Monday, March 20, 2017
Is housing the homeless a good idea?
The report summarized below says that the monetary benefits outweigh the costs but I strongly suspect some courageous assumptions in their calculations. Most people however do seem to want to get rough sleepers off the streets and out of the public parks so my suggestion would be the provision of domitories to which they can be taken rather than putting them into full accomodation.
The people concerned generally have mental problems to at least some degree so we would not want them to reproduce. And providing a full apartment to them might tend to encourage partnering and reproduction -- leading to a new dependent generation for the taxpayers to support. By all means get them into safer quarters but limit what is provided for free
It's cheaper to provide last resort housing to homeless people than to leave them sleeping rough, a new cost-benefit analysis has found.
The analysis found governments and society benefit more than they spend by providing last resort housing to homeless individuals. This is mainly through reduced healthcare costs, reduced crime, and helping people get back into employment or education.
This comprehensive cost-benefit analysis was commissioned by a team of experts from the University of Melbourne, NGOs, and architecture firms. The analysis was conducted by consulting firm SGS Economics and Planning.
The number of people sleeping rough in Melbourne's streets has increased by over 70% in the last two years. Homelessness is now at emergency levels. Key causes are the unaffordability of housing, people escaping domestic violence and a structural lack of social housing.
There has been a reduction in the supply of "last resort housing". Last resort housing refers to legal rooming and boarding houses, and emergency accommodation.
On average, more than 40 requests for last resort housing are turned down across Victoria every day.
Our analysis shows that the government providing one last resort bed will generate a net benefit of $216,000 over 20 years. That averages to a net benefit of $10,800 per year.
The majority of those benefits (75%) flow to society and the remainder to the individual.
For every $1 invested in last resort beds to address the homelessness crisis, $2.70 worth of benefits are generated for the community (over 20 years).
In other words, the benefits of providing last resort housing outweigh the costs. There is much to gain in economic and social terms, both for government and society, by assisting the homeless.
This is because if homeless individuals find stable accommodation they require less healthcare and fewer emergency admissions, and they are less likely to be involved in crime (both as victims and perpetrators). They are more likely to reconnect with employment and education. Homelessness also incurs property blighting and nuisance costs. Importantly, last resort housing can greatly improve the quality of life of individuals.
Our analysis shows that the form of last resort housing which makes the most sense economically is the construction of new, permanent stock - especially medium to large-sized facilities. Converting existing buildings, and subsidising private rentals, are both worth considering as well especially in the short term.
The commissioning team calls on governments to build more new, permanent last resort housing to help the homeless, because the benefits outweigh the costs. Existing last resort housing should be protected and maintained. These are issues for local, state and federal governments.
The commissioning team hopes the research presented in this report will be used to develop stronger business cases for - and ultimately generate substantial investment in - last resort housing.
We're failing to protect indigenous children for fear of another Stolen Generation
That's quite true. But who is to blame for that? It is unequivocally the fault of lying Leftist historians who pumped up normal social work among Aboriginal children into a "Stolen Generation". Social workers went into self protective mode in response to that great slur by often refusing to rescue Aboriginal children for any reason whatsoever. Who would want to become the object of a Leftist hate campaign?
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd lamented the high numbers of indigenous children being removed from their community and culture, saying: "We do not want another generation of young Aboriginal children unnecessarily separated from their culture. We do not want to see the emergence of a second Stolen Generation, not by design, but by default."
On ABC's The Drum, Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price rebuked Rudd saying: "Indigenous children's lives must come before anything else." She also spoke of family members having "begged for children to be removed" and placed with non-indigenous families they know and trust only to have child protection workers say "No, No. It's their culture that's more important" or citing the Stolen Generation as justification for not removing them.
The fact is there are indigenous children living in the grip of dysfunction, abuse, family violence and addiction.
Report after report has found children exposed to some of the worst forms of violence, sexual assaults, psychological abuse and neglect imaginable.
Last year the NT's Coroner described family violence there as out of control with one child subjected to domestic violence and three witnessing it every day.
The Drum's official Facebook Page posted Price's interview with the caption: "Indigenous children's lives must come before anything else. even if it means taking them from their families. Jacinta Price shares her controversial view."
Since when is putting a child's life first "controversial"? It's the basis of Australia's child protection system and indigenous children have as much right to protection as any other. Of course children should know their culture and have the opportunity to be part of it. But that isn't more important than their right to live safely, free of abuse and violence and healthy, fed, clothed, housed, educated and loved.
