I was impressed by the extraordinary achievements and contributions of all award nominees and winners, including those of Maureen McDonald, who I nominated, and who has given forty years of service to Li-VeTasmania through the Acorn Branch.
I enjoyed visiting Howrah Beach Child Care Centre (Phoenix Children’s Services) with Julie Collins MP to discuss the importance of early childhood education and care – not just to workforce participation but because of the vital contribution it makes to the learning and development of children. We were excited to see progress on the centre’s new premises.
Some fantastic volunteers were recognised today at the Kingborough Council Awards. I was particularly pleased to see Else Phillips receive Citizen of the Year for her work with various local organisations and 13-year-old Kingborough Helping Hands volunteer Bella Oakley awarded Young Citizen of the Year.
The Morrison Government’s latest announcement on charity fundraising reform is welcome news but still cold comfort to Australian charities and not-for-profits doing it tough through the pandemic.While PM Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Minister for Charities Zed Seselja are popping the champagne corks, Australian charities face yet another year with the red-tape nightmare of having to comply with seven different sets of state and territory regulations if they want to raise funds online or across the country.Another year of delay is estimated to cost Australian charities $15 million in unnecessary compliance costs—that’s money generously donated by Australians going down the drain.As my colleague Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities, Andrew Leigh MP, has said:”The shame of watching the charity sector tangled up in unnecessary red tape while trying to support Australians through natural disasters and a national health crisis has finally forced the Coalition to acknowledge it has a responsibility to lead on this issue.”The Morrison Government has the power to fix this problem, and Australia’s charities should not be forced to wait any longer.”
Dementia Friendly Tasmania Inc. is conducting a community survey to learn about people’s attitudes to, and experiences of, dementia. The survey results will help them to come up with ideas of how they can help our community be more inclusive of people with dementia.11,500 people in Tasmania are living with dementia and this number is expected to increase to 16,000 by 2058. Please support this important project by picking up a survey at my office in Kingston and placing the completed survey in the box provided. Dementia Friendly Tasmania is accepting survey returns until 20 December.
I am shocked but, sadly, not surprised that, during the debate on the cashless debit card legislation, Senator Pauline Hanson would make such an ill-informed suggestion that child sexual abuse is only perpetrated by people on drugs and alcohol. Being elected to the Senate is an extraordinary privilege as well as an enormous responsibility. It is incumbent on senators to ensure that our public statements, including those made in the chamber, and the decisions we make are carefully considered and not driven by ignorance and personal prejudice. Senator Hanson’s comments have the potential to spread ignorance and could be hurtful and potentially harmful to survivors of child sexual abuse. She would be well advised to reflect on her remarks and the impact they may have.
Jocelyn, a Disability Pensioner in Ceduna, wrote in an online article about the stigma of being on the cashless debit card without needing to be:
“Imagine going out for a coffee with friends and having to use the card. Imagine buying the local paper… and having to use the card. Imagine not having cash for something you really love on the local buy/sell/exchange. Imagine trying to sell some items to get cash to survive. Imagine every time you pull the card out that you are labelled as a loser. Imagine pulling out a card that doesn’t always work! Even if you have a dollar balance on the card, it refuses you at the checkout, with people waiting behind you in the queue at the local supermarket. Imagine going to the chemist and the card will not work for your prescriptions. All of this has happened to me, and others, many times.”
Jocelyn – powertopersuade.org.au
As I outlined in my speech on the Government’s bill to make the CDC rollout permanent, there is no evidence that compulsory income management works in tackling drug, alcohol and gambling addiction. For many people like Jocelyn who are forced onto the card with no history of addiction, it creates a sense of stigma and shame, and takes away their financial autonomy.
Sadly, the Government’s bill was passed by the Senate. Labor will continue to urge the Morrison Government to accept the evidence, stop wasting taxpayers’ money on compulsory income management and abandon it in favour of interventions that are proven to work.