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The 'mind-body problem' and proposed DSP reforms

The interim report of the Review of Australia’s Welfare System led by Patrick McClure was released on 29 June 2014. The report contains proposals for significant reforms to the Disability Support Pension (DSP). The reforms would see the DSP reserved for people with a permanent impairment and no capacity to work. Those people with a partial capacity to work would be placed on a lower tiered working age payment and provided with support to improve their employment capacity. The proposals represent an attempt to deal with the perverse incentive for income support claimants to apply for DSP, which has a higher rate of payment and reduced activity testing, rather than allowance payments l... Read more...

Schapelle Corby granted clemency by Indonesian President

In April 2012, Indonesia’s Justice and Human Rights Ministry recommended Schapelle Corby’s jail sentence be reduced by ten years, on humanitarian grounds. Corby, now 34, is said to be suffering from mental illness. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a letter on 15 May granting Corby clemency, cutting five years off her 20 year prison term. This is particularly significant as previously the Indonesian President has stated that he would not use his power of clemency in favour of drug offenders. This may have consequences for other Australians seeking clemency from the President, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran of the “Bali 9”. Two senior government officials in Indonesia have confirmed... Read more...

Is counselling for pokie addiction an effective harm minimisation measure?

At a rally at the Canterbury RSL in western Sydney on Tuesday evening, the opposition leader Tony Abbott predicted a future Coalition government would rescind any legislation that introduces mandatory pre-commitment on electronic gaming machines (EGMs). Instead of mandatory pre-commitment, he suggested a greater focus on individual counselling for problem gamblers is needed.If the opposition leader's support for counselling results in more funding for such services, many who provide help to Australia's estimated 95,000 EGM problem gamblers and their families will probably welcome it. But the efficacy of counselling as a harm minimisation measure is questionable; it is not clear that increase... Read more...

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