The continued use of punitive sanctions to control and deter criminal behaviour rests upon a general historical misunderstanding of the effectiveness and appropriateness of this method of punishment. The current criminal justice system and the persistent sensationalist ‘get tough’ initiatives by governments, both preceding and current, have previously enjoyed widespread support within South Australia as both politicians and the media promulgate populist perceptions of crime. Citizens have previously been confident in the efficacy of our punitive criminal justice system, and there has been support for harsher penalties that are perceived to contribute to a safer society by increasingly incarcerating people who commit criminal offences. Conversely there has been a growing acknowledgement of the failures of this system to address the sociological contributors to criminal behaviour, and subsequently the development of early intervention and prevention measures.
Visit the Box File to download the Law & Justice Principles Paper, and also the Law & Justice Fact Sheet.
Affordable housing is not a reality for many Australians. Of South Australians who are unable to afford their own home and are in the private rental market, approximately 33.4% are affected by a phenomenon known as housing stress. Housing stress affects low income households who form the lowest percent of the income distribution range and spend 30% of the household’s gross income on housing costs. Housing stress affects the health and wellbeing of individuals negatively and can precipitate a variety of physical, mental and emotional conditions, both chronic and acute. These correlations make it clear that housing is a social determinant of health, and needs to be treated as part of the web of factors affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, households and ultimately society. In the instance of low income earners, unaffordable housing can affect social participation, causing further strain on health and wellbeing.
Visit the Box File in the sidebar to download the Housing Principles Paper and also the Housing Fact Sheet.
The South Australian Government provides a range of concessions, including (but not limited to) those for energy; public transport; water and sewerage; vehicle registration and licensing fees; stamp duty; telephone bills; and prescription spectacles. These concessions are meant to provide a means for low income and disadvantaged South Australians to gain access to essential goods and services by making them more affordable.
As in other jurisdictions, concessions in South Australia are often ill-directed, lacking in clarity, and, most significantly, lacking in both horizontal and vertical equity. While certain concessions are available to some people on medium or high incomes, these concessions are not available to some people on lower incomes. This creates a major equity issue, and flows from the inability or unwillingness of state/territory and federal governments to implement a national, integrated approach to concessions.
Visit the Box File in the sidebar to download our Concessions Principles Paper and also the Fact Sheet.
Economics is the theory of production and distribution of wealth. The economy is the practical science of the production, administration and distribution of wealth. When we talk about economic growth, we are referring to the increase in the production of wealth in Australia. For example the mining boom in South Australia will result in more money being generated in our state by digging uranium out of the ground and selling it. Once this money is generated it is distributed to things like wages, taxes and profits, this money is then spent by employees, governments and shareholders. The economy is influenced by many things including interest rates, government policy, regulation and competition.
Policy development is critical to guiding the actions of our government and therefore the process should not be taken for granted. Politicians and senior bureaucrats need to know what issues are of concern to the voting public, and what directions we wish them to take.
SACOSS members have shaped the five key areas of concern for us at this time – check out the Box File in the sidebar to download the Principles Papers on these topics.
The SACOSS Blueprint for the eradication of poverty has a much more comprehensive coverage of issues.