Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Author: ben.grundy | Filed under: Media, UnitingCare | No Comments »
UnitingCare Australia is celebrating today as the Federal Government strengthens its commitment to a genuine partnership with the not for profit sector through legislation to be introduced when Parliament sits again in March.
Speaking shortly after the announcement in Brisbane, National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said the Not For Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Bill will ensure those organisations working at the coalface with some of the most vulnerable people in Australia, can contribute to and influence public policy debate without fear of compromising funding arrangements and other measures.
â€œThe Federal Governmentâ€™s National Compact which was announced five years ago, committed to working in genuine partnership with the not for profit sector,â€ Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
â€œThe legislation announced today acknowledges the vital role of community sector organisations like UnitingCare â€“ not just in the provision of vital services â€“ but also in the development and implementation of measures that determine economic and social policy priorities. It recognises the importance of an independent sector and provides the foundation for strong community engagement in policy development.
â€œGag clauses have been banned in all Commonwealth contracts. Historically organisations were prevented from engaging in public debate on issues central to their mission and services delivery.
â€œThe Not For Profit Sector Freedom to Bill is a positive move and we call on the States and Territories to implement similar legislation.
â€œUnitingCare Australia has led strong action to safeguard the ongoing sustainability of the services we provide to the most vulnerable people in Australia. We have consistently called for measures to strengthen the community sector and to ensure its ongoing viability,â€ Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
â€œTackling the unnecessary red-tape associated with government funding arrangements will enable us to divert scarce resources to the people who need them. The Governmentâ€™s decision to legislate its commitment to funding its share of the historic equal pay claim for people working in the sector, and including a specific red-tape object in the legislation governing the Australian Not For Profit Commission are critical to the viability of the sector,â€ said Joe Zabar UnitingCare Australiaâ€™s Director of Services.
â€œTodayâ€™s announcements will benefit community services and other vital organisations in the not for profit sector,â€ Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
â€œReform is a long road and ongoing work will be needed to ensure better relationships across all levels of government â€“ from Federal, to the States and Territories and to local governments â€“ all of whom have a role to play in the suite of vital services needed to ensure a strong communities,â€ Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
Contact: Judith Tokley 0408 824 306 / 02 6249 6717
Posted: February 6th, 2013 | Author: ben.grundy | Filed under: In the news, UnitingCare | No Comments »
UnitingCare Australiaâ€™s National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said low income Australians will be better off under new legislation which passed the House of Representatives yesterday.
Ms Hatfield Dodds said the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support Bonus) Bill 2012, which will deliver $1.1 billion in supplementary allowances for people receiving Newstart, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment, was announced in last yearâ€™s Federal Budget.
â€œWe welcome the passage of the legislation through the House of Representatives yesterday but are disappointed to see it was not unanimously supported.
â€œWe said after last yearâ€™s budget, and I repeat now, that while this very modest allowance of effectively $4 a week falls well short of the $50 a week increase we called for, we hope it represents a down payment on a decent increase in unemployment benefits in the 2013 budget.
â€œWe further hope every political party will put forward serious policies that will ensure every Australian has the means and opportunity to contribute to and be valued by their community.
â€œWhile the $1.1 billion is a very modest weekly increase for individuals, it does represent the first increase to Newstart in a very long time.
â€œI hope this legislation is a statement of intent for this yearâ€™s Federal budget,â€ Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
The UnitingCare network provides social services to over 2 million people each year in 1,300 sites in remote, rural and metropolitan Australia. UnitingCare employs 35,000 staff and 24,000 volunteers. Contact: Judith Tokley 0408 824 306 / 02 6249 6717
Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: ben.grundy | Filed under: UnitingCare | No Comments »
UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the release of the terms of reference and names of the commissioners who will lead the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Speaking shortly after the Federal Governmentâ€™s announcement, UnitingCare Australia National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said the broad expertise of the six commissioners should ensure a professional and balanced approach to the essential work of the Commission.
â€œIn our submission, we argued for the appointment of more than just one commissioner, saying a broad range of expertise was needed to deal with the volume of work that this issue will generate, in order that the Commission can deliver results in a timely manner,â€ Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
â€œWe said the scope of the commissionersâ€™ experience should include legal and judicial expertise, an understanding of the legal structures of the institutions that will be the subject of the inquiry, including church legal structures, and of the governance of social services and independent schools. We also called for child welfare and child rights expertise to be represented on the commission.
â€œIt is encouraging to see the Commissionâ€™s interim report will be delivered within 18 months and that the duration of the Commission has been left open, depending on the recommendations of the interim report.
â€œRegarding the terms of reference, UnitingCare Australia welcomes the establishment of an interim investigative unit. While it will not, and should not, have the power to prosecute, it will establish protocols for liaison with police and will make policy recommendations to government about how to better protect children.
â€œUnitingCare Australia commits its full support to this historic inquiry. We stand ready to work with the Commission on this important work.
The UnitingCare network provides social services to over 2 million people each year in 1,300 sites in remote, rural and metropolitan Australia. UnitingCare employs 35,000 staff and 24,000 volunteers.
Contact: Judith Tokley 0408 824 306 / 02 6249 6717