18 July 2011 - Disability Advocacy Resource Unit

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					                            DARU Update
                            18 July 2011








                             IN THE NEWS
Clean Energy Future – Household Assistance Package
Media Release, Office of the Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families,
Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Last Sunday the Australian Government announced its plan for a
clean energy future.

An important part of this announcement was the Household
Assistance Package, worth $14.9 billion over four years, which will
help Australian households meet their expected increase in costs of
living due to the carbon price.
This package directly assists those Australians who will be most
affected by the carbon price. This assistance will mean:
     More than 50 per cent of the carbon price revenue will be used
       to assist households
     All assistance will be permanent and will rise over time
     Low-income and middle-income households will be eligible for
       assistance that at least offsets their expected average price
       impact from the carbon price
     Australians receiving means tested income support payments
       will be eligible for assistance under the package and recipients
       working part-time may also benefit from the new tax free
       threshold of $18,200
    Australians receiving the Age Pension, Disability Support
     Pension, Carer Payment, Service Pension and the Seniors
     Supplement will all receive assistance with the costs of the
     carbon price
    Assistance will be provided to families receiving the Family Tax
    The Low Carbon Communities program has been expanded to
     include the Household Energy and Financial Sustainability
     Scheme, to support 100,000 low income households to improve
     their energy and financial sustainability
    Households with people who have a relevant concession card
     and face higher essential electricity costs due to medical
     condition or disability will be eligible for additional assistance
    Over a million taxpayers will not have to lodge a tax return,
     because we are lifting the tax free threshold from $6,000 to
    A new $40 million Remote Indigenous Energy Program will help
     remote Indigenous communities access clean, affordable and
     reliable 24-hour power supplies.

The Low Income Energy Efficiency Program will provide up to $100
million in grants to consortiums of local and state governments,
community organisations, energy retailers and energy service
companies to assist low income households reduce energy costs to
adjust to the impacts of a carbon price. These competitive grants will
fund around 15 to 20 trial projects to assist identified low income
households across the country.

To find out more about the Household Assistance Package,
phone1800 057 590 or visit:

Extra Support for Pensioners and Self-Funded Retirees
Joint Media Release, The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister and
The Hon Jenny Macklin, 10 July 2011

The Gillard Government will provide Australia's 3.4 million pensioners
with extra payments that at least offset all of their expected price
impact under a carbon price. Around 90 per cent of pensioner
households, including all full rate pensioners, will also benefit from a
buffer of at least 20 per cent over and above their expected average
price impact from the carbon price.
About 280,000 self-funded retirees who are Commonwealth Seniors
Health Care Card holders will receive the same amount of assistance
as age pensioners. Australians receiving Age Pensions, Disability
Support Pensions, Carer Payment, Service Pension and the Seniors
Supplement will all receive assistance with the costs of the carbon

Pensioners will receive a new Clean Energy Supplement equal to a
1.7 per cent increase in the maximum rate of pension. This is an
annual increase of up to $338 for singles and $510 for couples

Pensioners will receive lump sum advance payments of up to $250
for a single pensioner before the carbon price begins, to make sure
they have extra money in their pockets to help meet price impacts.
For pensioners, this advance payment will be equivalent to nine
months – or in other words, about three quarters – of the extra annual

The advance payment will be made in May and June 2012. Regular
payment of the Clean Energy Supplement will begin in March 2013.
The assistance will be permanent and will rise over time through

The Government will review the adequacy of assistance each year
and will increase it further if necessary.

This article also provides information on:
    Essential Medical Equipment Payment
    Support for aged care residents and their providers
    Public housing tenants

To read the full story, visit:

Interpreting Services for Aged Care Must be Extended to
Disability Sector
Media Release, NEDA, 12 July 2011

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) congratulates the
Gillard Government on its initiative to make interpreting services
available to help older people from non-English speaking
backgrounds communicate on health and aged care matters.
The government data demonstrates that people from NESB make up
16 per cent of residents in residential aged care homes; it is
estimated that by 2026, one in four people aged 80 and over will be
from non-English speaking background.

