Aboriginal Art Prize open for entries

Jan Barham MLC, Greens spokesperson for Arts, Aboriginal Affairs and the North Coast, is encouraging artists to enter the Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize (PNSWAAP).

“The Parliament’s Aboriginal Art Prize is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Aboriginal art in the Parliament and in a travelling show and delivers a substantial prize for the successful artist,” said Ms Barham.

Ms Barham said that the Aboriginal Art Prize is an annual acquisitive art award, with prize money totalling $40,000. It is presented to an Aboriginal visual artist over the age of 18, born in or living in New South Wales.

“Last year’s winner was Byron Shire artist Karla Dickens with a work entitled ‘January 26, Day of Mourning’. The work is an Australian flag hand embroidered with crosses and as Karla describes in her artist statement, it represents the grief and loss that is felt by Aboriginal people on that day. This is the power of art, to present an emotional message that speaks of the pain, grief and the need for healing” said Ms Barham.

PNSWAAP is organised by the Parliament of New South Wales in partnership with Campbelltown City Council, the New South Wales Government, through Arts NSW, the College of Fine Arts, UNSW and Coal & Allied.

One finalist in the Aboriginal Arts Prize will be awarded the College of Fine Arts (COFA) Aboriginal Arts Residency Prize that presents the opportunity to work with COFA staff in a medium or mediums of the recipient’s choice; weekly attendance at COFA during the academic year; a travel allowance of $1,200; up to $1,500 towards the cost of art supplies and a solo exhibition at COFA during the 2015 Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize if the recipient desires.

Closing date for entries is Friday 1 August and the Awards Announcement will be Wednesday 15 October. An Exhibition of selected works will be held at Parliament of New South Wales – Tuesday 30 September 2014 to Thursday 30 October 2014.

Entry forms can be obtained by emailing info@c-a-a.com.au or by calling 4645 4100 for a hard copy form to be mailed to you. Further information about the exhibition & past winners.

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

January 26, Day of Mourning – Artist’s Statement
The majority of Australia celebrates 26 January by wrapping themselves in the red, white and blue flag, having barbecues and feeling proud to be young and free. I cringe, stay close to dear friends, do all I can not to leave the house and respectfully hold my grief – the grief for the old, grief for the continuous denial, grief for the disrespect, grief for the lack of acknowledgment and the poor choice of the day to celebrate. After finding the flag at the tip, I went about handsewing my grief, with one cross after another. Unfortunately, it’s only a small gesture to reflect the true loss.

PHOTO – Rhoda Roberts and Jan Barham in front of ‘January 26, Day of Mourning’ at the exhibition opening and announcement of winner. (Karla Dickens was unable to attend the event)

Rhoda Roberts and Jan Barham in front of ‘January 26, Day of Mourning’

Hawkesbury Council’s Aboriginal Flag Raising Ceremony

During Reconciliation Week, I was pleased to attend the first raising of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags, which will now be flown continuously at the Hawkesbury City Council Chambers. It has taken a long time but this is a significant and historic moment for Aboriginal people of the Hawkesbury which will increase a sense of belonging and is a positive step towards reconciliation.

For some more photos of the event visit the Hawkesbury Greens’ Facebook page.

Premier Baird must stand up for the vulnerable harmed by a cruel Federal Budget

Premier Mike Baird must use Sunday’s meeting of chief ministers to raise the harms the Federal Budget would cause for disadvantaged groups and the pressures it would place on NSW services and programs, says Greens MP Jan Barham.

“The Federal Budget has cut enormous holes in this country’s safety net and is set to put already vulnerable people at risk of poverty, homelessness and deep disadvantage.

“The biggest impacts in this budget will be felt by the people who are least equipped to deal with further challenges,” warned Ms Barham, the Greens NSW spokesperson for Ageing, Disability Services, Aboriginal Affairs, Housing, and Family and Community Services.

Ms Barham’s call comes ahead of Sunday’s meeting of state and territory government leaders in Sydney to discuss how they will deal with cuts to Commonwealth funding.

