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Governments haven’t always shirked responsibility for our low wages.

Governments haven’t always shirked responsibility for our low wages.

Warwick Smith. University of Melbourne. For the last four years or so average wages in Australia have barely kept pace with inflation, meaning no real pay rises. And all the while, the government has been betting on the market to improve things. Treasurer Scott Morrison stated: As the labour market tightens, that’s obviously going to […]

December 8th, 2017 | Posted in Economic issues,Feature | Read More »

Editorial: Wiring social justice into the economy.

Editorial: Wiring social justice into the economy.

Peter Whiting. Following SPC’s AGM on 5 December, Professor Paul Smyth addressed members of Social Policy Connections on the topic in the title above. His basic assertion was that the neoliberal framework which has underpinned much of Australia’s economic and social policy for the last thirty years has run its course, and we need to […]

December 8th, 2017 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Economic issues,Feature | Read More »

Did Pope Francis succeed in Myanmar?

Bruce Duncan. Myanmar’s neighbours were watching closely the Pope’s visit, worried that the shocking treatment of the Rohingya Muslims could inflame inter-religious conflicts throughout the region. Francis has intervened personally to promote deeper mutual understanding among the major religions, urging them to draw from their traditions to protect those in distress and promote social inclusion […]

December 2nd, 2017 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Feature,Peace | Read More »

The complacency of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

Allan Patience. The 2017 White Paper displays, yet again, Australia’s foreign policy complacency, its misplaced middle power imagining, and its awkward partnering in its region. It is a failure as a strategic map for advancing Australia’s security and prosperity in the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region and the world. The public policy miasma stupefying contemporary Australian politics is […]

November 29th, 2017 | Posted in Feature,Politics | Read More »

The triple target for electricity supply: cutting emissions, curbing price, ensuring supply.

Bill Frilay. If ever there were an industry at an inflexion point, it is our electricity supply industry. In most states, supply has long come from black or brown coal used to fuel large generators in the coal fields by state-owned monopoly enterprises. We now have major changes and challenges: privatisation of the industry in […]

November 28th, 2017 | Posted in Economic issues,Feature,Stewardship of our planet | Read More »

Francis’s World  Day of the Poor. “The poor are our passports to paradise”.

Francis’s World  Day of the Poor. “The poor are our passports to paradise”.

Bruce Duncan. Even atheists, agnostics, and humanists, as well as people of the great religious traditions, would likely welcome Pope Francis in June 2017 instituting a new World Day of the Poor. While a shallow and at times vulgar commercialism trivialises the profound religious meaning of Christmas, the World Day of the Poor highlights our […]

November 23rd, 2017 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Feature | Read More »

Sharing food and friendship: the St Vinnies soup van story.

Sharing food and friendship: the St Vinnies soup van story.

In June 1975, the Victorian Society of St Vincent de Paul’s first soup van, a humble old Ford Transit wagon with doors which flew open when they took a corner, started offering friendship and food  to the homeless men, at that time mainly affected by alcohol abuse. It was initiated by a group of young […]

November 6th, 2017 | Posted in Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

SPC News November 2017. Conscience – defend it or just ignore it? Take Manus Island, for instance.

SPC News November 2017. Conscience – defend it or just ignore it? Take Manus Island, for instance.

Follow the links to read these articles in full. Download a .pdf of SPC News. Conscience – defend it or just ignore it? Take Manus Island, for instance Peter Whiting The spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on the government to end the “unfolding humanitarian emergency”, and allow the previously detained […]

November 5th, 2017 | Posted in Newsletters | Read More »

Conscience – defend it or just ignore it? Take Manus Island, for instance.

Conscience – defend it or just ignore it? Take Manus Island, for instance.

Peter Whiting. This must surely seem an odd way to frame a commentary on conscience, but I am having great difficulty reconciling the Australian Government’s position on the refugees on Manus and Nauru and any notion of conscience. On 31 October, the Australian Government closed the Manus Island processing centre, requiring the 600 men detained […]

November 4th, 2017 | Posted in Asylum seekers,Church and Social Justice,Feature,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

Be ‘fair dinkum’ about encountering the poor: Pope Francis institutes new World Day of the Poor.

Be ‘fair dinkum’ about encountering the poor: Pope Francis institutes new World Day of the Poor.

John Ferguson. As we approach the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Pope Francis has instituted a new ‘World day of the Poor’, which this year will be celebrated on Sunday 19 November. In his message for the day, Pope Francis says he wants the annual event to be a “powerful appeal to our consciences as […]

November 3rd, 2017 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Feature,Global poverty,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »