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‘People deserve a fair go’


  CARITAS Australia acting chief executive officer and international programs manager Jamie Davies as a trained economist understands the need for “fiscal restraint” driving the Federal Budget. But she believes the cutting of nearly $8 billion from Australia’s foreign aid funding in the next five years is a “disproportionate burden”. “Foreign aid cuts represent about 20 per cent of savings ... Read More »

Prison ministry claims services for released prisoners inadequate

Dave Martin

By Paul Dobbyn  CATHOLIC Prison Ministry co-ordinator Dave Martin has warned rehabilitation of prisoners from Queensland prisons was being threatened by inadequate post release accommodation and other services. The unsatisfactory situation is threatening the safety of the wider community, he said. Mr Martin’s warnings follow findings in the recently released report Post Release Services for Prisoners in South-East Queensland commissioned, ... Read More »

Budget cuts ‘rip the guts out of’ a fair Australia


By Paul Dobbyn  THE 2014-15 Federal Budget’s widespread cuts to welfare, health, education and foreign aid have drawn sharp criticism from key national and state Catholic agencies. The cuts include changes to family benefits, resuming fuel excise increases, a $7 health-care co-payment for GP visits and an estimated $7.6 billion decrease in foreign aid funding over the next five years. ... Read More »

Bishops say enough is enough of cruelty to asylum seekers


By Peter Bugden  THE Australian Catholic bishops have a clear message for the Federal Government and for the broader community, on asylum-seeker policy – “Enough of this institutionalised cruelty”. That was the plea made in a May 8 statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference plenary meeting in Sydney. The bishops, making an “urgent plea for a respect for the ... Read More »

‘That is not the kind of Australia that people of good will would be hoping for’

Begging hands

 By Peter Bugden  ST Vincent de Paul Society leaders believe many of the recommendations of the Federal Government’s Commission of Audit would lead to greater inequality in Australia. The recently released Commission of Audit report recommends spending cuts to a range of government services and payments. Family payments, child care, health care, education, unemployment and pension payments, aged care and ... Read More »

Brisbane women stir hearts in new project

Maeve Heaney

THREE Brisbane women are thrilled to share their stories of life and faith in a new digital storytelling project by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for World Communications Day. The digital stories in Stirring Hearts embraces online technologies and social media to “spread our good news stories to the ends of the earth”. The project is a response to Holy Father ... Read More »

Inspirational friend laid to rest

Barry O'Keefe

CHURCH, government and legal community leaders were among those paying tribute to Truth, Justice and Healing Council chair Barry O’Keefe at his funeral in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, on May 2. Mr O’Keefe, a former Commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, a former chief judge of the commercial division of the NSW Supreme Court, chairman of Interpol’s International ... Read More »

Dig deep for Vinnies’ winter appeal

Homeless man sleeping

THE St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland aims to raise $750,000 through its annual Winter Appeal this year. State president John Forrest, at the launch of the three-month appeal in Brisbane on May 1, said the money was needed to help those who struggled every day. “More than 280,000 people seek assistance from Vinnies each year and we are asking ... Read More »

Brian Harradine remembered as a just man

ARCHBISHOP Julian Porteous of Hobart has likened Brian Harradine to “a rare type of person” described in Scripture – “a just man”. Archbishop Porteous made the comparison in his homily at Mr Harradine’s state funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, on April 22. Mr Harradine, who died on April 14 aged 79, was a staunch Catholic and Australia’s longest-serving independent ... Read More »

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