Anglicare Australia launches Jobs Availability Snapshot 2019
Anglicare Australia has called on the government to stop punishing people who are out of work following the release the 2019 Jobs Availability Snapshot. The Snapshot was launched on 16 October 2019, as part of Anti-Poverty Week.
The Snapshot found that our system is failing those who need the most help to find work. These might be people with disabilities, who didn’t finish year 12, or older workers who lost their jobs later in life. We found that at least five of these jobseekers are competing for each job at their level.
There aren’t enough jobs at this skill level to meet demand in any part of the country. The situation is toughest in WA, SA and Tasmania. In SA, nine of these jobseekers are competing for each suitable job. And in Tasmania, a staggering fourteen jobseekers are competing for each one of these jobs.
This year’s Snapshot attracted more media attention than ever before. Anglicare Australia was interviewed on ABC News, ABC Radio National, and Sky News on the morning of the Snapshot release. It continued to be featured throughout the day by ABC News, SBS News, Ten News and Nine News. Footage of the report’s launch is available online.
The report was written up by all major print outlets including Fairfax Newspapers, News Ltd Newspapers, The Guardian, and the Australian Associated Press. The report was featured across commercial radio bulletins, SBS Radio, ABC Radio National and Triple J Hack.
Regional interest in the report was strong. Highlights included several local ABC interviews, local commercial television stories across the country, and write ups in state newspapers such as The West Australian, The Adelaide Advertiser and The Hobart Mercury where the results were especially dire.
The full report is available here. Click here for a full summary of the media coverage.
Anglicare Australia sponsors 2019 Anti-Poverty Week
In 2019, Anglicare Australia was again a sponsor of Anti-Poverty Week. Anti-Poverty Week was promoted at the recent Anglicare Australia conference, and Anglicare Australia launched the 2019 Jobs Availability Snapshot as part of Anti-Poverty Week.
Anglicare WA held a sausage sizzle as part of Anti-Poverty Week, providing lunch and offering budget tips through its financial counselling team.
Anglicare North Queensland was part of the Budget Bites Challenge Cook Off in Cairns, which brought together local identities, the media, hospitality professionals and the community sector to showcase the opportunities there are to create delicious food on a budget, while raising awareness of poverty and its impacts in our region.
Anglicare NSW South, NSW West, and ACT held its annual ‘Pens Against Poverty’ competition, featuring poems and stories with the theme ‘Courage in Kindness’ in mind. More information about the competition is available under ‘Anglicare Network News’. Anglicare NSW South, NSW West, and ACT also joined with other providers to support the ‘Poverty is no Picnic’ event in Goulburn.
Anglicare Tasmania was part of a Big Table Community Lunch. The event was a free lunch where guests were invited to bring a donation of non-perishable food items to support others in the community.
Staff from the Brotherhood of St Laurence participated in the Melbourne Marathon as part of Anti-Poverty Week, raising over $27,000 for its children’s programs. The Brotherhood of St Laurence also hosted two Brotherhood Talks free events on child poverty in Melbourne.
Anglicare Australia Network members also used Anti-Poverty Week as an opportunity to step efforts to raise Newstart. Chris Jones and Peter Sandeman both published opinion pieces on the need to raise the rate of Newstart, while others sought meetings with their local MPs to discuss the campaign.
Further details of activities are available at www.antipovertyweek.org.au.
Quality home care starts with valuing workers: Anglicare Australia launches research project with HESTA
Staff engagement and satisfaction is key to quality aged care in the home. That is the key finding of new research from the Anglicare Australia Network, supported by industry super fund, HESTA.
“As our population ages, it’s becoming more and more important that older people get the care and support they need at home. But very little research has been done on the experiences of frontline, home-based aged care workers,” said Anglicare Australia’s Acting Executive Director Roland Manderson.
Mr Manderson said the aim of the research was to explore insights from frontline workers around challenges they faced in providing homecare.
“Staff told us that the best quality care is relational care. That means valuing and supporting workers, so they can support older people. And it means cutting through some of the red tape that surrounds them so they can spend more time caring for people.
“At the end of the day, we found that frontline workers enjoyed their work and cared deeply for their clients. And that is despite the pressure of an imperfect system. Listening to their insights is critical to building a quality home care system,” said Mr Manderson.
