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MORE COUNCILS CALL FOR A RAISE TO NEWSTART

Huge night last night: Fremantle Council became the 1st WA Council to support a raise to Newstart, and here in Adelaide, Prospect Council became the 11th Council in SA to support a raise to Newstart!! :-)

That means there are now 14 Councils across Australia that support a raise to Newstart:

- 1 in WA
- 2 in Victoria (Moreland and Maribyrnong)
- 11 in SA (Adelaide, Clare and Gilbert Valley, Copper Coast, Kangaroo Island, Mount Gambier, Onkaparinga, Playford, Port Adelaide Enfield, Prospect, Salisbury, and Streaky Bay)

Keep up the fight!! :-)
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People's Poverty Summit, Anti-Poverty Network SA's one-day conference at the end of July.

If you have been to any of our other conferences, you will know that these are pretty special events, full of passion and insight, and dominated by the people in the firing line of wave after wave of government attacks on the poor.

This conference will be a little different, though. Each session will be based around us trying to answer a particular question. Should be fun!!
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SOUP!!!!

Now that we have your attention, let us tell you about this exciting public forum that our northwestern suburbs branch is hosting on Sunday June 3rd: Forum: Housing For Need, Not Greed. Bob, Stephen, Tammy, and Tracey from our group all speaking, plus a Housing Minister from the Bannon State Government.

And lots of insightful discussion to be had about what we can do about the irrational, unaffordable, unfair housing market that we all have to contend with.

Our hope is that we will see, down the track, a new grassroots group form, one that can advocate and campaign for tenants (and others) dealing with shockingly high rents and tyrannical landlords. It sure is needed...

P.S. We will have pumpkin soup, enough for everyone (except landlords)!!
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TELL LABOR: IT'S TIME TO RAISE NEWSTART!!

Here is an e-mail from our of members to Bill Shorten and Jenny Macklin. If you have not already, please do write to them.

"Firstly, I want to discuss Newstart, Pensions, and the CES. I would like to know your thoughts on Newstart, some of your Labor colleagues support, or want to look into raising the Newstart Allowance. I am asking you to look into raising Newstart. I know that Labor will “Review Newstart”, however this needs to be more concrete, Labor could say “We strongly support an increase to Newstart, and we will commission a review to decide how much it should be raised.” I would also like to ask you to look into raising the Aged and Disability Support pensions by $50 a week. I would like to see the CES return, at the very least, I strongly advise the ALP to hold an inquiry into Job Network Providers. I would like to see Centrelink properly staffed, with little to no outsourcing."

- To contact Labor Party leader Bill Shorten: bill.shorten.mp@aph.gov.au/(03) 9326 0611
- To contact Labor Party social services spokesperson Jenny Macklin: jmacklin.mp@aph.gov.au/(03) 9459 1411
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Another testimonial that come from another page. One bright side of this though, if there can be one, is that fact that she now has plenty of time for research and is VERY awake to what is happening.

"I am in a situation where research keeps me sane. I am 63, have several ailments, limited mobility, a part time carer, and although my doctors have diagnosed me as unable to work, Centerlink know more than my doctors and think I can find work. Because you somehow have to survive on $230.00 per week you don't go out, the only contact to the outside world is the internet if you do have stable accommodation for connections. Lucky for me I love research and spend hours every day doing it. So I am going back to study to get them off my back and run up a HECS bill that will never be repaid, longevity is not on my side. Just so I can never find employment because I am of retirement age well and truly. I cant do voluntary work due to back, leg and hip problems. I need a hip replacement that is not in any distant sight, it is painful to walk, however the Centerlink Nazis do not care. All I have is my good friends who visit me and research. I don't know how I will go with structured study, I also have rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue. I could go on with all ailments, but that would exhaust explanation, so I hope you see the picture. Research keeps me alive and my brain active. Who knows I might find the Holy Grail one day lol. My spirit will never be broken by these parasites in government. They make me feel so proud of never being anything like them, and as an aging activist I wont stop until my heart does, and that is still beating strongly. Sorry about the rant, Love the research presented."
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So, the cashless debit card costs $10K per person, per year, to administer.

How about instead, we raise Newstart by $10K per year (bringing it to the still modest sum of $24K per year)?

Our prediction: giving unemployed people an extra $190 per week would do infinitely more for their health and wellbeing than the cashless debit card ever would.

Hell, unemployed people could afford to buy fresh fruit/vegetables, and would not have to skip meals, and could afford dental care, and would be able to participate in community and social life.
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LABOR, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? COMMIT TO RAISING NEWSTART!!

Contact Bill Shorten and Jenny Macklin (Labor's social services spokesperson). Tell them that we do not need any reviews to tell us that Newstart is too low: we already know it!!

- To contact Bill Shorten: bill.shorten.mp@aph.gov.au/(03) 9326 0611
- To contact Jenny Macklin: jmacklin.mp@aph.gov.au/(03) 9459 1411

(You might also like to contact your local, federal Labor MP (we can tell you who to contact.)

If you are, or if you have been, on Newstart, feel free to share your story. We are always looking for submissions, there is even an anonymous option: antipovertynetworksa.org/story.
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An Onkaparinga Councillor, the Deputy-Mayor of Port Adelaide Enfield, the Secretary of the Maritime Union, and the Moderator of the SA Uniting Church.

All think that Newstart needs to be raised; all think that our political parties need to commit to not only lifting Newstart, but a huge increase, one that will make a positive difference to the quality of life of unemployed people.

Join us on Saturday June 30th for Campaign Launch: It's Time To Raise Newstart.

An afternoon of speeches from many community leaders, testimonies from Newstart recipients, 100 different ways of getting involved in our campaign, plus a very special performance from a very special choir...
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If you are participating in the Vinnies CEO Sleep-Out and are minimising how much tax you pay (or not paying tax at all), then buzz off.

If you are participating in the Vinnies CEO Sleep-Out, but are not using your high profile to lobby for an increase to Newstart and other meagre welfare payments (or supporting groups that are fighting for higher welfare payments), then why not?
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