Thursday, October 9, 2003

Australia to tackle child abuse and rescue impoverished children?

Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello will be prompted to pledge1 Billion of $7.5bn budget surplus to impoverished children and child abuse in Australia to mark next months World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse 19 November 2003.

Judge renews child detainee release call

A Family Court judge, for a second time, has appealed to Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock to address the issue of children in detention.

A national report on child protection in the Northern Territory has blasted the system, saying it has abandoned the most impoverished children and families in Australia.

The secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care says while the Territory has the highest levels of child abuse and neglect in Australia, it also has the highest level of non-reporting of cases and a disproportionately low number of children in protection.

It says non-government agencies see the system as almost completely ineffective, with chronic levels of poverty, homelessness and preventable diseases often viewed as normal for Aboriginal children.

The report says mandatory reporting of child abuse appears to have failed, police are ineffective in responding to cases and alternative and foster care options are woefully inadequate.

The secretariat's recommendations include independent reviews of all groups involved with child care, the creation of a NT child and family welfare council and a commitment of at least $20 million a year to a welfare reform package.

The Australian Government will also be prompted to pledge and extra 1 billion of the budget surplus to public housing, 1 billion to health including mental illness, 1 billion to education and 1 billion to Legal Aid funding to the poor leaving him 2.5 billion in surplus.

Costello said the bumper surplus was largely because of better than expected company taxes which were $2.1 billion above the forecast.

"This was predominantly due to higher than expected receipts from companies, indicating stronger company profits than expected at budget," he said.

The government also reaped an extra $1.0 billion in taxes from individuals.

[On the spending side, there were lower payments for welfare and family tax benefits and lower education costs you can tell by the child abuse cases and poverty now reported every day in Australia.]

Costello: "This is a strong result by international standards," he told reporters. "It puts Australia in a strong fiscal position. We would be in one of the strongest positions of the world, certainly much stronger than any of the G7 countries and nearly all of the OECD."

The 2003-04 surplus would be revised up in the mid-year Budget review, War criminal, Treasurer Peter Costello said.

"We're in a current year 2003-2004 where we have forecast a lesser surplus and of course the next May Budget will be for the 2004-05 year," Costello told reporters. "What the outcome is likely to be for the current year will be revised up in the mid-year review."

Meanwhile the Victorian Government has announced a closer watch on multiple child deaths. The Victorian Government will take immediate action to improve the way multiple child deaths are reported in the state.

A number of serious flaws have been identified in the system. A report from the Coroner, the Chief Commissioner of police, and the head of the Department of Human Services says there is currently no systematic way of identifying cases of multiple child deaths in one family.

They have recommended the Coroner be given greater powers of investigation, and Premier Steve Bracks says the Government will adopt all the recommendations.

"There's also a recommendation for new powers to be given to the registrar of births, deaths and marriages to report multiple deaths in the one family," he said.

But Shadow Community Services Minister Helen Shardy says all child deaths need further investigation.

"There will only be action taken once a second child in one family has died, we think this is too late, why should two children die before action is taken?" she said.

A new support role for families will also be established in the Coroner's Office.

Costello said there would be pressures on the Budget from things such as Australia's commitment of troops to the Solomon Islands. "There will be some pressures on the Budget from measures which have not been passed by the Senate and from new expenses which have been entered into since the time of the Budget, the likes of which is Australia's commitment to the Solomons Islands," he said.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

By Social Just Us 9 October 03

THE CHICKEN: Unfortunately we have a very weak human rights result by international standards.

THE EGG: No Australian child shall live in poverty after 1990, who said that? The light on the hill flashed, "no child shall live in poverty" when all the time the message was, "they are, and we'll keep them there so they become dependent upon us". Who said that? A bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush! Who said that?


ATSIC call to smack kids?
The ATSIC commissioner said the high levels of regulation was not unlike the attention focused on Aboriginal families that led to the creation of a Stolen Generation of Aboriginal people. Mr Hill said he did not condone violence and admitted he did not smack his own children, but he stressed he wanted the issue of child discipline debated among Aboriginal people and community leaders.

No-Smacking Day for Children in NSW
Patmalar Ambikapathy the Children's Commissioner, HOBART Tasmania spoke to Gregory Kable a caseworker at Justice Action at the Controlling Crime Conference at Redfern in Sydney yesterday and we both realised how parallel our ideas about crime prevention were.

Partnership to tackle Aboriginal children's health issues
Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley has called for a sense of urgency in tackling the serious health problems facing Aboriginal children.

Judge renews child detainee release call
A Family Court judge, for a second time, has appealed to Immigration Minister, war criminal, Philip Ruddock to address the issue of children in detention.

States to cooperate on school curriculums but social skills don't rate? State and territory education ministers say Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson's heavy-handed threats to school funding will not assist their ambitious initiative to develop consistent school curriculum’s in key subjects. [?]

School Curriculum needs balance? Life Skills and Academic Skills go hand in hand man Colin you need to be the students friends not their judge. Only when you can invite the students into the decision making process will you get an obligation by them to change their behaviour, because you Colin could lead by example and not by power.

NSW education professor warns further commitment needed
The author of a report on the New South Wales education system has urged the major political parties to do more for education in the election campaign.

Fiona Stanley, the children's crusader
It is all about prevention. As Fiona Stanley sees it, with one in five Australian teenagers experiencing significant mental health problems, there are just not enough treatment services to cope with the demand.

Parents call for feedback on social skills
Parents are calling for the same level of feedback on their children's social development as on their academic progress, according to a national survey.

The punishment: Is the 'crime'
The punishment is the crime according to retired chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Justice Alistair Nicholson. "Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault".

The Seed
Respect, you only get out what you have put in. What about Life Skills, Communication and Conflict Resolution. Evolution, perhaps some children and adults miss the whole or part of the course. I did, and so how surprised do you think I was when I realised my parents missed the course as well. Things like Compromise, Win Win, Empathy, and Love. Invisible energy and other skills like public speaking, how to Relate, Assuming, Blaming, Forgiveness, Freedom and Discrimination. This is how I learned respect. If you don't know what it is then how do you relate?