“The cost-shifting in health and education are obvious concerns for the state and territory governments, including NSW. But the cuts and changes to programs that support younger people, older people, people with disabilities, Aboriginal communities, the homeless and those at risk of homelessness will see the state government faced with increasing numbers of people in crisis,” said Ms Barham.

“Changes to pension eligibility and indexation will push people deeper into poverty. Removal of housing investment and support will drive people further into housing stress. The withdrawal of funding to Aboriginal services and programs will widen the gap. This is a budget that promotes inequality, and the unfair burden will fall on those who can least withstand it,” Ms Barham said.

“Instead of providing people with support and opportunity, this Budget is going to leave vulnerable people under greater pressure to overcome the challenges they face, while they receive far less assistance and support.

“The Premier needs to make the case that investment in that support is crucial to securing people’s wellbeing and preventing them from suffering harm,” Ms Barham concluded.

Adjournment speech on the Federal Budget from the NSW Legislative Council, 14 May 2014:

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Bill 2013

The Hon. JAN BARHAM [4.46 p.m.]: I begin my contribution to the debate on the Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Bill 2013 by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet: the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I acknowledge also the traditional custodians of our first nations across the State and, specifically, the Arakwal people of Bundjalung country from my home area at Byron Bay. I have been deeply honoured to have worked alongside the Arakwal people for almost 15 years. I pay tribute to the Bundjalung Elders Council, which, when formed in 1989, was the first Elders council in Australia. I believe Elders councils are overlooked in many considerations relating to Aborigines and their issues.

The importance of their role in local communities should not be overlooked. Elders councils are important. They should be recognised and funded to enable their great work to continue. From the outset I indicate that The Greens support the Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Bill 2013. The bill implements a large number of targeted amendments to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act. In December 2011 Minister Dominello initiated a statutory five-year review of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act. The aim of the statutory review is to ensure that the purposes of the Act, namely, the provision of land rights for Aboriginal people in New South Wales, are being enabled through legislation.

A formal working group was formed to assist in the review. The group comprised, Mr Stephen Wright, Registrar of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act; Mr Geoff Scott, Chief Executive Officer of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council; Mr Sean Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council; Ms Stacey Meredith, a New South Wales Government recognised Aboriginal owner from central western New South Wales and a member of the Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council; Dr Richard Sheldrake, Director General, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, and his alternate Renata Brooks, Deputy Director General, Catchments and Lands Division, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries; and Ms Kristy Masella, Group Manager, Social Justice, Office of Aboriginal Affairs, New South Wales. The working group was given the following broad terms of reference:
(1) Inquire into and make general recommendations as to whether the aims and objectives of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act require expansion or change of the Act in light of developments since 1983,

(2) Inquire into and make recommendations as to whether administrative and operational provisions within the Act require any change to facilitate and improve the efficacy of the Act, and

(3) Report all findings and recommendations by 1 November 2012 incorporating public responses following a period of public consultation.

The working group identified six broad topics to be addressed in its work: one, land claims; two, housing; three, regulative framework; four, incentives; five, targeted legislative amendments; and, six, miscellaneous matters for consideration. They were called upon to consider the targeted legislative amendments and were provided a draft of the amendment bill drafted by Parliamentary Counsel to review. This draft bill now forms the basis of what we are considering in the House. It is clear from the working group’s report titled, “Facilitation to Enable not Frustration to Disable” that after 30 years of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act there is significant room for improvement. Part of the reconfiguring means having frank dialogue and discussion about the Aboriginal Land Council entities, and the characterisation of funds and assets held by land councils. I doubt any member in this House would be satisfied with how land claims have been managed historically by the Department of Lands. Reform should be a priority for this Government.

