Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Department of Housing Tenants

The Carr Government takes away your rights.

A leaflet put out by the Inner city Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service contains some interesting information about how the Carr Government is planning to take some more rights away from the Department of Housing tenants.

The proposed legislation enables the Department to impose on tenants 'acceptable behaviour agreements'. Basically if the Department thinks that you are behaving 'anti-socially' or unacceptably' they can force you to sign an agreement. Any breech of this agreement by you or your family then you are out. There is no room for discretion due to personal circumstances.

The Residential Tenancy Tribunal must remove you if you cannot prove your innocence.

It is the onus on you to explain to the Tribunal that you haven't been in breech.

It is not the onus of the Department to prove you are guilty. If you cannot refute the Department then it is out the door.

The order applies to all your family. Basically if you have an unruly teenage son, who doesn't comply then the whole family is evicted.

One of the mot dangerous parts of the legislation is that terms such as 'anti-social' and 'unruly' etc. are not defined. This means that the Department can define the behaviour it doesn't like to suite itself. So the Department can use this to simply persecute tenants it finds inconvenient.

Harassing the Department over failure to do repairs, for example, could be defined as 'unacceptable' and the Department can use the Legislation to threaten the tenant and basically, stop them complaining.

StandUp supports maximum organization, protests and action to stop this legislation. Demonstrations should be organised by tenants groups, pensioner associations and trade unions. What the government relates to is force and it is only when we show our force that governments listen.

By StandUp NEWS posted 21 July 04


Work for the dole failure for two thirds
"The study provides strong support for our view that 'Work for the Dole' is a "cruel hoax" that fails to truly help jobseekers." ACOSS President Andrew McCallum.

Bonus prompts baby talk, principal says
A western Sydney school principal says the Federal Government's $3,000 baby bonus is encouraging his students to fall pregnant.

Government ignoring housing crisis: ACOSS
There are 100,000 homeless people nationwide and one third of those are children. The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) says low-income families are facing a crisis in affordable housing that the Federal Government is choosing to ignore.

Youth welfare system unfair: ACOSS
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is warning urgent action is needed to fix youth poverty and disincentives for the unemployed to improve their job prospects.

Australia: Private job network agency blues
Can you trust a private job network agency? No you can't! A friend of ours is registered at MTC Marrickville. This agency has a practice of forcing unemployed to fill out preparing for work agreements. Of course they didn't offer him any work! So why was he cut off the dole?

Work for the dole? $10.00?
StandUp! Wishes to draw your attention to a serious attack on all of us--work for the dole. We were assured that unemployed would not be forced to work in areas where employed workers would normally be employed.

If we want to survive we must work at it Indigenous unemployment reaching crisis: welfare group Action to lower Indigenous unemployment rate Govt underspends on indigenous employment: dept Economic development: The outback malaise Call for end to Indigenous welfare cycle.

Howard's Job Network Bailout
Up to 670,000 people on disability support pensions will be encouraged to sign up to the Job Network under a radical new plan to get disabled people off social services and into work.

The Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 Qld
The Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 (Qld), requires that any person who has committed an offence which is less than 10 years old or which resulted in a prison sentence of more than 30 months, must disclose that offence if requested eg. for employment purposes. If a criminal record is disclosed in a job application, it is unlikely that person will be given the job.

Shoplifting and homelessness
Shoplifting increased by 7.5 per cent last year, making it the only major crime category to register a significant increase in 2002, crime statistics show. "It's a chain reaction kind of thing. No payments, more crime. More crime, more cops. More cops, more harassment. It goes back to the bloody payments, basically," he said.

Democrats approve tougher welfare penalties: But how does that pan out? There used to be an old saying in Australia" if you're hungry steal a sheep and leave the pelt on the fence. How do you plead, Peter Saunders?

Social services groups swamped
A new report has revealed higher costs and increasing demands are forcing [social services] groups to turn more people away.

Fears for poor if Social Services take a social slide?
The director of the NSW Council for Social Service, Alan Kirkland, said it was very difficult to balance the impact of problem gambling against the broader community benefits.

Social Services small change? Or wast the money on WAR!
Lone parents on [social services] average 12 years of benefits - and are often worse off if they work. But reforming the system is risky and often costly, Bettina Arndt explains.

Name removed by request served time in prison decades ago. Shes still being punished today. According to commonwealth and state legislation, ex-prisoners applying for jobs must declare any conviction that fits into the following categories: less than 10 years old, more than 10 years old but served more than 30 months in prison.

Unemployed farm postings would cost jobs: AWU
The Australian Workers Union has rejected a proposal to place work-for-the-dole participants on drought-affected rural properties.

Tough luck! Kicks the poor to death
Australia is urged to adopt a United States-style welfare system, [?] cut welfare spending [social services spending] and encourage people to help themselves in a book on poverty published today.

Economy benefiting from non-profit institutions
Non-profit institutions are contributing $30 billion a year to Australia's economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has found about a third of that comes from volunteers who worked free for more than 550 million hours in 1999/2000.

NSW prisons - primary industry bailed up!
In many quiet regional centres around NSW there is a new primary industry shaping up. It has something to do with Bail but not with bales. The minister for Agriculture Richard Amery who also has the prisons portfolio is now committed to farming prisoners.

Robin Egan
Two thirds of fines are never collected because they go beyond the means of the defendants and because in lots of cases people do not see that they are responsible. Especially where people know their in the right and no fine ought to have been a penalty.