NFPs Want Poor and Vulnerable the Focus for Election 2013
Thursday, 31st January 2013 at 8:51 am
Not For Profits have welcomed the Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement of the upcoming Federal election on September 14 but have called on leaders to focus on the poor and vulnerable at home and abroad.
Oxfam Australia said that issues such as overseas aid, Indigenous rights and global hunger require serious policy commitments from both the Prime Minister and Opposition leader Tony Abbott in the lead up to the election.
“Oxfam wants to see the Australian Government deliver its commitment to increase overseas aid levels to 0.5 per cent of our national income by 2016,” Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said.
“With one in eight people around the world going to bed hungry every night, we want to see the Australian government taking strong action in the fight against global hunger.
“Closer to home, Oxfam Australia calls on the Government to continue investing in closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality, and commit to a referendum on the constitutional recognition of Australia’s first peoples.”
Mission Australia’s chief executive Toby Hall said Australia’s welfare system was broken and needed to be tackled as a whole with everything from the complex income support regime through to so-called ‘middle class welfare’ on the table.
“Australia’s welfare system is broken and is limping along in a dire state,” Hall said.
“Welfare reform needs to be taken as a whole. Too often issues of welfare payments and entitlements in this country have been tackled as part of a piecemeal approach.
“This not only undermines the public’s confidence in the system’s equity and transparency but also contributes to its ongoing weaknesses.”
Gillard announced the election in an address to the Press Club in Canberra.
“Today I announce that later this year, I will advise the Governor-General to dissolve the House of Representatives with writs to be issued on Monday the 12th of August for an election for the House and half of the Senate, to be held on Saturday the 14th of September,” she said.
“Announcing the election date now enables individuals and business, investors and consumers, to plan their year.
“There is now clearly the time and certainty necessary for the people and parties contesting the election to lay out their fully detailed, costed plans for the timely consideration of voters.”
Oxfam’s Helen Szoke said Australia was ideally placed to fulfil its commitment to help the world’s most vulnerable people find a pathway out of poverty.
“As Ms Gillard highlighted, the median wealth in Australia is among the highest in the world so we have a responsibility to help poor communities in developing countries,” she said.