Equally important is structural reform around the Local Aboriginal Land Council’s provision of social housing that the working group has identified. Approximately 30 per cent of the total Aboriginal social housing stock is owned by local Aboriginal land councils, with local Aboriginal land councils owning 2,670 properties in New South Wales. Previous NSW Local Aboriginal Land Council reports have highlighted that the Aboriginal social housing sector faces significant financial deficits that make repairs and maintenance of existing stock extremely difficult. We will have an opportunity to talk about Aboriginal social housing when the broader reform package comes to Parliament, but I am particularly interested in seeing greater consultation with local communities about the type of housing they want and greater training and employment opportunities for local residents, particularly in trades, in the delivery of any housing.

The Hon. Mick Veitch: Hear, hear!

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: Yes, it is an important issue. Very often Aboriginal people have ended up with housing that is not of their choosing and does not meet their cultural or domestic needs.

The Hon. Mick Veitch: And it is non-sustainable.

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: And it is non-sustainable. Workshops are scheduled throughout August and September across New South Wales to obtain feedback and comments on the working group’s recommendations. I support the Minister’s efforts to have open and transparent consultation on the Aboriginal Land Rights Act review and acknowledge the office of the Registrar of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act for coordinating the next round of consultation.

The bill includes mostly uncontentious—I emphasise mostly uncontentious—amendments because some amendments did raise concerns at the July 2013 NSW Aboriginal Land Council statewide conference. For the most part, the amendments balance the need for workable governance and administrative arrangements with mechanisms for compliance and probity. This does not diminish the need to re-evaluate regulatory frameworks established by the Act and demands placed upon the NSW Aboriginal Land Council in its regulatory role. The key amendments increase flexibility in powers of delegation to local Aboriginal land council boards and allow local Aboriginal land councils to select auditors from a pre-approved list maintained by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council rather than require them to appoint an auditor.

Training in the governance requirements specific to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and, more generally, corporate governance standards are important issues. I know they are a high priority for the Minister. I support the removal of the current restriction on only providing training the first time a board member is elected. Building capacity to deal with the governance requirements of the Act is an important function for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. The NSW Aboriginal Land Council applies significant sums for governance training for board members and it is vital that land councils invest in building capacity in board members. It is equally important that the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council is sufficiently financially supported to undertake this task. A study of our history reveals nothing is more important at any level of government than to ensure that governance standards and training are in place to protect the interests of the people being represented.

I draw members’ attention to amendments relating to notification of the Minister for Crown Lands. Currently the notification requirements in section 42D (c) prevent the NSW Aboriginal Land Council from dealing with land vested in it unless the Minister for Crown Lands is notified of the proposed dealing or transfer. This requirement was introduced in the Act towards the end of 2009 by the Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Act 2009 No. 58 section 42E of the principal Act and imposes a similar notification requirement on local Aboriginal land councils. The original 2009 amendments beg the question: Why was it envisaged that the then Minister for Lands, the Hon. Tony Kelly, and Warwick Watkins, his then director general, be notified of land dealings of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council or local Aboriginal land?

As a few Government members in the other place questioned, why have a notification provision for a Minister who has nothing directly to do with the Aboriginal Land Rights Act? I disagree that the Minister for Lands has nothing to do with the Aboriginal Land Rights Act but, according to section 36 of the Act, it is apparent that the Minister for Lands is critical in respect of the land claim stage. My 15 years of experience from working with the Indigenous land use agreement taught me that the role of the Minister for Lands was extremely important in respect of the progression of that process. I find it curious that the Minister for Lands needs to be notified of proposed dealings with land by Aboriginal land councils considering the lack of involvement post-settlement and transfer of the land to the local Aboriginal land councils. The land is no longer Crown land, yet the Minister for Lands is again drawn into local Aboriginal land council affairs for no apparent reason.

Further, when we consider many of the battles between the Minister for Lands and Aboriginal land councils over the past five years where, in some cases, the department was found to be acting in ways inconsistent with model litigants, the Minister for Lands is the last person many local Aboriginal land councils would want to deal with when making decisions about asset and land management. Assuming better intentions, it was an example of the unthoughtful creation of red tape in an Act that is designed to empower. The bill that introduced this provision received the full support of the House. It is a prescient and revealing reminder that even with the best of intentions we can still get it wrong. Members of this House eventually will have to consider a much fuller suite of reforms to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act arising from the working group recommendations and ongoing community consultations. I look forward to the reports on the community consultation with the Aboriginal land councils at the conclusion of the forthcoming workshops. I commend the bill to the House.

