Media Releases

Government, the community sector and business all have important roles to play in ensuring all Australians have the means and opportunity for a decent life, supported by a healthy economy, UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds says.

“We are a prosperous nation. And yet we continue to have pockets of entrenched disadvantage, some of which are growing. Australia can do better than this – by addressing revenue as well as Government spending,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said, responding to the release today of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The Grattan Institute’s report, Shock to the system, released today, reflects the growing level of concern expressed by our clients over the past decade about the impact of energy prices on household budgets, UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds says.

“Charges for network costs can make up half of current household energy bills, making it very hard for people to simply reduce spending via lower usage,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

UnitingCare Australia is deeply disappointed that the Government and Opposition have joined to wind back much-needed gambling reforms, National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said.

“The poker machine industry takes money out of the pockets of those who can least afford it and from those who are least able to control it,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the National Mental Health Commission’s 2013 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and its establishment of clear recommendations for governments and the community.

“As a nation, we need to reduce barriers facing people who are at risk and experiencing disadvantage, understanding that mental health needs intersect with other core social services and supports,” National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said. “Many factors contribute to recovery, including access to good clinical treatment, a safe home, strong relationships and financial security.”

UnitingCare Australia welcomes measures taken to ensure the needs of households are considered by energy network companies when deciding how to direct all aspects of future spending, including high-cost capital expenditure, National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said today.

“Charges for network costs can make up half of current household energy bills, making it very hard for people to reduce spending via lower usage. Measures which will ensure future spending takes consumer needs into account are very welcome. Access to affordable energy underpins good health and full participation in society,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

As the community considers its contribution to the Government’s Commission of Audit, and as the Government considers its legislative and policy agenda, it’s important to take the time to think about what we cherish, Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia, said.

“Our economy is strong compared to the rest of the world. We can afford to restore our tax to GDP ratio to fund the things that matter. Providing health, education and social services will require collecting more tax. Lifting tax as a share of GDP to at least the 23.7% level of 2007, up from levels around 20% in 2010-11, would enable us to pay for what we value,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

Vulnerable people and communities deserve attention and investment well beyond any campaign period, parliamentary term or budget cycle, UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds says.

“We can afford a decent society where no one is left behind. That is the Australia we all seek,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said in Canberra today.

UnitingCare Australia has called on all political parties to commit to a just and fair society, National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said today, launching UnitingCare Australia’s Election Statement 2013.

“We can build a strong social-economic framework that supports people’s participation in education, training, employment and community life,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said. “Good social policy is good economics, and good politics.”

The Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce commends the South Australian Government for seeking parent and community advice about the extent to which gambling –like behaviour is occurring amongst children, through social media, mobile phone apps and other new technologies.

Australia can afford a strong social-economic framework that supports individuals, families and communities, Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia, said on Friday.

“The Australian economy is in good shape and, as a nation, we can afford to provide the services that matter – for all, and for the most vulnerable,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said, responding to the Federal Government’s Economic Statement released earlier today.