Media Releases

UnitingCare Australia is encouraged by this morning’s news regarding the yet to be released final report of the Reference Group on Welfare Reform. “Australia needs a simpler, fairer and more adequate welfare system. If news reports this morning are accurate, the McClure recommendations may offer a way forward to achieve that,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

“We particularly welcome attention being given to the adequacy of payments people receive.”

“UnitingCare Australia shares the Government’s desire to see more people assisted into the workforce, but we also caution that a realistic understanding of the challenges facing the most vulnerable Australians is required,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia, in response to Minister Morrison’s speech at the National Press Club today.

“For many people welfare can and should function as a short term safety net, helping them through a difficult period of life before they move back into engagement with the workforce,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

“Many Australians are paying significantly more than people in other parts of the world in electricity network charges,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

UnitingCare Australia is today releasing a report it commissioned from an Independent consultant, Carbon and Energy Markets, which examines what consumers are being charged for the supply of their electricity and makes comparisons between regions of Australia and some international energy markets.

The Government's announcement of $54.4 million in funding that will go over four years to a new initiative to support people with severe symptoms of dementia in residential care facilities is very good news," said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

"Our agencies provide the largest share of aged care in the country and we are consistently hearing that the challenges of caring for people with dementia are growing. Additional support to assist residential care providers in meeting this challenge is most welcome."

UnitingCare Australia is delighted to announce that CEO of UnitingCare Queensland, Anne Cross, has been named Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

Ms Cross has had a lifelong commitment to making a difference and “getting involved”, with a career that began in social work and now sees her running UnitingCare Queensland, the largest not-forprofit health and community services organisation in Queensland. The organisation supports thousands of people across the state and in the Northern Territory, every day.

Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the development of Hub Innovation Trials in South Australia and is delighted that UnitingCare network members will be participating.

The Trials are offering selected agencies more flexibility and less compliance with regulation, so they can focus more on what matters most—the people they exist to support. Two UnitingCare network members, Resthaven and Helping Hand Aged Care, are among the providers participating in the trial because of their consistent strong performance.

“Tax levels should be part of any discussion about getting Australia’s budget into healthier shape”, said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

“Both income and spending need to be considered when it comes to getting Australia’s national accounts into the black. While the focus of public discussions of the past few months has been on government spending, consideration also needs to go towards raising enough through taxation to ensure we can fund the things that matter”, said Ms Hatfield Dodds.

Australia’s Major Church Providers are today lodging submissions on the Welfare Review Interim Report, and are encouraging the reference panel to keep top-of-mind some key themes and principles when reviewing feedback.

Major Church Providers believe the reform is a good opportunity to improve a system that has become unnecessarily complicated over time. It is a chance to create a stronger and more effective safety net that protects people from poverty and provides an adequate level of income to enable a decent quality of life.

In the lead-up to the submission deadline for the Interim Report on Welfare Reform (8 August), Australia’s major church providers have released a statement of key principles for a fair and effective welfare system.

Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, The Salvation Army and UnitingCare Australia urges the Welfare Reform Reference Group to keep this statement in mind when reviewing feedback on report.

UnitingCare Australia is pleased to see priority going to where need is greatest in the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Early Childhood Care and Learning.

“Introducing a simple funding system in which subsidies are means-tested and based on the cost of providing a service rather than chasing fees charged is a positive direction for the system to head”, said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.