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Busting Open The Budget

Monday 19th May / posted by Chris Wheeldon

Australian Council of Social Services

Since the announcement of the national Budget, there have been numerous concerns regarding the effect it will have on particular groups in our society.

Australian Council of Social Service states that this Budget divides the nation between young and old, and rich and poor – and unfortunately those who carry the greatest burden from these spending cuts are the those who can least afford it.

Australian Council of Social Services Acting Deputy CEO Rebecca Vassarotti joined Ed Williams this morning to discuss some of the effects of the Budget.

Arena Axed 

Those involved with and supporters of renewable energy in Australia have been left devastated as the Federal Government decided to axe the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of the Federal Budget.

While ARENA will continue to perform its functions under the ARENA Act and proceed with their current projects, there will be no future funding given to ARENA under this Budget.

Many environment groups and organisations have stated the Government have broken many of their pre-election promises in regards to renewable energy industries, and demonstrates the Government’s lack of support towards renewable and clean energy.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht phoned into the studio to talk more about this Federal Budget decision.

United Voice 

Among the list of organisations who are speaking out about the recent Budget announcement is the union, United Voice.United Voice has over 120,000 members across Australia and covers a variety of industries including aged care, disability services, schools and universities – many of these which will be affected by the Budget cuts.

United Voice are concerned for their members after these cuts, particularly in regards to the increase in pension age as many of their members are ‘physical’ workers who work in areas such as aged care and disability services.

The union wants their members to have good health, secure incomes and a dignified retirement; however they fear that for many of us, these will be out of reach with the Budget cuts.
United Voice WA Secretary Carolyn Smith gave up her time to speak about the issue this morning

Disability Commissioner Axed

Those involved in disability groups and charities have been left outraged after the decision was made in the Federal Budget to remove Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes.

The news came in the Budget through the downsizing of the Human Rights Commission, which the Federal Government justified by stating the government will achieve savings of $1.7m over four years by reducing the number of human rights commissioners by one.

However, those involved with disability groups and communities said this decision by the Government demonstrates a shameful disregard for Australia’s disabled community.

Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes discussed this decision from the Federal Budget earlier.

Greens Response To The Budget

The Greens have responded in outcry to the announcement of the Budget, with many of the party members having fears for the future of our society.

Some concerns include the worry that these cuts will cause a rise in both homelessness and crime in Australia, particularly among the youth who will have to wait six months before receiving the dole.

While the Liberal Government states that this Budget will make life better for our future in Australia, the Greens suggest that it is making life harder for people now and bringing us to a ‘dog-eat-dog existence’ and will cause inequality in our society.

Greens Leader Christine Milne has actively spoken against the Budget since its announcement, and phoned the studio to talk to Ed Williams about the Greens response to this Budget.

March In May

Tens of thousands of Australians gathered to attend demonstrations in opposition to the Federal Budget across the nation on the weekend.

Following the release of the budget from the Tony Abbott coalition governement, enormous particpation rates signified immense community disatisfaction especially from the Australia's most community sectors directly affected such as the unemployed, people with disabilities, seniors, pensioners, and the Indigenous community.

A handful of independent activists organised the event just days before, and were overwhelmed with the response. Social writer, commentator and MC of the Sydney March In May Rally, Van Badham discussed what happened at the Sydney chapter of the event.

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