If a child's extended family is rife with dysfunction, and many are, no family member may be able to care for them. And it's not always possible for indigenous children to be cared for in community. I've fostered children. It's a big responsibility. And if a child comes from a small, close knit community, where everyone has a kin relationship with everyone else, it may be impossible to protect a child if they remain there.
Unfortunately, sometimes it's a choice between a child's individual interests and the child living within their family, community and/or cultural group. This isn't a hard choice. The child's interests come first. Few people object to this principle when it comes to white children. When it comes to indigenous children it's sensitive or "controversial", as if their membership of a group is more important than their wellbeing. This mentality is racist.
Today's situation is nothing like the Stolen Generation. Indigenous children aren't being removed to assimilate them into white society in anticipation of indigenous extinction, but because of abuse and neglect at home. Last year, Victoria's Commission for Children and Young People released its report on services provided to Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in Victoria. Read the report and you'll find 88 per cent had experienced family violence and 87 per cent were exposed to parental alcohol/substance use.
Last November at the National Launch of the Family Matters campaign, Senator Pat Dodson described the high levels of indigenous children being removed from their families as "genocide". I disagree. Even the Victorian report says "Most Victorian Aboriginal children are cared for in loving families, where they are cherished, protected and nurtured, where their connection to community and culture is strong, their Koori identity is affirmed and they are thriving, empowered and safe."
Price's statement that child protection agencies justify leaving children in unsafe environments because culture is more important is shocking. This must stop. In the future there'll be another generation of indigenous people deserving an apology from government, not for removing them but for failing to protect them.
School standards drop as government pushes a politically correct program
PARENTS should be worried about the LGBTI Safe Schools gender and sexuality program being forced on government schools by Daniel Andrews' government.
Add the fact, as reported in The Australian recently, that vulnerable teenagers with intellectual disabilities enrolled in Victorian special schools are also being indoctrinated, and it's understandable why so many now call the program Un-Safe Schools.
Such was the furore last year about Safe Schools' indoctrinating of pupils with a Marxist-inspired curriculum, where gender is fluid and limitless and boys can be girls and girls can be boys, that the Commonwealth censored the program and cut its funding.
Not so in Victoria, where the uncensored version is being promoted. Education Minister James Merlino has said "Work is under way on expanding Safe Schools to all government schools by the end of 2018."
Supporters argue it is an anti-bullying program to make schools safer. Wrong.
Roz Ward, the Marxist academic responsible for its design, publicly admits its real purpose is to impose a radical, alternative view about gender and sexuality: "Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity, not about stopping bullying." She says it's about "sexual diversity, about same-sex attraction, about being transgender, about being lesbian, gay, bisexual - say the words transgender, intersex".
While the government severed ties with Ward and La Trobe University's Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society late last year, the Safe Schools material is still guilty of advocating an extreme, cultural-Left view of gender and sexuality.
Notwithstanding that about 98 per cent of Australians identify as heterosexual and are comfortable being men and women, one of the resources, OMG I'M Queer, tells pupils that "sexuality can't really be defined". It is stated that "sexuality is fluid, and changes over time" and "Looking at sexuality as something that's fluid and always changing is pretty cool".
According to Safe Schools, "what you label yourself is up to you" as "common definitions of sexuality, gender and sex are often limited" and because gender and sexuality "exist on a spectrum rather than absolute binaries".
Ignored (as argued by the American College of Pediatricians, and with very rare exceptions) is that we are all born with either XY or XX chromosomes, and "Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species".
Even though most children are happy being boys or girls, the Safe Schools material argues "Gender isn't quite as simple as whether you're `male' or `female'. Everyone has their own gender identity in relation to masculinity or femininity". Victoria's version of Safe Schools also repeats the misleading statistics used by the LGBTI lobby when justifying the need for government funding and positive discrimination.
The All of Us booklet tells pupils 10 per cent of people are same-sex-attracted. Ignored is one of the largest Australian surveys, by Anthony Smith and Paul Badcock, Sexual identity and practices, that concludes only 1.6 per cent of men identify as gay and 0.8 per cent of women as lesbian.
On reading the Safe Schools material on the Victorian Department of Education and Training's website, parents are left in no doubt that Safe Schools is more about LGBTI advocacy than stopping bullying. Schools are told that language should be gender-neutral and, as a result, "Phrases like `ladies and gentlemen' or `boys and girls' should be avoided".
Schools are also told they should ensure, regardless of whether pupils are male and female, that they should be able to use "the toilets, changing rooms, showers and swimming facilities based on the student's gender identity and the facilities they feel most comfortable with".
Safe Schools is not the only alternative, cultural-Left program. The Respectful Relationships material is also one-sided and biased. Even though the Victorian royal commission concluded that 25 per cent of family violence involves men as victims, the Respectful Relationships program implies it's only women who are at risk. Boys and men are portrayed as misogynist and violent.
