the family.

The extraordinary synod will see heads of Eastern churches, presidents of the bishops’ conferences, and heads of Curia offices gather at the Vatican from October 5 – 19 for a meeting entitled “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in Context of Evangelisation”. Only about 150 synod fathers will take part in the session, compared with about 250 bishops who attended the three-week ordinary general assembly on the new evangelisation in October 2012.

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