The Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence in Australia released its interim report this week. Many of the recommendations support the pleas of crisis accommodation services, women’s groups and welfare organisations for reinstatement of funding cut in last year’s budget. Although the final report is not due to be released until July, the current volatile political situation (with the possibility of a double dissolution looming) and the extreme severity of the situation, costing nearly $14 billion in 2008-9 (report p.2), was felt to justify the release of the interim report now.
Polls (and see also) reveal that, generally, Australians are tiring of Coalition rhetoric about Budget emergencies and the harm Labor caused the economy while in Government. Economist Tim Colebatch, in Inside Story, uses the Governments own figures to show that not only is there inherent unfairness in the budget which sits poorly with the electorate, but that the measures are largely insignificant in bringing the budget back to surplus. All the pain for vitually no gain.
Justice targets are measurable goals which aim to reduce incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians. Their addition to the existing Closing the Gap targets, set collaboratively by all State and Territory governments, was announced in August 2013 by then Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin. This was a recommendation of then Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma in 2009’s Social Justice Report. How can this be a bad idea?
Perhaps this will get the message across to the people making barbaric policy that sees over 1000 kids seeking asylum behind bars in Australia’s detention centres, here on the mainland and also on Christmas Island and Nauru. A popular movement with respected figures from the sporting, film and television community has been launched with the slogan: We’re better than this.
Yet again ACOSS have delivered a worrying report quantifying the growing income disparity across Australia. Although its warnings are dire, little media attention has been given to its release or to National Anti-Poverty Week (Oct 12 -18 2014). I have to admit, I was all but oblivious. Thank you New Matilda for keeping us all informed of the important issues.