Homeless Sales. Fran Urbano. flickr cc.

Amidst dark clouds, a precious silver lining

Once again, we are battered by bad news of the possibility of widespread malpractice in another major sector, as Prime Minister Morrison has announced a royal commission into aged care, with allegations of price gouging by some pro-profits, chronic understaffing, appalling wages for staff, and poor nutrition for many in aged care. Coming on the heels of the royal commissions into sex abuse in churches and other institutions, and into the banking, insurance, and finance sectors, no wonder public trust in major institutions has been so damaged. Our political systems and media are taking their own share of opprobrium. Yet there is a precious silver lining in all this. In Australia, abuse and malpractice can be exposed. In Australia, fortunately, we have the means to combat corruption and exploitation, although not without struggle.

A place to call home: Catholic Bishops call for urgent action

Michael Yore

“It is time for Australia to reassert the value of housing as a basic human right”, proclaims the 2018-2019 Social Justice Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. And quite rightly! A strong human rights perspective correctly guides and colours the entire statement on housing and homelessness in Australia. The statement bases the reaffirmation of those human rights on the unequivocal commitment of the Gospels and of Catholic Social Teaching to the most powerless and the poorest. From these foundations, the Bishops’ statement critiques, with great clarity, the weaknesses of Australia’s housing policy directions, at the same time offering possible just and inclusive ways forward.
Kunjungan Perdana Menteri Australia Scott Morrison ke Indonesia.Australian Embassy Jakarta. flickr cc.

Scott Morrison, the ‘prosperity gospel’, and neoliberalism

Bruce Duncan

Sounding surprisingly like an evangelical revivalist, Prime Minister Morrison in Albury on 6 September highlighted the need for love in our country for every Australian, saying this set the value base for his own thinking, and presumably for policies of his government. No one in Albury objected to the ideal of love of neighbour, but it sounded a bit odd, when people were expecting a significant statement about changed policies of his government after the leadership bloodletting. Some commentators are wondering how Morrison’s faith as a Pentecostal Christian will influence his policy decisions. Does Morrison endorse a ‘prosperity gospel’ type of Pentecostalism? A correspondent forThe Guardian, Van Badham, claims of her experience in Hillsong: “the message is that earthly riches result as a recognition of God’s favour. It’s an apologia for wealth and privilege …”.

An Enabling Life: Father Kevin Mogg. A Collection of Reminiscences by Anne Tuohey

From his first parish appointment as Curate at West Heidelberg’s St Pius X parish, Father Kevin Mogg was energetic, and focused on engaging with the parish community. Using sport as an invitation to become involved, he gathered the youth and families around the parish, enacting the approach of the Young Christian Workers. He would implement this approach at North Ringwood’s Holy Spirit parish, and, even in his seventies as parish priest at St McCartan’s Mornington, continued to build a strong sense of community engagement and connection. Hundreds of men now in their sixties and seventies credit Kevin with setting their lives on good paths, and these include young men he encountered as a youth justice chaplain in the 1960s-1970s. He continued to visit men in adult prisons for many decades.

The book was to be launched by Judge Michael McInerney on Thursday 32 January 2019 at the Knox Centre, East Melbourne. Copies can be ordered for $25.00, either online from CatholicCare or or by ringing (03) 9287 5517.

For an insight into An Enabling Life, see our article on the website of Social Policy Connections. For details of the launch, see the article on the website of Catholic Care.
PB383. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. flickr cc.

Murdoch & Stokes

Rod Tiffin

Yesterday (18 September), Andrew Probyn reported for the ABC on conversations Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes, the two media proprietors, had with each other and with Malcolm Turnbull. Most attention has been paid to Murdoch’s statement to Stokes that Malcolm has to go. There is a yawning vacuum in the story, though, as to why Murdoch thought this. What was Turnbull’s mortal sin in Murdoch’s eyes? In my view, as revealing as their purported power, is the proprietors’ incompetence. They are revealed to have very definite but quite crude views of Australian politics.
The Mugga Lane Solar Farm in the ACT is part of a new wave of large-scale renewable energy projects. AAP Image/Moaneng Australia.

At its current rate, Australia is on track for 50% renewable electricity in 2025

Ken Baldwin, Andrew Blakers, and Matthew Stocks

The Australian renewable energy industry will install more than 10 gigawatts of new solar and wind power during 2018 and 2019. If that rate is maintained, Australia would reach 50% renewables in 2025. The recent demise of the National Energy Guarantee saw the end of the fourth-best option for aligning climate and energy policy, following earlier vetoes by the Coalition party room on carbon pricing, an emissions intensity scheme, and the clean energy target. Yet, despite the federal government’s policy paralysis, the renewable energy train just keeps on rolling. Our analysis, released by the ANU Energy Change Institute, shows that the Australian energy industry has now demonstrated the capacity to deliver 100% renewable electricity by the early 2030s, if the current rate of installations continues beyond the end of this decade.

SPC Video Selection

Russell Broadbent MP at the September 2017 launch of Bridging Troubled Waters by Tony Ward

Australia & Asylum Seekers

Russell Broadbent is a strong advocate in the Party room and the Parliament for his local community and policy areas of interest. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990 for the seat of Corinella, and was successful in 1996 in gaining election to the seat of McMillan.
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