Media Releases

UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds has called for tomorrow's Federal Budget to begin a national discussion about ageing in Australia.

“Australia has an ageing population. Treasury projects that over the next 40 years, the proportion of the population over 65 years of age will almost double to around 25 per cent,” said Ms Hatfield Dodds.

UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said that next week’s Federal Budget should focus on investing in people and productivity to ensure the future prosperity of the nation.

“The Budget offers an opportunity to invest in our nation’s most valuable resource – its people,” said Ms Hatfield Dodds.

UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said that yesterday’s Commission of Audit report set out a raft of recommendations that challenge the way we think about the role of government and our expectations of it.

“While the report contains more than enough recommendations for cutting, transferring, privatising and scaling back to concern most sectors of the community, the recommendations do not equate to government decisions, as the Finance Minister made clear yesterday,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

Strengthening the revenue base is a vital step in ensuring Australia has the capacity to fund the services and improved living standards the community wants and expects, UnitingCare National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said today.

“We are a fair and decent society. We can align economic growth, fiscal discipline and equitable public policy. We can operate above day-to-day politics and think strategically, for the common good,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

The findings of today’s ANUpoll on public priorities for Government spending are welcome, and are particularly timely in the lead up to the May budget, UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds says.

“Australians want to see increased Government spending on social services, the ANUpoll shows. And we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is. People don’t want tax cuts at the expense of social services,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

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.