Opportunity for Aboriginal regional partnerships to engage in Local Decision Making

Jan Barham, Greens MP and spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs, is calling on Aboriginal community organisations to take advantage of the opportunity to take part in the NSW Government’s new Local Decision Making programme.

“I welcome the approach Minister Dominello has taken to engage Aboriginal communities and organisations in setting policy directions, including the review of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the development of the Government’s OCHRE plan for Aboriginal affairs,” Ms Barham said.

“A key part of the Government’s OCHRE plan is to develop models for local Aboriginal organisations to take a strong role in governance and decision making. The first round of Local Decision Making partnerships are open for expressions of interest now, with existing or newly-created partnerships able to receive support from the Government in developing their capacity for local governance.”

Ms Barham encouraged Aboriginal community organisations from all across the state to consider developing a Local Decision Making proposal. “The initial phase will involve three regional partnerships, with one each selected from urban, country and remote parts of the state.”

“Aboriginal communities must have control over the decisions that affect their wellbeing. The support and funding in this Local Decision Making programme is an opportunity for local organisations to take the lead in working with government and having a say about services that affect their community,” Ms Barham said.

Applications for the initial phase of Local Decision Making close on 25 September 2013. Details about the programme and application forms are available at http://www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/local-decision-making/

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0407 065 061

Lowering Seniors Card Eligibility Age Would Help to Close the Gap

Jan Barham, Greens MP and spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs, has welcomed the NSW upper house’s passage of a motion calling on the Government to consider a key initiative to close the gap in health outcomes for older Indigenous people.

“This motion called on the NSW Government to consider lowering the eligibility age for the Seniors Card to 45 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I am pleased that the members of the Legislative Council across all parties supported it,” Ms Barham said.

“Making the Seniors Card available earlier is a simple, immediate way that we can ensure Indigenous people have improved access to primary health services. By having Seniors Card entitlements, including concession rates on transport and other discounts, we can help to overcome problems with the accessibility and affordability of health services.”

The motion was passed on National Close the Gap Day, a campaign that aims to eliminate the health inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians by 2030.

“On average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live more than a decade less than other Australians. Closing this gap requires a range of solutions from governments at all levels. Seniors Card eligibility is one part of the solution,” Ms Barham said.

“The Aboriginal and Community Care Gathering Committee recommended this initiative, and other organisations involved in the health and human service sectors, including NCOSS, support it. This should be a broadly supported and effective reform.”

In its submission on the upcoming budget, NCOSS estimated that lowering the eligibility age would cost approximately $2 million per annum.

Ms Barham noted, “This is an investment worth making, and one that will pay back society as a whole. It will improve the lives of Indigenous people and deliver a more effective allocation of resources.”

“I look forward to the day when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people share in the expectation of a healthier and longer life.”

Jan Barham motion on Indigenous health inequality, agreed to 21 March 2013:

1. That this House notes that:

(a) Thursday, 21 March 2013 is National Close the Gap Day, a day of recognition that governments must achieve health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians by 2030,

(b) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a life expectancy that is consistently identified as being between 10 and 17 years less than the life expectancy of the general population,

(c) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience disability rates at 2.4 times the general population, and

(d) the NSW Government operates a number of support programs for older people aged 65 and over, where the eligibility age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is lowered to 45 years of age, including NSW Home and Community Care Services, assistance under the Older Parent Carer Program and the provision by Housing NSW of accommodation in Seniors Communities.

2. That this House acknowledges the finding of the 2010-11 Australian Medical Association Indigenous Health Report Card that states that “Appropriate access to primary health care can narrow the life expectancy gap, and may also offset some of the harmful health effects of socio-economic disadvantage and inequality.”

