Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘strategies’

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today announced the establishment of the Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution.

The council will provide independent advice on the implementation of measures associated with the government’s immigration policy initiatives including New Directions in Detention and the national rollout of the Community Status Resolution Service.

‘The Government’s focus is on resolving the immigration status of people quickly and fairly while ensuring they are treated humanely and with dignity and respect,’ Senator Evans said.

‘The council will provide independent advice on policies, services and programs to achieve timely, fair and effective resolution of immigration status for people seeking asylum or other migration outcomes in Australia.

‘The terms of reference and membership of the council reflects the range of expertise required to implement the Government’s New Directions in Detention policy.’

The council, which succeeds the Immigration Detention Advisory Group, will meet for the first time on October 21 to identify priority issues to be addressed over the next two years. The IDAG provided valuable advice on the adequacy of detention services, accommodation and facilities at immigration detention centres around Australia.

The new council will also advise on the suitability of facilities and service delivery arrangements but its major focus will be on assisting the department with strategies to resolve a person’s immigration status in a community setting rather than in a detention centre provided they pose no risk to the community.

The council will be chaired by Paris Aristotle AM, director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and a former member of Immigration Detention Advisory Group with more than 25 years’ experience in the field.

Other members will include:

  • Air Marshal Ray Funnell AC (Retd) – former Chief of Air Force and a former member of IDAG, Air Marshal Funnell will serve as the deputy chair for the group
  • Ms Kerrin Benson – chief executive officer of the Multicultural Development Association
  • Mr Noel Clement – general manager of domestic operations for the Australian Red Cross
  • Ms Caz Coleman – project director of the Hotham Mission asylum seeker project
  • Ms Libby Lloyd AM – chair of the former National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and was recently appointed to chair the Violence Against Women Advisory Group
  • Dr Maryanne Loughry – associate director of Jesuit Refugee Service–Australia. Dr Loughry is a psychologist, a research scholar at Boston College and the University of Oxford and a member of the Governing Council of the International Catholic Migration Commission
  • Associate Professor Harry Minas – director of the Centre for International Mental Health, University of Melbourne and the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, he is a former member of IDAG and chair of the Detention Health Advisory Group (DeHAG)
  • Associate Professor Nicholas Procter – Associate Professor, school of nursing and midwifery, University of South Australia
  • Dr Jamal Rifi – Dr Rifi is the 2009 NSW Local Hero of the Year and Recipient of 2007 Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Award. He is a former Commissioner for the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW, a general practitioner and an active community volunteer
  • Professor Samina Yasmeen – director of the Centre for Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia and a current member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council (AMAC).
  • ‘I believe the new group will provide valuable perspectives and their community links will help to strengthen the provision of community services to immigration clients in support of timely case resolution,’ the minister said.

    The minister acknowledged the work of members of the previous Immigration Detention Advisory Group.

    ‘I’d like to acknowledge and thank the valuable and long–standing contribution of members of the Immigration Detention Advisory Group since its establishment in 2001,’ Senator Evans said.

    ‘Their independent expert advice provided to the previous and current government has been greatly appreciated.’

    Information about the Council for Immigration Services and Staus Resolution (CISSR) – Terms of Reference is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s website.
    See: Council for Immigration Services and Staus Resolution (CISSR) – Terms of Reference

    Advertisements

    Read Full Post »

    The strategy :  To work out how the changes to the health insurance rebate affect me.

    I suppose it means I’ll be paying more for my health insurance. That’s the gist of it though it will depend on whether Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull delivers on his threat to block the legislation. As you may have picked up from the federal budget, the Government needs to find savings to fund higher pension payments.

    One proposed measure is means testing the health insurance rebate, which currently allows you to claim a tax rebate of 30 per cent of the cost of your health insurance if you’re aged under 65, 35per cent if you’re 65 to 69 and 40 per cent if you’re 70 or older.

    Most people ask their health fund to reduce their premiums to take account of the rebate rather than paying the full premium and claiming the rebate in their tax return. For someone under 65, a monthly insurance premium of $250 could be reduced to $175. That won’t change if you earn up to $75,000 if you’re single and $150,000 for families. But if your income is higher, your rebate will be reduced or cut out altogether.

    How will that work? Let’s look at singles first. If you earn $75,001-$90,000, your rebate will be reduced to 20 per cent. If you earn $90,001-$120,000, the new rebate will be 10 per cent.

    Once your income exceeds $120,000 you will be ineligible for the rebate.