 Mr de la Torre , President of NEDA noted, ‘given that today already 1
in 4 people with disability are from NESB background, the logical
conclusion must be that translation and interpreting services be made
available to the disability sector also.’

Sibylle Kaczorek, Executive Officer of NEDA stated, ‘the fact that the
Government recognises that communication barriers can mean that
Australians from NESB may not receive timely care and support
which can lead to poorer health outcomes and increased isolation
surely applies equally to people with disability.’ ‘The timing of this
announcement could not be better, given the Government’s new
commitment to Multiculturalism and the work currently conducted by
the Productivity Commission on Disability Care and Support, now
offers the opportunity to ensure that people from NESB with disability
are included through interpreting services.’

‘Productivity reporting on utilisation of existing disability services
demonstrates over and again that people from NESB with disability
under-utilise these services. The latest figures for 2008-2009 show an
under-utilisation of 2 - 4 times for people from NESB as they relate to
community access and support services, respite services and
employment services’, Ms Kaczorek states

‘The ability to communicate in one’s preferred language and cultural
awareness and competence are at the heart of access and inclusion.
Without dedicated funding provisions for interpreting services and
dedicated multicultural program strategies people from NESB with
disability will remain marginalised’, Ms Kaczorek concludes.

For the full story, visit:

Government Releases Final Report on NFP Regulator
Pro Bono News, 5 July 2011
The Federal Government has released the final report on the scoping
study for a national NFP regulator - opting for a single regulator for all
Australian Not for Profits.

The announcement comes with the appointment of the Chair of the
Implementation Taskforce for the Australian Charities and Not for
Profit Commission, Susan Pascoe, the former Commissioner with the
Victorian State Services Authority and former CEO of the Catholic
Education Commission of Victoria.

The Government has also released the exposure draft consultation
paper on restating the 'in Australia' special conditions for tax exempt

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten says the Implementation Taskforce
will ensure the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission is
ready for operation by 1 July 2012, consulting on a single general
reporting framework and information portal requirements.

The Implementation Taskforce will also engage with state agencies to
negotiate use of the portal as a 'one stop shop' for reporting to state

The Government will undertake a merit based selection process for
the appointment of the Commissioner for the Australian Charities and
Not for Profit Commission once legislation has been finalised.

The final report for the scoping study outlines the views put forward
by stakeholders during consultation about the design for the ACNPC
and makes recommendations on the direction of reforms to
strengthen the NFP sector.

To read the full article, visit:

To read the scoping report, including all the recommendations, visit:
Aids and Equipment AGM Invitation

When:     Wednesday 10 August 2011, 10:00am – 12:00noon
Where:    The Nerve Centre, 54 Railway Parade, Blackburn
Register: Light lunch provided so RSVP your attendance for
          catering purposes to AEAA@msaustralia.org.au

You are invited to attend the Aids and Equipment Action Alliance
(AEAA) Annual General Meeting to be followed by a General
members meeting.

Associated documentation for the AGM including the AEAA
Constitution, Strategic plan, a draft policy, nomination form and an
agenda for the day can be requested via the email above.

Please note: nominations must be complete and received by the
AEAA 7 days prior to the AGM. Nominations will not be accepted at
the AGM unless an executive position has not already received a

Quality in Advocacy - Making It Happen

When:     1-00 to 3-30 Thursday 21 July 2011 Join us for a light
          lunch @ 12-30
Where:    Gallery Room – Ground Floor Multicultural Hub, 506
          Elizabeth St, Melbourne 3000
Register: RSVP by Tuesday 19 July, via email admin@daru.org.au
          or phone 9639 5807 and advise of any support or dietary

This forum is hosted by VDAN and DARU.

The speakers’ panel has been finalised and includes:
   Tim Wilmont, National Quality Framework DHS – One Standard
   Michael Cromie, Manager, Capacity Building, Office for
   Andrea Simmons, CEO DANA
   John Barnett, FACHSIA - A Commonwealth Perspective
   Steve Doran, CEO, RIAC – Organisational experience
   Carol Okai, EO, Assert for All - Organisational experience
This forum will focus attention on the Quality Frameworks which aims
to improve outcomes for people with disabilities and its implications
for advocacy agencies. What are some of the challenges, benefits in
an already under-resourced sector.