3. That this House further acknowledges recommendation 5 of the NSW Aboriginal Community Care Gathering Committee’s Conference Report from 2006 which states that:

“Eligibility for the NSW Seniors Card should be extended to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the age of 45 years.”

4. That this House also acknowledges the NSW Aboriginal Community Care Gathering Committee’s Policy Position ratified in June 2011, specifically noting:

(a) Guiding Principle #8: “In acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a reduced life expectancy compared to other people in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be eligible for aged care and other seniors’ services from the age 45 years. Until life expectancies for all are similar, eligibility from age 45 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people would ensure that they equitably receive the very necessary support services and other benefits afforded to other older people in Australia.”

(b) Recommendation 5: All programs providing support and other services to older people must ensure that the age criteria for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people start at 45 years.

(c) Recommendation 6: Aged Care Assessments must be available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from age 45 years if necessary, not 50 years.

(d) Recommendation 7: The NSW Seniors Card must be available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from age 45 years.

5. That this House calls on the State Government to consider lowering the eligibility age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be entitled to receive the NSW State Seniors Card to 45 years of age and for this new eligibility age to come into effect from July 1st 2013.

NSW Upper House supports Constitutional Recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Jan Barham, Greens MP and spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs, has welcomed the passage of her motion supporting Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by the NSW Legislative Council.

“The passage of the Act of Recognition through the Senate last week was another important step toward Constitutional Recognition, but it is crucial that politicians across all Parliaments and parties help build support for a referendum,” Ms Barham said.

“The Parliament passed an amendment to the NSW Constitution in 2010, and now the upper house has thrown its support behind constitutional change for Australia. I hope the Premier and his Government will work toward ensuring public support for Constitutional Recognition.”

The motion that was passed by the Legislative Council also recognised the contributions of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, along with community organisations such as Recognise, for their work in establishing the path toward a Commonwealth Referendum.

“It is a credit to the dedication of many people and organisations that Indigenous recognition has finally been achieved in the Commonwealth Parliament. The next step is for everyone who supports Constitutional change to make their voice heard,” Ms Barham said.

“I encourage all MPs across our states and territories to seek their Parliament’s expression of support for Constitutional Recognition. A demonstration that our politicians across all parties support a ‘yes’ vote would help to ensure that this referendum would see support as strong as at the Indigenous referendum in 1967.”

“Now is the time for everyone who cares about this issue to make their voice heard. People should contact their elected representatives and ask them to commit their public support to Constitutional change.”

NSW Legislative Council Hansard, 19 March 2013 – Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians:

Motion by the Hon. JAN BARHAM agreed to:

1. That this House notes that:
(a) the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012 was passed by the Commonwealth House of Representatives on 13 February 2013 and passed by the Senate on 12 March 2013,
(b) the bill provides parliamentary recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first occupants of Australia, and acknowledges their continuing relationship with their traditional lands and waters and their continuing cultures, languages and heritage,
(c) the bill establishes a process of review of support for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution, and
(d) the bill was passed with multiparty support.

2. That this House:
(a) recognises that the continent and the islands now known as Australia were first occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,
(b) acknowledges the continuing relationship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with their traditional lands and waters, and
(c) acknowledges and respects the continuing cultures, languages and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

3. That this House acknowledges the work of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians and community organisations such as Recognise in establishing the path toward a Referendum on Constitutional Recognition.

4. That this House expresses its support for constitutional change for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution.

CLOSE THE GAP DAY – THURSDAY MARCH 22nd

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live substantially shorter lives than other Australians – up to 20 years less in some cases. Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.
 
In response to this dire situation, Australia’s peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health bodies, health professional bodies and human rights organisations came together in March 2006 to initiate the “Close the Gap” Campaign. The Campaign’s goal is to raise the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within a generation: to close the gap by 2030. It aims to do this through education, by raising awareness and by mobilising the public to advocate for policy change.
 
