Gillard Government is socially challenged: "Responses to the Government’s Budget … reveal only half-hearted support from sectors that are traditionally Labor-inclined. The cuts to single mothers benefits, the failure to reach foreign aid goals and the failure to increase the Newstart allowance for the unemployed has united groups like the churches sector, the Australian Council of Social Service and Caritas Australia." John Warhurst, Eureka Street.
Work for the dole plan for asylum seekers: "Asylum seekers could be placed on a work for the dole scheme, which would include income management, under plans announced by the opposition and supported by the government." AAP.
US – the science-practice gap in drug treatment: "Over the past decades, researchers have developed effective pharmaceutical and behavioral treatments for addiction. Yet in residential and community treatment programs around the country, these evidenced-based treatments are relatively scarce, according to the CASA Columbia report. Instead, programs might involve wilderness camping, abusive tactics labeled ‘tough love,’ and, most commonly, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, peer-support models that have helped many addicts but failed many others." Lea Winerman, APA Monitor.
Screening of child workers ‘misleading’: "The system of compulsory background checks on the ‘millions’ of people who work with children needs an overhaul because it misleads people into thinking children are safe, misses some targets, wrongly catches others, and may be a ‘very costly sledgehammer to crack the wrong nut’, according to the new National Children’s Commissioner." Catherine Armitage, Sydney Morning Herald.
Drinks industry questions charity’s political agenda: "A charity that received $115 million in taxpayer funds for alcohol abuse programs used $36m it pocketed through investments as the funding was spent to transform itself into an anti-alcohol lobby group." Troy Bramston, The Australian.
Casino for Parramatta? You bet! "Parramatta’s Catholic Care Social Services senior manager Ann O’Brien opposed the proposal saying western Sydney was saturated with poker machines and thousands of problem gamblers." Sally Willoughby, The Sun Parramatta Holroyd.
SA – Church pushes for pokie ballot to reduce number of machines: "Uniting Communities has demanded that poker machines be taken out of licensed venues by ballot if the industry does not cut more than 700 machines from circulation by the end of next year. " Adam Hegarty, Adelaide Now.
WA still sidelined as the NDIS moves closer: "The passage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme levy legislation through the Federal Parliament finally provides some security and certainty for people living with disability and their families. Painfully, however, this doesn’t apply to people in WA, as the Premier, Colin Barnett, continues with his refusal to commit to the scheme." Rachel Siewert, Sydney Morning Herald.
Geelong picked as home for headquarters of national disability insurance scheme DisabilityCare: "Less than a fortnight after Ford announced it was closing its Geelong manufacturing plant, the regional Victorian city has been chosen as the headquarters of the new DisabilityCare agency." ABC.
Racism, bigotry and debate, Australian-style: "There are several dimensions to far-right-wing spin about racism, which must be dispelled." Tim Soutphommasane, Sydney Morning Herald.
Greedy pensioners? Far from it: "Evidence shows that many older Australians want to contribute and indeed do continue to contribute to the Australian economy and community in meaningful ways." Susan Ryan, The Drum.
US – The Triumph of the Working Mother: "At all income levels, stay-at-home mothers report more sadness, anger, and episodes of diagnosed depression than their employed counterparts." Stephanie Coontz, International Herald Tribune.
Time for ‘Catholic spring’ and Vatican III – bishop: "Retired Sydney bishop Geoffrey Robinson has launched a petition for ordinary Catholics to seek another global church council like the 1960s reforming Vatican II council. But at ‘Vatican III’, he says, there must be as many lay people as bishops to make sure the hard questions get asked." Barney Zwartz, Sydney Morning Herald.