By Anne Tuohey.

unemployment signsACOSS has spearheaded a community campaign to increase the unemployment allowance, Newstart, which is well below other social security payments. Along with other church and community agencies, Social Policy Connections is calling for an immediate increase, as a matter of urgency, of $50 per week. We are also calling for all statutory incomes to be regularly reviewed and properly indexed to wages. The Federal Government has indicated that it is not intending to increase the payment at this stage.
For further information on the campaign, click HERE.
To read this article in full, click HERE.

Photo img_0986 by Dmitri Beljan, flickr cc

SPC Forums

Held at the Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union
34 Bedford Street, Box Hill
Tea/coffee and snacks provided afterwards.

Critical planning issues facing our city and the future liveability of Melbourne

kevin o'connorKevin O’Connor Professorial Fellow Urban Planning University of Melbourne

Wednesday 24 October 7pm

How do we really relate to the city of Melbourne? Kevin O’Connor argues that there are in fact five distinct Melbournes – the inner city, and, fanning out from the centre, areas in the east, west, north, and south. Why, then, do we maintain a monocentric view of our city, and what is wrong with this approach?
For a flyer for this event, click HERE.

Network Events

Human Rights Matters! Conference

anti-poverty week 2012Wednesday 17 October

Registration from 8:30 for 9:15am start. Close 5pm.
Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne.
To apply for bookings, go to our SPC website, or Click HERE.
Keynote Speakers:
Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS: Can we still be called the lucky country?
Susan Ryan, Age Discrimination Commissioner: Human rights & aging
Mark Zirnsak: Human Trafficking
Dr John Falzon, St Vincent de Paul: Learnings & possibilities.
For the flyer for this event, click HERE.

Increasing utility costs hit low-income groups hardest

By Gavin Dufty

electricityHouseholds across Australia have recently seen sustained increases in gas, electricity, and water pricing. Factors driving these price increases vary from state to state. However, they include increased costs associated with infrastructure, such as poles and
wires, gas pipe upgrades, and water infrastructure investment such as desalination plants. Costs associated with addressing climate change and other environmental issues are other factors, including the carbon tax, renewable energy targets, smart meters, and solar feed-in tariff. All this has seen an increase of around $1,000 over the past four years for basic energy services. While water costs have risen, they have not been as dramatic.
To read this article in full, click HERE.

Photo Electricity by Eva Cristescu, flickr cc

Australia’s social security system’s abandonment of equity

Dr Philip Mendes

equityEndorsing SPC’s concerns about social equity in Australia, Monash University’s Philip Mendes spoke on the unfairness in our social security system. Philip challenged the presumption that Australia is a country which values a fair go for everyone. The truth is that many do not receive a fair go at all. The inadequacy of social security payments, in particular Newstart, is one striking example of inequitable treatment of certain citizens by successive governments.
To read this article in full, click HERE.
To hear an audio podcast of Dr Philip Mendes, click HERE.

Photo equity pigeons by cascade_of_rant, flickr cc

Fruits & Future of Vatican II

Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council

19-21 September

Catholic Theological College, 278 Victoria Parade East Melbourne.
Keynote Speakers Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Professor Alberto Melloni, Professor Gerald O’Collins. Plus numerous workshops.
Sponsored by Yarra Theological Union, Australian Catholic University, Catholic Theological College, and Jesuit Theological College.
Enquiries Details

Social Policy Connections featured video

philip mendesDr Philip Mendes How has the Australian Government responded to unemployment?
Click HERE if the video does not display properly
Click HERE to view more SPC videos

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