Presentations from government representatives and two Disability
Advocacy organisations will be followed by a general discussion and
questions from the floor.

For more information and to download a flyer, visit:

Mobility Expo 2011

When: Wednesday 17th August 2011, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Where: Kingston Arts Centre, Banquet Room Gallery 2, 979 Nepean
       H’way Moorabbin
Cost:  Free entry

The aim of this expo is to raise awareness of transport and other
services available to assist people to access their community

It provides an opportunity to see and talk to exhibitors from:
     public transport, taxi and community volunteer transport
     community organisations who support community access
     manufacturers and distributors of wheelchairs, scooters and
       other mobility aids
     vehicle conversion businesses

Display tables are still available for any organisation wishing to
promote their services or run demonstrations. Exhibiting is free.

For more information contact Trans Access on 9575 5386 or email

To download a flyer, visit:
Disability and Ageing: Lifelong Planning for a Better Future -
Inquiry Report
Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Parliament of Australia, 6 July

This report examines the planning options and services available now
and in the future to assist people with a disability, and their carers,
plan for the long-term. In particular, it seeks to assist carers to find an
adequate answer to the question: 'What happens when I / we can no
longer care?'

Evidence taken by the committee suggests that the challenges facing
the disability sector are substantial and that the existing system is not
operating effectively. People with disabilities, carers, service providers
and governments all agreed that there are many inadequacies in the
choice, funding and support options available for people with a

Beyond this, witnesses have also suggested that the deficiencies in
the disability service sector have produced a crisis-driven culture
which fosters dependency and which limits innovation. It has
produced circumstances where families have become accustomed to
receiving low levels of support and where it has become
commonplace for family members to care for a person with a disability
until they are unable to do so. This suggests that while reform is
clearly needed within the disability service sector, cultural change is
also required, both within the bureaucracy and service sector, in order
to establish planning cultures and behaviours that sustainably support
people into the future.

Given that Australia is anticipating significant population ageing,
which will be accompanied by a commensurate reduction in the
availability of informal care and support, the committee is deeply
concerned by evidence suggesting that little sustainable planning is
taking place. Many carers are so consumed by their day-to-day caring
role that they have not even begun to start thinking about planning.
Others find the planning challenge considerable and need support to
manage what is a complex and multifaceted task.

In the report the committee focuses on whole-of-life planning, rather
than simply service planning. It documents why it is critical that whole-
of-life planning take place before proceeding to consider some of the
major practical barriers to planning, including: access to information,
accommodation support, availability of respite, appropriateness of
assessment tools, and the difficulty of navigating the disability / aged
care interface.

To read the full report, visit:

Family Voices Now Available
July 2011 Edition

Family Voices is the national publication of Children with Disability
Australia (CDA), the national peak body which represents children
and young people with disability and their families. The organisation
is an advocacy body with a mandate of building respect, recognition
and inclusion for children and young people with disability. The
organisation works alongside families of children and young people
with disability.

In this issue:
     An interview with Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for
       Disabilities and Carers
     An update on the National Disability Insurance Scheme
     An update on the advocacy work that CDA has been involved in
       to ensure that the needs of children and young people with
       disability are considered in the education system.

To obtain a copy, contact CDA on phone 03 9815 1094 or 1800 222
660 (interstate and regional callers) or email info@cda.org.au

Inside Access Launches Website

Inside Access is a therapeutic justice initiative of the Mental Health
Legal Centre, which delivers free legal services and advocacy to
imprisoned persons in Victorian adult and forensic correctional
facilities. We are pleased to announce the launch of the Inside
Access website.

The website provides useful information and resources for people
who have experience with the criminal justice system and their
families including publications, educational materials and links to
other services. We seek submissions of artwork, stories, poetry or
other creative responses for the site.

