Push to increase Age Pension

There is no doubt that a media driven campaign to whip up concern about the possibility of the non-existent Carers Bonus being ‘cut’ in the upcoming Budget played a key role in the government’s decision to announce a few weeks ago that a ‘one-off’ payment of a Carers Bonus will be paid again (for what will…

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A constituent’s Centrelink story

The so-called ‘welfare reforms’ made by the federal government have caused stress and hardship for some sole parents and people with disabilities, but there are many other people who also have to deal with the way ‘mutual’ obligation is enacted through our welfare system. Following is an example I recently received from a constituent:

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Down Syndrome

Amongst all my activities, I try to meet reasonably regularly with a range of community organisations to help keep me in better touch with some of the issues at community level. Even if there is no immediate issue I can assist them with, it is always useful for me to get a better understanding of…

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Work or less welfare

This piece in yesterday’s Australian about sole parents is a good example of statistics being twisted to look good. Nearly 1600 single mothers forced to look for part-time jobs under the Howard Government’s welfare-to-work policy have found employment.Figures show that the Government forced 3724 parents off single parent benefit and on to the dole between…

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Disability Agreement

I’m in Hobart at the moment for another round of hearings on the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA), following on from some I went to in Brisbane last week. (It seems that unawares I flew in on the same plane as Princess Mary, which shows how unobservant I am) The next round of the CSTDA is…

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Support for people with disabilities

The Community Affairs Committee is currently examining the funding and operation of the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement (along with four other inquiries). I was in Sydney today attending part of a public hearing for this Inquiry. The next round of the CSTDA is currently being negotiated between the two levels of government. Hopefully the information provided…

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Helping foster carers

One of the problematic aspects of politics is the way in which policy debates can turn into rhetorical stoushes, which do not necessarily relate to the reality of how things are at community level. I try to ensure that my office regularly touches base with a range of community organisations so we can retain an…

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Looking for another Judi in the Senate

Margo Kingston’s site has an interview with Liberal MP, Judi Moylan, who abstained on the vote in the House of Representatives on the government’s welfare legislation. She seems to have been the only Liberal MP to admit the basic fact that the legislation will directly lead to many poor and disadvantaged people having their payments…

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