We strongly support the intent of the confidentiality guideline (which ensures that all stakeholders have access to as much information as is possible to enable sound regulatory decisions to be made for network regulatory determinations.)
Uniting Care Australia again commend the AER for their commitment to consumer engagement as demonstrated particularly through the Better Regulation Program. We also recognise the outstanding contribution that staff have made in assisting to unpack a number of quite complex issues. Certainly there is a mixture of art and science that is required to deal with the issues associated with expenditure incentive regulation.
Uniting Care Australia wishes to commend the AER on the thorough work that has been undertaken in developing this guideline. We recognise the importance of high quality data that is relevant and applicable to network regulation as a basis for developing sound regulatory practice with good outcomes for businesses and for consumers.
Energy is an essential service and with increased costs has become a financial burden on growing numbers of households and consumers in Australia. Uniting Care is concerned for these people and advocates strongly for appropriate energy regulation. Anecdotal evidence from our work with communities nationally, indicates utilities are one of the top three issues facing households.
This brief submission responds to the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) draft guideline regarding “Shared Assets”.
UnitingCare Australia has been pleased to be involved in the Better Regulation program, of which this guideline is part.
Stewardship of our environment is a fundamental responsibility of societies both in the short-term and for the benefit of future generations. We strongly support the notion of the triple bottom line for government community and business organisations whereby economic stewardship, environmental stewardship and the nurture of citizens (social stewardship) are equally valued and reported on publicly.
UnitingCare Australia supports the improvement of the collection of financial data from aged care providers if it is carried out in an open, fair, transparent and accountable manner by governments.
The data collection should not impose significant additional administrative burdens on providers and should seek to streamline data collection where possible. As a first principle data already available to the Commonwealth should be utilised before imposing further red tape on providers.
A comprehensive cost of care study is supported but consideration should be given to constructing this in a way that minimises the workload for providers and provides timely and accurate information (such as through a 3 month sample).
Data collection must be consistent with the requirements of other bodies (the ACNC, ASIC, Accounting Standards and the Aged Care Legislation). Necessary changes are supported provided that they ultimately benefit consumer and the viability of services that support older people.
UnitingCare Australia appreciates the opportunity to provide comment on the Social Security Amendment (Supporting More Australians into Work) Bill 2013.
This submission is premised on the view that all Australians have the right to live a decent life, which UnitingCare Australia defines as: being able to access appropriate food, clothing and healthcare; safe and secure housing; meaningful work, education, rest and enjoyment; and the opportunity to participate in and contribute to communities.
UnitingCare Australia believes that the charitable community services sector is an important partner for government and other sectors in the delivery of services and support to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society. Many policy and legislative decisions, although not specifically targeted at our sector, impact on the Commonwealth’s relationship with us.
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Dementia and Veterans’ Supplements in Aged Care Consultation Paper of April 2013. We welcome the recognition of the additional care needs of people with dementia and mental health issues receiving support from residential and home care services. The following comments and questions of clarification are provided on the Consultation Paper.