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Brotherhood of St Laurence - Working for an Australia free of poverty Brotherhood Update - Research and policy update from the Brotherhood of St Laurence

September 2019

Climate change and housing affordability feature in our latest Brotherhood Talks podcasts. Also in this Brotherhood Update are a research paper about social procurement, and the Brotherhood’s policy submissions about assistance for disadvantaged jobseekers, about planning in the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) and about setting the default offer for Victoria’s electricity prices in 2020.

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RESEARCH How purchasing can create job opportunities

close-up of bolted coloured scaffolding

Public and private sector organisations can strategically use their purchasing power, through a process known as social procurement, to achieve social objectives including employment creation. But this is not a simple fix. A new paper explores the opportunities and challenges facing governments, businesses and social enterprises that get involved in social procurement.

Read the paper by Maria Mupanemunda, Social procurement: creating employment opportunities through purchasing expenditure (PDF, 626 KB)

PODCAST Climate justice

Jeremy Moss

Listen to Professor Jeremy Moss in our new Brotherhood Talks podcast, Climate justice: the ethics and politics of responding to climate change

Professor Moss is Co-Director of the Practical Justice Initiative at the University of New South Wales, where he leads the Climate Justice Research Program, and chaired the UNESCO working group on Climate Ethics and Energy Security. In the podcast, he argues the concept of justice needs to be front and centre of our efforts to reduce the harmful impacts of climate change. If is not, he says, we could make a very bad situation worse.

PODCAST Addressing housing affordability in Australia

Kate Colvin and Kate Raynor

This Brotherhood Talks podcast contrasts current affordability challenges with those of past decades, and explores the merits of various international approaches to making housing more affordable, especially for people on low incomes.

The main speakers are Dr Kate Raynor, from the Affordable Housing Initiative at the University of Melbourne, and Kate Colvin, from the Council to Homeless Persons and the Everybody’s Home campaign. Brotherhood Research and Policy Centre Director, Professor Shelley Mallett, leads a Q&A session.

Listen to the podcast Affordable housing in Australia: what can we do about it?

POLICY NDIS planning for better outcomes

Young man beside swimming pool

To improve the quality of outcomes in the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), the planning process needs to be refined to ensure that decisions are made collaboratively, taking into account each participant’s context and linking them with community resources. Our submission to the Senate inquiry drew on consultations with NDIS participants and Local Area Coordination staff.

Read the submission to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Planning Inquiry (PDF, 175 KB)

POLICY Harnessing the skills of all Victoria’s jobseekers

Pedestrian and Melbourne business district

The Brotherhood urged the Victorian Government to build on existing state-funded supports for people experiencing disadvantage in the labour market, in our response to the current parliamentary inquiry.

Read our submission The social & economic benefits of sustainable work for jobseekers experiencing disadvantage (PDF, 621 KB)

ARTICLE A framework for evaluating welfare policy

While much discussion has focused on the extent to which welfare states have been retrenched, it is timely to focus on the outcomes of welfare policies. Jerry Brown and two colleagues propose using the ‘capability approach’ as a framework to assess the outcomes of different policy regimes.

Read the article by Adam Hannah, Jeremiah Thomas Brown & Andrew Gibbons, Welfare capabilities: evaluating distributional inequalities and welfare policy in advanced democracies, Journal of European Social Policy

ADVOCACY Involving consumers in setting electricity distribution prices

Power lines against pastel sky

Network costs account for about 45 per cent of the average Australian electricity bill. The Brotherhood is working with Renew and VCOSS to ensure consumer views are heard in Victoria’s price-setting process, which occurs every five years.

Read about Consumer input into electricity distribution prices