Media Release: Protest At SA Labor Party Convention: It's Time To Reject The Forrest Review

First Nations' Advocates for Rights and Equality, SIMPla (Stop Income Management in Playford), Anti-Poverty Network SA, and concerned members of the public will protest against Premier Jay Weatherill's blanket endorsement of Andrew Forrest's proposals in his Indigenous Employment and Training Review, including significantly expanding Income Management.

This protest will take place at the SA Labor Party Convention, where we are calling on party members and trade unions to reject Forrest's heavy-handed and punitive report, which was endorsed without consulting the wider community, particularly Aboriginal communities that will be most affected.

“Mr Weatherill's support for Forrest's recommendations is rushed and misguided, and puts him at odds with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, neither of whom have endorsed all of Mr Forrest's suggestions”, SIMPla Spokesperson Pas Forgione said.

“Mr Forrest's recommendation that working-age Centrelink clients have 100 percent of their funds quarantined is an unprecedented attack on the rights of those on income support to control their finances.”

“Income Management is a blunt, heavy-handed policy that does not improve the financial or personal skills and well-being of vulnerable individuals. There is evidence that the humiliation and stress it inflicts on clients can be harmful over the long-term”, Forgione said.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Library's 2012 paper, Is Income Management Working, said there was “an absence of evidence relating to the effectiveness or otherwise” of the program.

Moves to restrict access to the Disability Support Pension, and to make it easier for job-seekers to be penalised, will create unnecessary hardship and will not address the under-supply of jobs, particularly in regional and remote communities”, Forgione said.

“We are concerned Forrest's report will do immense damage to the TAFE sector, with the current system being replaced by vouchers that would fund only employer-approved courses.”

“Linking Family Tax Benefits to school attendance fails to address the many underlying issues behind truancy in metropolitan and remote Aboriginal communities, and may seriously damage critical relationships between schools and parents.”

“We are calling for Income Management to be terminated, with savings put into services that build the strengths of vulnerable individuals and communities, and for serious efforts by governments to address the under-supply of jobs, especially in regional and remote communities.”

“We want to see the Premier genuinely consult with those affected by government policies, not an 'announce and defend' approach where communities are consulted after decisions have been made.”

WHEN: Saturday November 15th, 9am

WHERE: Hilton Hotel, 233 State Administration Centre, 200 Victoria Square

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Oversized BasicsCards With Weatherill And Forrest's Names On Them

FURTHER INFORMATION: Pas Forgione, SIMPla (Stop Income Management in Playford) Spokesperson, on 0411 587 663; Tauto Sansbury, First Nations' Advocates for Rights and Equality Spokesperson, on 0403 165 193.