Once again gender is presented as a social construct that is impossible to define because whatever gender you are is "determined by what an individual feels and does and how individuals understand their identities including being a man, women, transgender, gender queer and many other gender positions".
But at the same time the government is forcing a politically correct gender and sexuality program on government schools, we are going backwards in international literacy and numeracy tests; we are now ranked 24th in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. So much for the basics.
The sun has set on Greens' dreams - and they may not be renewable
By GRAHAM RICHARDSON (They've taken most of his insides out but Richo's brain still seems to be working as well as ever. He was always a realist)
Twenty years ago, the Greens were forming governments in Europe and were on the rise. In Australia, they even entertained dreams of winning power, state or federally. In all the words written and said about the election in Western Australia barely a sentence has been about the Greens. The Greens' dream has well and truly faded. Their vote has hovered about 10 per cent for all of those two decades and they have been utterly useless when it comes to convincing Australians to support them. They continue to run up their flag and they continue to see only that loyal 10 per cent prepared to salute.
During those two decades Australians have moved further to the right and the Greens, our only genuinely left-wing political party, are stuck on 10 per cent with almost no hope of ever seeing their support increase. It is disappointing that the Greens, like Labor, never seem to try to convince voters that man-made climate change is a big problem. They seem to assume that a big majority here believes in climate change. That may have been the case a decade ago but now the sceptics and the non-believers are able to argue the lack of evidence to support the onset of climate change without any real effort to defeat their arguments.
The blind pursuit of ridiculous renewable energy targets is a Greens push adopted by Labor and now works against them both.
I felt almost sorry for Jay Weatherill this week when he announced the building of this useless, mega-expensive battery farm. Flim-flam won't replace solid policy. The Greens led the South Australian Premier down the road to ruin and he acquiesced too quickly. The lights have gone out on South Australians several times now and the state Liberals, as pathetic as they appear to be, will no doubt turn the lights out on the Weatherill government at the next election.
Meanwhile, as if to reaffirm their vote of no confidence in the electorate, the Greens go further and further to the left. The bleatings of Sarah Hanson-Young served only to alienate ordinary Australians. The Greens' spend-up-big policies on every form of government endeavour frightens the horses. Then this week their leader, Richard Di Natale, scaled new heights of madness suggesting a four-day week. While the rest of us try to find ways to make this country more productive, the good old Greens want to take us backwards.
No party of the left can do well in Australia in today's electoral climate so the Greens are guaranteed to remain fringe players in the game of winning real power. Sure, they will win the odd inner-city seat and each time this occurs they will tell us that this is the dawn of a new era. The false dawns have come and gone before but the Greens are destined to be cellar dwellers for a very long time.
The goals of the Greens in some cases are absolutely right but time is never adequately allocated to achieve them. Renewable energy makes sense and I congratulate Malcolm Turnbull for seeking to increase by 50 per cent the output of the Snowy River Hydroelectric Scheme. This is real forward thinking, a commodity in short supply in our nation. It won't be enough on its own to solve our energy crisis but it is a giant stride in the right direction.
Let us all hope that it may embolden the Prime Minister to push for the building of other dams around Australia. We don't build dams any more on a continent infamous for its lack of water. Usually the Greens can find an endan-gered toad or rat that needs to be protected and judge its needs as much more important than the aspirations of a country looking for a drink or for some irrigation.
Malcolm Turnbull doubts there'll be much co-operation with the new secretary of the ACTU if she stands by her comments that the peak union is above "unjust laws"
Sally McManus, who was this week promoted inside the ACTU, has drawn criticism after suggesting it was OK to break unjust laws, with even Labor leader Bill Shorten disagreeing with her view.
"If she thinks that she and her unions are above the law then there's not much we can do with her I'm afraid," Mr Turnbull told 3AW's Neil Mitchell on Friday.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a tour of a power station at the Snowy Hydro Scheme. c Lukas Coch/ AAP Image Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a tour of a power station at the Snowy Hydro Scheme. He equated her comments to a culture of thuggery as seen in the construction union.
Asked about something she wrote on social media last year claiming Mr Turnbull has no central beliefs which guide him, he said "that's just abuse, isn't it?"
He cited his commitment to freedom, to the liberty of the individual, to drive economic growth and nation building.
"I had the courage as prime minister to dissolve both houses of parliament so that we could get passed laws that would restore the rule of law to the construction sector," he said.
"A lot of people said we wouldn't succeed ... those laws have been passed."
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here