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Submission to the Review of Australia’s Welfare System

This submission responds to the Australian Government’s 2014 Review of Australia’s Welfare System.

It recommends that reforms to the income support system should:

  • Focus on maximising civic participation: support and reward both employment and social activation, including volunteering, learning and other forms of independent participation.
  • Ensure rates of income support adequately meet the needs of people: any reforms that result in people being transferred onto participation payments must not result in them being in a worse off net financial position.
  • Emphasise a strengths-based approach to participation requirements, over narrow or punitive mutual obligation measures.
  • Strengthen Rent Assistance: reforms to apply Rent Assistance to public housing should only take place as part of comprehensive reform that leaves no public housing tenants worse off.
  • Develop a jobs plan that outlines strategies and invests in opportunities for vulnerable people to gain employment.
  • Invest in support that builds the capacity of people to participate in economic and civic life: for the most vulnerable, this should be a highly coordinated and integrated support-learning-employment chain.
  • Empower local communities to improve social and economic outcomes through investment in local leadership, coordination and governance mechanisms.
  • Adequately resource and skill-up local leadership, coordination and governance mechanisms to engage with different groups across communities, particularly the most vulnerable.

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Submission to the Review of Australia's Welfare System