To have a look at the website, visit:

Understanding and Managing Epilepsy

When:     Wednesday, 10 August 7.00pm - 9.00pm
          Wednesday, 21 September 12 noon - 2.00pm
          Wednesday, 19 October 10.00am - 12 noon
          Wednesday, 23 November 12 noon - 2.00pm
          Wednesday, 14 December 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Where:    Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria , 818 Burke Road,
          Camberwell (Melways Ref: 45:J10)
Register: Telephone 1300 852 853 or email
Cost:     Free

If you care for someone with epilepsy, have epilepsy yourself, or just
want to know more about epilepsy, this workshop is for you

Topics covered include:
   What is epilepsy?
   Different seizure types
   Triggers and causes
   Diagnosis and treatment
   First aid for seizures
   Living with epilepsy

For more information, contact Mark Green on 9805 9111 or email:

Communicating about Planned and Unplanned Disruptions on
the Victorian Public Transport System

Consultancy AECOM are currently undertaking a project on behalf of
the Department of Transport to consult with key stakeholders about
public transport services for people with limited mobility, a vision
and/or hearing impairment.

The project is focussing on communications about planned and
unplanned disruptions and how these activities may be better
targeted towards these groups.

If you have limited mobility, hearing or a vision impairment and use
public transport regularly we would like to speak with you. Interviews
will take approximately one hour and the information collected will be

Please contact Rebecca Solomon from AECOM Senior Consultant -
Communication & Community on 9653 8717 if you would like to be

Geelong Visitor Access Centre Survey

The City of Greater Geelong / Aged & Disability Services have for
some time been exploring models and gauging the support for a
Visitor Access Centre in Central Geelong, similar to Travellers Aid in
Melbourne. A reference group has been established to assist with this
project. The concept has been well received and supported by a
number of disability services and community groups in the Geelong

This survey is one of the tools being used to explore the level of need
for a facility similar to Travellers Aid in Central Geelong. The findings
from the survey, due to be released in October, will provide key
information to progress the planning into reality. Your input and
feedback is essential.

The survey will be available online from Monday 18th July 2011 until
Monday 22nd August 2011. To complete the survey, visit:

VCOSS Member Consultation State Budget Submission 2012-13

When:     Thursday 28 July, 11:30am – 3:00pm
Where:    VCOSS Boardroom, Level 8, 128 Exhibition Street,
Register: Complete your membership online for VCOSS Member
           Consultations – State Budget Submission 2012 – 13 at:

This is your chance to have a say about what VCOSS includes in the
2012-13 State Budget Submission.

We want to hear from you about what the emerging issues are, about
innovative strategies to address old, and new problems, and about
the evidence you have to demonstrate why action is needed and why
your solutions work.

For more information, contact Michelle Lane at VCOSS on phone (03)
9654 5050 or email michelle.lane@vcoss.org.au

Demand a Better Deal for People with Disability in the Work

Disability Employment Australia (formerly ACE National) has
launched a campaign to oppose the Labor Government’s decision to
enforce over 80% of Disability Employment Support Services to re-
tender for government contracts in 2012.

Disability Support Australia agrees with the government’s objectives
but disagrees with their way of achieving them. There are more
effective and less disruptive ways to improve service standards.

To help change the government’s position on this vital issue, visit:

National Human Rights Action Plan

The Australian Government is developing a new National Human
Rights Action Plan to outline future action for the promotion and
protection of human rights in consultation with the non-government
sector. This provides an opportunity to systematically consider
Australia's strengths and address shortcomings in human rights laws
and practice.

The Baseline Study builds on the findings of the 2009 human rights
consultations to present a picture of the status of human rights in
Australia by:
   outlining relevant statistics and other research on key human
     rights issues
    noting relevant recommendations from Australia’s recent
     Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations
    highlighting major government initiatives already in place, and
     proposing issues that a National Action Plan could address.

The Baseline Study is a survey of the experience and protection of
human rights in Australia, identifying gaps which may require further
action. It is not intended to cover every issue and initiative, but rather
provide a meaningful snapshot to guide the development of an Action

The government is now seeking public comment on the draft Baseline
Study and welcomes feedback by 31 August 2011

To download the National Human Rights Action Plan Draft Baseline
Study and find out how to lodge a submission, visit:

To subscribe to the National Human Rights Action Plan information
updates, email nhrap@ag.gov.au to join the mailing list.

