Posted: March 14th, 2013 | Author: megan.graham | Filed under: In the news, National Assembly, News | No Comments »
Rev Professor Andrew Dutney, the President of the Uniting Church in Australia has extended warm ecumenical greetings to Catholics at the election of Pope Francis.
â€œOn behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia I welcome the election of Pope Francis. I pray that God blesses him and the Catholic Church throughout the world in this important ministry,â€ said Rev Prof Dutney.
â€œI gladly reaffirm the friendship of our churches in Australia and our shared commitment to work here for the justice and peace promised in the resurrection of Christ.â€
Members of the Uniting Churchâ€™s Christian Unity Working Group, which conducts dialogues between the UCA and other churches including the Catholic Church, also greeted the news.
“Together with our Catholic brothers and sisters we welcome the news of the election of the new pontiff,” said Maureen Postma, Acting Secretary of Christian Unity Working Group.
“The Uniting Church in Australia has long been in dialogue with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and we have valued their commitment to both the dialogue and wider conversations with other churches through their commitment to the ecumenical movement.â€
â€œWe pray for Pope Francis as he moves into this new area of ministry,â€ said Ms Postma.
The Uniting Church has maintained inter-Church dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church since 1978, initially based in Melbourne but more recently in Brisbane.
“The Uniting Church members of the Roman Catholic/Uniting Church Dialogue wish their colleagues in the Catholic Church God’s blessing as they welcome their new Pope,â€ said Dialogue Co-chair Rev. Bruce Johnson.
â€œThe worldwide interest in this historic event will provide fresh perspectives to our conversations about the way we engage with the widerÂ societyÂ in proclaiming the faith of the Church.”
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: February 5th, 2013 | Author: ben.grundy | Filed under: In the news | No Comments »
The Australian Governmentâ€™s plan to improve the transparency of the business tax system has the potential to ensure developing countries are not cheated out of their fair share of tax revenue, the Publish What You Pay Australia and Tax Justice Network Australia coalitions said today.
Publish What You Pay Australia and Tax Justice Network Australia would like any new rules to extend to the overseas operations of Australian businesses.
Publish What You Pay Australia spokeswoman Serena Lillywhite â€“ a member of the Governmentâ€™s specialist reference group on tax – said a complex web of business units and subsidiaries often was used to hide or shift profits for the purpose of tax minimisation and evasion.
â€œTrade-related tax dodging means developing countries are missing out on more than US $160 billion of government revenue each year, which represents more than they receive in international aid,â€ Ms Lillywhite said.
Tax Justice Network Australia spokesperson Mark Zirnsak, also a member of the reference group, said greater transparency, better information flows, disclosure of tax payments in all countries of operation and disclosure of company ownership would strengthen the Australian business tax system and ensure that everyone was playing by the rules.
â€œThis will help ensure that companies do not get an unfair advantage in the marketplace by tax dodging, rather than by being more innovative or having a better product to sell,â€ Mr Zirnsak said.
â€œIt also will reduce the risks for investors and suppliers, by allowing them to better assess the state of companies with complex structures so they have a better understanding of who they are doing business with.â€
Ms Lillywhite said the Governmentâ€™s intention to explore ways to share information between the Australian Taxation Office and key corporate regulators such as the Foreign Investment Review Board provided an opportunity to introduce disclosure requirements, similar to those recently introduced in the US for all oil, gas and mining companies listed on the US securities Exchange.
She said many resource-rich, poor countries where Australian mining companies operate were missing out on much needed tax income due to clever accounting and incentives that left many of the poorest without essential services such as hospitals and schools.
For further media information please contact: Laurelle Keough at Oxfam Australia on 0425 701 801