Welfare hearings start / Request for reader’s ideas

I’ll be in Canberra for the next three days for hearings into the misleadingly named ‘Welfare to Work’ Bills. The Committee has already had a day of hearings in Albury, which I had to miss because of other Committee work in Western Australia.

The timetable of witnesses appearing over the next three days can be found at this site. People who are interested should be able to listen to proceedings over the internet proceedings through the webcast page on the Parliament House site.

I’ll be fairly heavily immersed in these hearings over the next few days (once I recover from another 4am start to get there). I will try to provide some details from the hearings through this diary, but I thought I’d also take the chance now to ask readers if there were any topics they would like me to write about.

There’ll be plenty to write about over the next few weeks on welfare, workplace relations and terror, as well as the general debasement of the Senate by the Coalitional majority, however I would find it useful for readers to give me some ideas about other things you’d like me to address. After all this diary is meant to be more for the benefit of the public than for me (I usually already know what I think about things without having to read what I’ve written about it).

So if you have any topics, questions or issues – political, personal, musical, sporting or whatever – that you want me to write about, please leave a suggestion in the comments section. (You can also email me directly if you prefer.)

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  1. Probably nothing new, but a couple of comments:

    I think the welfare to work situation is closely related to the Industrial Relations. Many people on welfare are relatively unskilled and low end jobs are the only ones they can acquire. Unfortunately these jobs usually have low pay, appalling conditions, and somewhat rob people of human dignity. The Howard Government cares not about these matters, so has to force people off welfare into these types of jobs. The pay and conditions for people in the low end of the job market are only going to get worse with the Industrial Relations changes, so force will become increasingly necessary.

    A government serious about welfare to work problems would invest more in training and work towards providing pay and conditions attractive for people on welfare to move to paid work.

  2. To be honest I know absolutely nothing of the Welfare to Work reforms, so if anyone out there can give me the general gist or point me in the correct direction?

  3. Our members are interested to establish a far more evenly based register of groups for animal welfare. Its great that people are vegans and vegetarians however 96 pecent are not. if we continue to allow the main face of animal welfare to be these PETA and anti killing of anything or everything then animal welfare will NEVER improve because 96 percent wont listen.We need you as leader of Animal Welfare to estsblish another federation of groups. The old one was established many years ago and much has changed since then. Yourself personally do not keep in contact with other groups or hold meetings with them. Your favoured group Animals Australia control who or whom and which groups are invited to attend meetings with yourself[ if you know it or not] FYI While only meeting with AA and AL there has been a MOU signed with the Malaysian Government to form cojoint farms and abattoirs here in Australia. There has also been an agreement to establish gas plants for larger animals. A World first and a 100 year leap ahead for Animal welfare. Of course much work has to be done yet.We are only going to assist the animals if we all work together. Also there are other people whom are taking legal action against live exports and the Industry however you dont know anything about that either.We support you one thousand percent Senator and i think you know that. However If you dont allow others the same contact and to meet with yourself or the occashional telephone converstation that you share with a chosen few it is yourself who will be holding back progress which is of course the last thing you would want. Please take this as it is meant. Which is a wakeup call to establish a new a proper registration of Animal Welfare groups giving ALL a far go to .You have a new Animal Welfare officer who is very good and very fair. We ask the same of yourself
    . We are your local QLD group.
    Wishing you the very best and here to support you in every way. However in order for THAT to happen you need to address this problem urgently.
    There are MANY who feel totally left out and unable to contact yourself Senator. It does the animals no good if our senator is seen to be working only with non meat eating groups.
    Please work more with others as well Sir.
    QLD Group

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