Last Wednesday, March 14th, in a speech marking the beginning of Senior’s Week, I made the following comments regarding the gap in life expectancy for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians:
 
“It is a well-known yet shameful fact that life expectancy is not uniform across populations within Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a much shorter life expectancy than non-Indigenous Australians. It is recognised that a significant gap exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians – that gap is consistently identified as being between 10 and 17 years. The inexcusable reality is that our Indigenous Australians are missing out on a whole decade of life experiences—a decade of enjoying life, watching grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up and passing on knowledge and wisdom to the rest of the community”
 
I commend the initiatives that have been implemented under the Close the Gap campaign and I encourage everyone to use tomorrow, Thursday 22nd March which is national Close the Gap day,  to raise awareness of the need for genuine commitment from all levels of government to Aboriginal Australians.
 
One step the State Government should take is to lower the eligibility age for a Seniors Card for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to 45 years. With a lowering of the age for this disadvantaged group, they would become entitled to important concessions and benefits that would support an enhanced quality of life.
 
To find out more about the “Close the Gap” campaign, visit www.oxfam.org.au/nctgd 

Historic step towards Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

On January 19th, an expert panel handed the Prime Minister a unanimous report recommending five important changes to the Australian Constitution to appropriately recognise our indigenous people. Jan warmly welcomes these proposed changes and thanks everyone who took part in the public consultation process, in particular the panel members including the Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs, Senator Rachel Siewert. Jan looks forward to all levels of government working together to take this important issue to a referendum.

A copy of the full Report can be found at: http://www.youmeunity.org.au/final-report

A summary and analysis of the report from Jan’s office can be found here:  Briefing Paper – Constitutional Recognition Report

Greens join the campaign to Say No to Income Management in Bankstown

Fom 1 July 2012 compulsory income management will be introduced in Bankstown. The NSW Greens have joined the campaign to Say No to Income Management – Not in Bankstown, Not Anywhere!

What is income management? Income management or welfare quarantining means half a person’s Centrelink payment is managed by Centrelink. People targeted will be issued with a “BasicsCard” only to be used to buy certain goods in selected shops. Centrelink can use this money to pay bills like rent and power but not others such as phone bills.

Public meeting: Senator Lee Rhiannon will speak at a public meeting at 1pm on 15 December 2011, at the Civic Tower, 66-72 Rickard Rd, Bankstown. Click to download a copy of the  No to Income Management in Bankstown Leaflet.

WHY DO THE GREENS OPPOSE INCOME MANAGEMENT?

It doesn’t work – international research shows that welfare quarantining doesn’t keep children or families healthy and out of poverty.

It’s expensive – welfare quarantining means more money spent on red tape and staff salaries. $38 million has been budgeted for the 10 trial sites alone.

It’s impractical – the BasicsCard forces families to shop at particular stores, usually the large stores where goods may be more expensive.

Other solutions are available – there is strong evidence that voluntary income management programs and family budget planning can help reduce poverty.

Check out other posts about Jan’s questions in NSW Parliament about Income Management by searching this site under “Income Management”.

Visit the websites of Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Senator Rachel Siewert  for their work in the Australian Parliament on compulsory income management.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN?

Join the campaign to Say ‘NO’ to income management, not in Bankstown not anywhere! Visit www.sayno2gim.info to endorse the campaign and sign the petition.

Find and like on Facebook and follow on Twitter @say_no_2_gov_im

Tell the decision-makers what you think

Write to your local MPs and Federal Ministers. As income management requires the support of State Governments, also write to the NSW Premier and NSW Minister for Family and Community Services.

Premier Barry O’Farrell

GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2001

Ph 02 9228 5239

Fax 02 9228 3935

office@premier.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward

Level 34 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000

Ph 02 9228 5413, Fax 02 9228 5501

office@goward.minister.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services andIndigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin 

Federal Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Ph 03 9459 1411 Fax 03 9457 5721

jenny.macklin.mp@aph.gov.au

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