The report, Quality Jobs and Best Practice Care: Improving Homecare Staff Engagement Within a Consumer Directed Care Environment, is based on interviews and focus groups with staff in AnglicareSA and Amana Living Perth.
The full report is available here.
Anglicare Australia calls for Robodebt system to be suspended
Anglicare Australia has appeared before a Senate committee hearing on the Centrelink’s Robodebt system, calling for it to be suspended.
“The Robodebt system has no human oversight – and it puts the onus onto ordinary people to correct robotised mistakes,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“The Government has spent over $600 million to recover $725 in debts – but the true costs have been shifted onto ordinary people. They are paying the price in money, time, and distress.
“We have presented the Inquiry with stories of real people who have spent weeks and months trying to disprove a false debt. The system denies them good faith human oversight in return. We have estimated that Anglicare Australia Network itself is spending over $2.1 million a year helping these people deal with Centrelink’s processes.
“We have also shown that Centrelink consistently fails to prove the legality of debts. In many cases, it does not even try. The truth is that the issues facing this system can no longer be called ‘errors’. It is clear that the Government is well aware of them.
“We must suspend this program immediately – and work together to design one that works for the people who need it.”
Anglicare Australia’s submission to the Committee is available here. A transcript of Anglicare Australia’s appearance at the hearing is available online.
Drug testing trial a red herring
Anglicare Australia has made a submission calling for the abandonment of the Government's proposed welfare drug tests. Executive Director Kasy Chambers has called them a distraction from failures of the social security system.
“There has been unprecedented outcry over the low rate of Newstart and failures of the robodebt system in recent months. Dredging up this bill now looks like a red herring,” Ms Chambers said.
“There is no evidence that these tests help people get off drugs. The Government itself has admitted that. The countries that have trialled random drug testing have found that it’s costly and doesn’t achieve anything. In the US, it has cost up to $1600 USD per person.
“This plan has been rejected in Britain, rejected in Canada. It’s now up to the crossbench to reject these changes here.”
Anglicare Australia’s submission to the Committee is available here, and our media release is available here. Anglicare Australia appeared on The Project, ABC News, ABC Radio National, and SBS to discuss this issue.
The rate of Newstart must be raised: Anglicare Australia appears before Inquiry
Anglicare Australia has appeared before the Inquiry into the Adequacy of Newstart, calling for the payment to be raised.
“Across Australia, over 800,000 people are living on Newstart and related payments,” Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers told the Committee.
“They are struggling daily to afford basic essentials like a roof over their head and food on their table. That includes parents, carers, people with disabilities, students, and those who have been locked out of paid work.”
“People cannot pursue a better life if they are forced to make tough choices between eating a meal and paying a bill, buying shoes for their children and filling prescription. And they cannot look for work if they are homeless and hungry.”
“Our safety net has become a poverty trap, with rates of Newstart, Youth Allowance, and related payments stagnant for 25 years. One-off payments and tax cuts will not lift people out of poverty. Raising the rates of these payments would be the most powerful step that any government could take to reduce poverty in Australia.”
Anglicare Australia’s submission to the Committee is available here. A transcript of Anglicare Australia’s appearance at the hearing is available online, and our remarks were covered by The Guardian.
Opinion: When Did 'Welfare' Become A Dirty Word?
In an Opinion Piece published by 10 Daily, Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers argues that welfare should be seen in the same light as assistance to farmers:
“You might have noticed that the word 'welfare' has been turned on its head.
“Politicians no longer talk about a 'safety net', the 'welfare state', or even 'help'. These words invoke ideas about citizenship, and supporting each other. Instead they speak about being ‘on’ welfare -- and they mean it as a slur. To be ‘on’ welfare is to be lazy, dependent, and maybe even immoral.
“The past few days have given us a window to this line of thinking. The Government has been pushing for random drug tests on Newstart recipients -- a policy that assumes people don’t know how to spend their own money or manage their lives. The message is that there is no point trying to help them. They will only squander it.”
The full opinion piece from Kasy Chambers is available here.
The People Vs Welfare
When is welfare empowering and when is it just a poverty trap? And what are our fundamental obligations to our fellow citizens? Anglicare Australia joined other guests to wrestle with the ethics of our social security system and what it should do.
The People Vs Welfare is an ABC Radio National program is presented by Josh Zseps, with guests Simon Cowan, Research Director at The Centre for Independent Studies and Roland Manderson, Deputy National Director, Anglicare Australia.
The full program is available here.