Home' InDaily : August 6th 2010 Contents Apply now for
a leadership program
unlike any other....
The Governor's Leadership Foundation (GLF)
program is South Australia's premier leadership
development opportunity - an unconventional,
unmatched, life changing experience.
Applications are now being sought from
established and emerging South Australian leaders
from a wide range of backgrounds to participate
in the 2011 program.
The program is a challenging, action packed
10 months of weekly seminars, experiential hands-on
sessions and some weekends away that will stretch
you intellectually and personally and develop and
challenge your knowledge and vision.
The Governor's Leadership Foundation (GLF)
Applications close 5pm, 13 September 2010
For more information and to download
a prospectus and application form, go to
or contact Raeleen Day 08 7070 0960
August 6 - 12, 2010
The Independent Weekly
Older Australians suffering
institutional abuse, people
with disabilities confined
to their homes, welfare recipients
living on rice and mothers
without enough money to feed
their babies ...
We hear stories like these every
day. They tug at the heart, yet
social security issues don t hold
much sway at the ballot box.
Australia s needy are calling
out for help and the systems
which support them require
drastic reforms, but in an
election campaign run on grand
announcements and popularity,
the best they can hope for is a
sprinkling of cash.
Ian Yates, chief executive of the
Council of the Ageing, sighs when
asked about the Coalition s $935
million commitment to aged care.
"Our problem is when people
think about aged care, they think
beds," he said.
"Instead of residential care
as the centrepiece, we want
community care to be a priority
because that s what the consum-
ers want. They want a better
range of packages which help
them stay at home."
The Coalition s strategy
has been widely criticised for
providing beds without staff to
look after the patients in them.
Mr Yates said while it had some
good initiatives, it did not address
major, longer-term issues.
Labor has not made a big
spending announcement on aged
care, but said the sector would
be a second-term priority. Under
the current Labor Government,
an intensive study of aged-care
delivery is being made by the
Productivity Commission, which
Mr Yates hopes will lead to an
Issues such as discrimination
against older people, a national
dental health system and
research into dementia -- which
has a mortality rate similar to
cancer -- are also concerns.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott
will pay employers incentives
of up to $250 a fortnight to
employ people over 50, as part of
a package which Mr Yates has
measures remain unaddressed,
and are likely to stay that way
for the lifetime of most senior
Many people with disabilities are
searching for the same thing as
older Australians -- a way to stay
at home and still get help.
"The biggest and most
important thing is the National
Disability Insurance Scheme,"
said Monika Baker, the
systems advocacy co-ordinator
at The Disability Advocacy and
Complaints Service of South
"The Productivity Commission
is doing an inquiry. That would
hopefully bring us an entitlement
to services for people with
disabilities. At the moment it s
a lottery which depends on how
much funding there is and what
time of year you re asking for
Ms Baker said a basic promise
of care for every disabled person
was a priority.
The next step would be to look
at how and where to best deliver
Both major parties have focused
on the photo-friendly area of
children with disabilities. Prime
Minister Julia Gillard has pledged
$122 million for early intervention
programs, while the Liberals will
put $314 million towards helping
students with disabilities access
Labor has also launched a
10-year plan to "improve the lives
of people with disability, promote
participation, and create a more
inclusive society". How this will
actually help them is something
disabled voters must wait to find
In the speeches of Australian
politicians, there are two kinds
of welfare. The first is received by
hard-working families, veteran
heroes and pensioners. The
second is gobbled up by students,
drug addicts and the unemployed.
But both kinds of welfare come
from the same place. And most
of the time they serve the same
purpose -- to support someone
who can t support themselves.
So far, welfare policy announce-
ments have been made only in the
first category. Labor is pledging
an extra $4000 a year for families
with teenagers to help them meet
rising costs and is planning to
make it easier to access payments
such as the baby bonus. The
Coalition is re-examining the
indexation of veterans pensions
But welfare workers say these
aren t the people who are most
"The real issue is the long-term
unemployed," said executive
director of the SA Council of
Social Services Ross Womersley.
"They are the increasing group in
the population and we think that
they re being forgotten."
Mr Womersley said people in
this group, which includes many
sole parents, need support to do
work experience and training.
Instead, the Labor and Liberal
parties plan to implement an
"income management scheme"
for the most disadvantaged
people on welfare -- something
the Australian Council of Social
Security said will only make life
harder for people who are already
Bernie Sahb was a first-time
mother at 39. Supported by her
partner, parents, in-laws and a
workplace with a paid parental
leave scheme, she had the ideal
circumstances for daughter Ella s
first months of life.
But she said it was still "really
"I did have a lot of moments
in those early months where I
wondered how you d cope without
all those supports I had," Ms Sahb
She believes paid parental
leave acknowledges that family is
"If they do think it s a valuable
thing, it needs to be shown in the
same way you value any other job."
Labor and Liberal are both
planning to introduce paid
parental leave schemes. The
major difference is that Labor s
will start next year, while the
Coalition scheme will be delayed
until halfway through 2012.
Labor s plan also offers more
flexibility for fathers to take the
leave while mothers return to
work. However, the Coalition
pledges 26 weeks paid leave, while
Labor offers only 18.
Both parties are ready to
acknowledge the importance of
family and the rights of women
through a major reform.
The disabled, the aged and the
poor are not so lucky.
Crying out for help
"This is a desperate stunt from a desperate
-- Senator Simon Birmingham on Penny Wong's call for
a Murray water debate with Barnaby Joyce.
"Are you suggesting to me that when it
comes from Julia, no doesn t mean no? She s
surely not trying to say to us that no doesn t
mean no .
-- Tony Abbott, when asked about Gillard's stance on
another TV debate
"If I can use a footy analogy -- there are
times when the coach says to the players,
Play safe, lock it down, short passes, keep
possession of the ball . I think we ve been
playing our election campaign like that, but
you see the best of the players when they re
really going for it. I m going to be really
going for it now."
-- Julia Gillard explains the concept of "Real Julia"
"I do like a bit of meat and three veg, so
yeah, if I was condemned and my last meal
had to be served, I think I d go the roast lamb,
potatoes, carrots, peas, gravy, mint sauce."
-- Julia Gillard answers the burning questions on FM
"I probably wouldn t even know who that
guy (Jay-Z) is. I mean, (I like) The Beach
Boys, The Big O, Elvis, The Beatles."
-- Tony Abbott reveals his musical tastes
she said ...
Bernie Sahb with 18-month old daughter Ella: paid parental leave shows
politicians value family.
Photo: Kate Elmes
Links Archive August 5th 2010 August 9th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page