Brotherhood Comment April 2006
16 Pages
English
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Brotherhood Comment April 2006

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16 Pages
English

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ISSN 320 8632A regul Ar upd Ate from Soci Al Action And r e Se ArchApril 2006COAG, the PM and a new social policy frontierimmense economic strength that The 10 February 2006 communiqué The COAG initiative signals has resulted have in some ways of the Council of Australian that social policy neglect is opened up these deeper social Governments (COAG) signals not an option. As the National policy questions to become the that social policy is back at the Reform Initiative Working Group new frontier of policy development centre of national political life. For (COAG 2005) put it: ‘It is … and innovation. (Howard 2006)some time at the Brotherhood of more important than ever that St Laurence we have argued that governments create the space for Indeed we face a new frontier. federal government performance the new investments’ (p.3), not The need for development and in economic policy has not been least to avert greater future costs innovation is particularly acute in matched in social policy and resulting from inaction. More Australia. In part this is because that we need a new integration importantly, they say, it is not we are in the midst of removing of the two. We welcome the just about avoiding costs. It is a key policy lever by which we announcement that the key social about all Australians reaping the have managed matters of social policy areas of health, mental economic benefits of investing protection and cohesion—the health, training and ...

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A r e gul A r u p d Ate f rom Soci A l Ac t ion A nd r e S e A rch
ISSN 1320 8632 April 2006
COAG, the PM and a new social policy frontier The 10 February 2006 communiqué immense economic strength that The COAG initiative signals of the Council of Australian has resulted have in some ways that social policy neglect is Governments (COAG) signals opened up these deeper social that social policy is back at the npeolwi cfy oqnuteisetri oofn sp tooli cbye cdoemveel tohpem ent (nRCoetfO oaArnG mo  I2pnt0iit0oi5an)t.  ipvAeus t  tWiht:oe  rIkNti ainstg i oGn ralo up centre of national political life. For nd inrnovation. (Howard 2006) more important th ver that some time at the Brotherhood of a an e St Laurence we have argued that federal government performance ITnhdee ende ewdef foar cde eav enleowp mfreonnt tiaenr.d  tlgehoaev setn retnow m aievnnevtrest s ctgrrmeeeaatnteet srt  hf(eup t.su3pr)a,e c nce ooftso trs in economic policy has not been innovation is particularly acute i resulting from inaction. More matched in social policy and n that we need a new integration Awue satrrea liina . tIhne  pmairdt stt hoisf  is becaiuse  jiumstp oarbtoauntt layv, otihdeiyn gs acyo, sitt si.s  Itn iot of the two. We welcome the remov ng announcement that the key social a key policy lever by which we s policy areas of health, mental have managed matters of social about all Australians reaping the protection and cohesionthe ienc oa nsotrmoinc gb seonceiatl sf oofu inndvaetsitoinn.g  health, training and skill shortages as well as workforce participation arbitration of the minimum will be given equal priority with wage. What will take its place? Of course, many will be sceptical. reform of the market economy.This is a key question at a time iAn  pdaervaellloepl mdeebnat tpe ohliacsy ,b ewehne roec curring The impetus for this reform comes awnhde nt hteh te abxe lsiyesf ttehma ts shoocuiladl  sbeervices (thReo ster i2u0m0p6)h  ionf  rheucemnat n Wcoarplidt aBla nk from key policy communities. directed more progressively to The Business Council of Australia led the way with its call for a the poorest apparently needs thinking is found to be politically comprehensive infrastructure plan rGeraossuepr trienpgo. rTt h(2e 0A0l5le) nw Chiocnhs fueltdi ng Saat mrdeubpcigtauurtrouaulrs e A afdrnjodu msnt otmth eenn entc ePeoaslsciabkreairlgayel s  (BCA 2005). The social dimension was apparent in the Review of into the Victorian Government’s national competition policy reforms  contribution to COAG noted that of the 1980s and 90s. Others by the Productivity Commission trhecee sivheadr eb oy ft ghoe vpeornormeestn th obeunseehtosl ds bcwaailcpli ktawnla dro tdvhse erp lybo iaennctnionenrgo  tametri samt it ci hmauen mdw ahne n (2005) and was given a push by was ‘substantially smaller’ i the Victorian Government (2006) n with its plan for A Third Wave 2N0o0r 1di0d 2t thhe apno ionr e1s9t 9b4en5e (tp .f6ro1)m.  twhea ts eeexkp ra epssoelis ctyh ce oinntegrudreapteinodn ence of National Reform’. Particularly noteworthy is COAGs report tbhree ainkcs)r eeaxspeedr iesnccael d wbeylf tahree  (rticahx est aosf  twheel le acso tnhoem einc vwiriothn tmheen staolc.ial on ‘Human Capital Reform’ 2005. Its emphasis on building a 20 per cent in that period. Continued page 2 ‘strategic, life-cycle perspective … to prevent the emergence of Contents problems in the first place’ (p.3), is The Brotherhood’s Social Barometer 4 exact informin the Brothleyr hthoeo tdhsi nnkeiwn gs trategic plga n Equal opportunities for all Australian children: the Brotherhood’s child advocacy platform 5 and our Social Barometer project. Left out and missing out: towards new indicators of social exclusion and deprivation 6–7 Similar tives are also f in work  paetr tshpee cMelbourne Instoituuntde  Innovative employment strategies: addressing local unemployment and skills shortages 8–9 and the Cape York Institute. Assisting children and families: lessons from The Cottage 10 IR reforms should be flexible but fair 11 In a speech referring to the COAG communiqué, the Prime Regaining ground: WorkChoices amendments to protect outworkers 12 Minister John Howard reflected: Incorporating Indigenous perspectives in research and advocacy 13 The major economic reforms of the last two decades and the Social capital and community strengthening: does it matter and how do we know we have it? 1 4