    For families, the combined income limits are $150,001-$180,000 for the 20per cent rebate, $180,001-$240,000 for the 10 per cent rebate and the rebate will disappear altogether once family income exceeds $240,000.

    All income thresholds will be indexed to wages and will be adjusted for families with one child in the same way that thresholds are already adjusted for determining whether you have to pay the Medicare levy surcharge if you don’t have private health cover. The threshold is currently lifted by $1500 for each dependent child.

    The Government says the definition of your income for the rebate will be the same as for the Medicare levy surcharge. Challenger’s head of technical services, Alex Denham, says this definition is changing from July 1 to include your taxable income, reportable fringe benefits, salary sacrificed to super or any personal deductible super contributions made and net investment losses. So higher-income earners won’t be able to use strategies such as salary sacrifice to get or increase their rebate.

    Would I be better off dropping my health insurance and paying the Medicare levy surcharge? The proposed measures also include a rise in this surcharge precisely to stop this sort of behaviour.

    The 1 per cent surcharge will rise to 1.25per cent once income exceeds $90,000 for singles or $180,000 for couples and to 1.5 per cent for incomes exceeding $120,000 or $240,000. That extra tax may cancel out any savings from dropping your health cover.

    MLC’s head of technical services, Andrew Lawless, says a better option may be to make changes to your policy, such as increasing the excess you pay before claiming on the cover or reducing cover on ancillary benefits. However, to avoid the surcharge you must have hospital cover with an excess of $500 or less for singles or $1000 or less for families or couples per calendar year.

    When will the changes come in? Not until July 1 next year, so you have time to check the final details if the measures are passed and weigh up your options.

    It’s worth noting that the Medicare levy surcharge income limits will be indexed from their current levels of $70,000 for singles and $140,000 for couples to the new $75,000 and $150,000 levels at this time.

    Source : www.watoday.com.au

    Read Full Post »

    WESTERN Australia’s Liberal Government has handed down its first Budget, delivering a $647 million surplus but warning the state will be in deficit by 2012.

    Treasurer Troy Buswell today delivered his first Budget since the Liberal Government came to power last year.

    He said the 2008/09 surplus of $647 million would shrink to $409 million in 2009/10, and just $23 million the following year.

    By 2011/12 the state will be in deficit to the tune of $513 million.

    “Over the past months, as the global economy has been in decline, the state has been hit by large downward revisions to projected taxation revenue, GST grants from the Commonwealth and mining royalties,” Mr Buswell told parliament.

    “Since the mid-year review, the Budget has lost a massive $4 billion in forecast revenue from these sources.”

    Last year, then treasurer Eric Ripper delivered a surplus of more than $2 billion on the back of a booming commodities sector.

    Economic growth remained high at 8 per cent for the 2008/09 financial year.

    But forecasts predicted growth would fall into negative territory in 2009/10, with unemployment expected to peak, and business investment to fall by 17.5 per cent.

    Mr Buswell said the Government would provide a one-year payroll tax rebate to small businesses with payrolls of up to $3.2 million to help protect jobs.

    “Some 6,700 small businesses will be eligible for this payroll tax rebate, which will fully offset payroll tax for around 68,000 employees,” he said.

    “The cost of this rebate is estimated at $100 million.”

    A $47 million jobs training and skills package, and a $8.3 billion spend on infrastructure in the next financial year are key components of the Budget.
    Mr Buswell said law and order were also strong focuses, in line with the Government’s election promises to boost funding for police and pump more money into prisons

    Mr Buswell said the Government’s election promise to toughen up sentencing laws and introduce mandatory sentencing for people who assault police was underpinned in the Budget by a significant investment in prison capacity.

     

    A total of $655 million will be invested in 2012/13 to create an extra 1657 prison beds across the state.

    A record $5.1 billion spend on health services in the next year – rising 5.9 per cent, or $282 million from last year – will include the fast tracking of forward works for a new children’s hospital, the construction stage of the Fiona Stanley Hospital, and new hospitals in two regional centres.

    Mr Buswell said the Government would push ahead with public sector reforms in a bid to achieve improved performance and efficiency.

    The first stage of the economic audit committee promised by the Government during the last election was complete and a range of hard decisions had delivered $7.6 billion over the forward estimates, Mr Buswell said.

    “I am looking forward to the second stage of the economic audit to identify strategies for broader reform over the longer term, so we can ensure the budget stays in surplus,” he said.

    Read Full Post »