Submissions

Submissions

Submissions

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to submit to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into Credit and financial services targeted at Australians at risk of financial hardship.

The UnitingCare network consists of a number of member organisations providing a range of social services to Australia’s most vulnerable, with 10 of those organisations involved in the provision of Financial Counselling Services across all Australian States and Territories. Our Financial Counselling services possess significant expertise and experience in the causes, consequences alleviation of financial stress and has an extensive history engaging with financially vulnerable cohorts target by payday lenders and consumer lease providers. 

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to submit to the Department of Jobs and Small Business as part of its consultation process on the Next Generation of Employment Services.
We support the need for design and implementation of a user-centric system that recognises the diverse experiences of jobseekers. We acknowledge and support the findings of the Department-commissioned research undertaken with jobseekers, which identified that many complex life issues can impact on jobseekers’ motivations and their ability to participate in work. We agree that the systems and support structures that jobseekers engage with presently are often highly complex and can impose administrative and emotional burdens, in turn, impacting their ability to secure sustainable, meaningful work. The future employment services system that supports people into jobs must therefore make provision for these issues and be designed with a client-outcome focus at its heart.

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018 (CDCT or ‘the trial’).

In our Submission of 29 September 2017 on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017, we said:

It is our view that evaluation of the card’s implementation in the trial sites provides

inconclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of the card’s introduction alone in

reducing levels of harm associated with alcohol consumption, drug use and gambling within the target communities.

and named the following issues of concern:

• Insufficient information regarding how people using the card will be managed off it;

• Stigmatisation of card users;

• Limited ability of card users to purchase goods that are second-hand due to

quarantining introduced with the card, preventing people’s access to cheaper cash

markets;

• Complexity of evaluating the card’s effectiveness when card users may move out of

the trial locations. The ORIMA evaluation does not include a longitudinal study that

tracks trends based on, and following through with, the initial sample group;

• Flawed assumptions underpinning the card, particularly that alcohol, drug use and

gambling are the primary causes of financial insecurity and poverty in the target communities.

UnitingCare Australia
Submission to the Closing the Gap Refresh
April 2018
Preamble
UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the Uniting Church’s network of community service providers, one of the largest in Australia. With over 1,600 sites, the network employs 40,000 staff and is supported by the work of over 30,000 volunteers. We provide services to children, young people and families, people with disabilities, the poor and disadvantaged, people from culturally diverse backgrounds and older Australians in urban, rural and remote communities. We also deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia and work with those communities to ensure that these services are integrated and responsive to need.

UnitingCare Australia Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia May 2018UnitingCare Australia Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia May 2018

UnitingCare Australia is pleased to provide a response to the Senate Inquiry into accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia. UnitingCare Australia is the national office representing the network of community service organisations of the Uniting Church in Australia (network). Our network operates nationally across more than 1,300 sites in metropolitan, rural and remote Australia, delivering services to people across the life course. Network experience in delivering mental health services in rural and remote Australia provides us with on the ground visibility of the challenges to accessibility and quality of mental health services in these locations. Comprehensive input to this submission was provided by the following organisations from our network: • Uniting Country SA • Uniting SA • UnitingCare Queensland (including Australian Rural and Remote Community Services - ARCCS) • Uniting NSW.ACT • Frontier Services • ARDS Aboriginal Corporation
UnitingCare Australia takes this opportunity to comment on provisions of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018.
We would like to reiterate the concerns around the establishment of a drug testing trial which we raised in our Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017. While we were pleased that the drug testing trial was removed from that original Bill, we are disappointed that the initiative has been reintroduced under a separate Bill with little consideration of the feedback provided by ourselves and others in the community service and health sector.

We would like to reiterate the concerns around the establishment of a drug testing trial which we raised in our Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017. While we were pleased that the drug testing trial was removed from that original Bill, we are disappointed that the initiative has been reintroduced under a separate Bill with little consideration of the feedback provided by ourselves and others in the community service and health sector.

Although Australia made the commitment to implement the SDGs in September 2015, the
radical changes to policy that are required to meet the targets by 2030 have not been
publicised nor are they apparent in Government domestic policy to date.
 
Introduction
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to submit to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s Inquiry into Market Readiness.
Our submission draws on, and supports, the issues raised by National Disability Services in their submission to the Market Readiness Inquiry.

The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly is the national council of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) and has determining responsibility within the Church for matters of doctrine, worship, Church government and discipline. We welcome this opportunity to contribute to the first review of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission on behalf of the UCA.