Inquiry Into Access to and Interaction with the Justice System
by People with an Intellectual Disability and their Families and

Call for submissions

All members of the public are able to submit a written submission to
the inquiry for consideration by the Committee. Submissions must be
submitted to the Committee by Friday, 9 September 2011.

All submissions must address the topic of the Inquiry, and while the
Committee prefers that submissions specifically address the Terms of
Reference, this is not required.

The Terms of Reference are

Paragraph A - key issues and themes:
   participants' knowledge of their rights;
   availability of appropriate services and supports;
   dealings with the police; and
    the operation of the courts;

Paragraph B - measures within Australia and internationally to
improve access to, and interaction with, the justice system, measures
that seek to:
    break down barriers to the justice system and enhance
    deliver just and equitable outcomes;
    facilitate collaborative and co-ordinated approaches across
      government departments and agencies; and
    provide responses that address the circumstances of the
      offender and offence concerned.

Paragraph C - consideration as to whether the findings of the inquiry
have broader application to people with a disability other than an
intellectual disability, for example those with an acquired brain injury
or neurological condition leading to cognitive disability.*

* Paragraph (c) was inserted by resolution of the Legislative
Assembly on 30 June 2011.

Submissions can be emailed to the Committee’s secretariat at:

If possible, please also post a hard copy of your submission to:

The Executive Officer - Law Reform Committee
Parliament of Victoria, Spring Street

To discuss how to make a submission to the Inquiry, phone 03 8682
2851 or email vplrc@parliament.vic.gov.au or download the Guide to
Making a Submission from:

The Terms of Reference can also be found at

The Law Reform Committee is required to report no later than 30
March 2012
For more info go to

                   FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
2011-12 Project Grants Now Open - Legal Services Board

Project Grants are available for projects with a budget of up to
$60,000 and a maximum duration of approximately one year.

Priority will be given to:
    non-profit organisations
    projects that improve access to justice and equity
    specific and finite projects

Preference may also be given to:
    applicants who do not have any other access to the Public
      Purpose Fund
    rural and regional Victoria

Please note the increased budget level of $60,000.

The 2011 Project Grants round will close 9 September 2011

Applicants are advised to discuss their application with Grants staff
prior to submission. Contact Susan Ball or Kelly Tasiopoulos on (03)
9679 8000 or email orgrants@lsb.vic.gov.au to make an appointment
or discuss your application by 26 August 2011.

Program Officer

    Salary Range: $42,000 pa plus mandatory superannuation paid
    Full time or job share
    Location: AAA’s office is based in South Melbourne. Requests
     to work remotely will be considered.

Arts Access Australia is the national peak body for arts and disability.
We are currently looking for suitably qualified applicants to fill the
position of Program Officer to help deliver AAA’s annual program of
activities, campaigns and membership services.
   For more information or to request a copy of the Application Pack,
   contact info@artsaccessaustralia.org

   Applications are due by 10am on Monday the 8th of August 2011.
   Interviews will take place on the 18th and 19th of August. People with
   disability are encouraged to apply.

Welcome to the weekly Update from the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU).
If you would like to be removed from this list or kept up to date another way, please
reply to this email and let us know.

DARU has been funded by the state government. It is run by a governance group,
including members of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VDAN), and the
Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS). DARU’s staff currently includes a Co-
ordinator, Sharon Granek, and an Administration Officer, Natasha Brake.

We are always happy to hear from people who are interested in what we do. If you
have a question, an idea, some news you’d like to see in the next update, or even if
you just want to tell us something we’re doing is good or bad, get in touch! Call us on
03 9639 5807 or email admin@daru.org.au.

Please note that material contained in the DARU Update copy does not necessarily
reflect the policy of DARU or the views of any staff members. Statements in the
DARU Update do not comprise advice and readers should avail themselves of
professional advice where appropriate.

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