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April  2006 www.bsl.org.au
Continued from page 1 Optimists will indeed see a new its importance. A century ago, COAG 2005, Human capital reform: report Australians had to des n by the COAG National Reform Initiative policy frontier to be won. They ig a new Working Group , December 2005, viewed tweixltl bpoooikn,t  tmo atrhkee te rionsdiiovind oufa tlihsem  sociioaln  paonlidc ay  snyeswte emc ofnoro am ny.e wW e are 28 March 2006, <http://www.coag.gov. nat au/meetings/100206/human_capital_ which informed 1990s national in a similar position and the COAG reform_report_COAG_100206.pdf>. ocobsmerpevtition pollaiccye.  aT hmeoyr ew ill initiative offers an opportunity. Howard J (Prime Minister), Address to the e in its p 10th anniversary dinner 2 March 2006, ‘realistic’ approach with a With its emphasis on transition <http://www.pm.gov.au/news/ new mix of market, state and phases in the life cycle that speeches/speech1799.html>. communitarian elements required in the new economy become Productivity Commission 2005, to optimise economic outcomes. fraught with risk for many Review of national competition policy Australians, the Brotherhood reforms , Report no.33, Canberra. Likewise, optimists will note the is well placed to contribute. Rose, P 2006, ‘From Washington to parallel experiments in networked post-Washington Consensus: the triumph  Paul Smyth of human capital’ in J KS & B Fine (eds), iownr a taxhsiesn ogw coeilaff tcaivroee m gsemocvuteonrirnt, yaa nsdc ewv eeollclo capusmr treihnnet g. (03) 9483 1177 TWhaes nhienwg tdoenv eCloopnsmeennstu es , c  o Z n e o d m B i o cs o : k a s f , te L r o t n h d e o  n. e psmyth@bsl.org.au They will point to the demise of The Allen Consulting Group, Governments the ‘contract state’ as the template References working together a better future for all Business Council of Australia (BCA) Australians , viewed 28 March 2006, of good social governance. 2005, Infastructure action plan for <www.dpc.vic.gov.au/SharedFuture>. prosperity , BCA, Melbourne. Department of Premier and Cabinet & rCelfeoarrlmy  tehneu ntchiiartde dw abvy et hofe  nVaitcitoonriaal n Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Department of Treasury and Finance G ernment (DPC & DTF 2005) 2006, Communiqué , 10 February 2006, (Victoria) (DPC & DTF) 2005, A third wave ov viewed 28 March 2006, <http://www.coag. of national reform: a new national reform could take a variety of trajectories, gov.au/meetings/100206/index.htm>. initiative for COAG , <www.dpc.vic.gov.au>. but we should not underestimate Recent submissions Submissions or statements made by the Brotherhood of St Laurence in the last year include: • Submission to the Senate Select • Submission to Inquiry into the • Submission to the Senate Community Committee on mental health, April 2005 administration and operation of the Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry ust 200 • Education and social inclusion , Migration Act 1958, Aug5iRnteloa tEiomnpsl oLyemgieslnat tiaonnd  AWmoerkndplmacene t submission to the Victorian • Towards a National Eye Health Plan for re to Work and other mea Governments Review of Education Australia 2005 to 2010: Submission to (WelfaCommsuunries)  t and Training Legislation, May 2005the Australian Government Department BSielrl v2ic0e0s 5L aengids lFaatimoinl yA amned ndment y ust 2005 • Submission to the Australian National of Health and Ageing, Aug (Welfare to Work) Bill 2005, by BSL and Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines • Corporate responsibility and triple Anglicare Australia, November 2005 for Multinational Enterprises bottom line reporting: Submission to dments to the Wo lace concerning Global Solutions Limited the Parliamentary Joint Committee PRreolaptoiosends  aAmmeenndment (Work Chrokicpes) (Australia) Pty Ltd, June 2005 on Corporations and Financial Bill 2005, prepared by BSL and vices S • Submission to the Joint Standing Ser , eptember 2005 Anglicare Australia, November 2005 Committee on Migration inquiry • Submission to Consumer Affairs • Subm n co ate social into skills recognition, upgrading Victoria Consumer Credit Code responisssiiboilni toy to trhpe oArustralian and licensing, June 2005 review, Brotherhood of St Laurence or orations and Markets and Good Sh rd Youth and • Submission to the Productivity il ephe Government C p r 2006 Commission on the health Fam y Service, September 2005 Advisory Committee, Februa y workforce, July 2005
Brotherhood Comment is published three times a year by the Social Published in April 2006 by Action and Research Division of the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Brotherhood of St Laurence 67 Brunswick Street The Brotherhood of St Laurence works for the well-being of Australians Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065 Australia on low incomes to improve their economic, social and personal circumstances. ABN 24 603 467 024 It does this by providing a wide range of services and activities for families, the unemployed and the aged. It also researches the causes of poverty, Telephone: (03) 9483 1183 undertakes community education and lobbies government for a better deal FEa-cmsiaiml:i lpe:u (b0li3c) a9ti4o1n7s @26bs9l1. org.au for people on low incomes.
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www.bsl.org.au