Log of Claims for Next Federal Election

GPA/GPV calls on all candidates to make clear their commitment to families and children

This log of claims is a benchmark against which GPA/GPV will judge the commitment of candidates in the forthcoming Australian election. GPA/GPV will distribute candidates responses across Australia.

GPA/GPV calls on government to support the rights of families.

GPA/GPV believes that families are an integral part of the social structure and contribute to overall national wellbeing and that families are complex with diverse needs.

GPA/GPV also believes that there is a need to recognise that every family has its own history and culture, including their ethnic culture and that the cultures of Australia’s Indigenous peoples are especially vulnerable. As the first Australians their cultures warrant greater protection.

GPA/GPV holds particular concerns for kinship care families. These families are not adequately supported by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ welfare system, or an inflexible state child protection system.

GPA/GPV stipulates that the level and type of support families attract should be varied, according to their needs and their rights to support.

Therefore, GPA/GPV calls on the government to establish a national committee to promote and encourage reference to and use of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a framework for all actions taken on behalf of children.

As a matter of priority, this committee should review the government’s and the wider communities’ performance in relation to protecting the rights of the most vulnerable families in our community.

Further reading:

GPV submission to the Federal Government on the Family Law Act. (GPV, 2018)

UN Convention on the rights of the child

Protection of children’s rights

GPA/GPV calls on government and agencies to document the impact that changes to legislation/policy will have on outcomes for children. Every piece of legislation, as well as all changes to regulations and practices should be accompanied by a ‘Child Impact Statement’ (CIS) consisting of an analysis predicting the potential outcomes for child wellbeing in the medium, short and long term.

Each CIS must measure the extent to which policy and practice contributes to adherence to the following rights for children and young people:

  • to not be raised in poverty
  • to know,  and  spend  quality  time  with,  their extended biological family
  • to affordable,  quality  health  care,  and  early intervention in mental health issues
  • to be safe from emotional and physical harm
  • to a free, comprehensive, quality education
  • to participate in leisure activities
  • to a sense of identity
  • to connect  with  the  languages  and  religious beliefs of their family of origin
  • to participate in decisions affecting their lives
  • to be paid fairly for work
  • to be treated fairly within the justice system

Further reading related to this log of claims:

Child Impact Statements and Public Support for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (GPV, 2018)

UNCRC Articles 7 – Registration and the Right to a Name, Nationality, 26 – A Child’s Right to Social Security, 27 – Standard of Living, 18 – Child-Rearing Responsibilities, 9 – Separation from Parents, 12 – Children’s Own Voice

Access to legal procedures/rights

GPA/GPV believes that access to the legal system is a right that should be extended to all.

GPA/GPV believes that many children/young people are disadvantaged by not having identifying documents, particularly birth certificates.

Therefore GPA/GPV calls on the Australian Government to:

  • Cease making changes to the Family Court until the Australian Law Reform Commission review of the Family Court is completed.
  • Legislate to guarantee the right of all children in Australia to representation in court proceedings affecting them
  • Provide access to fully funded family mediation to reduce adversarial proceedings.

GPA/GPV also calls on the Australian Government to implement national standards for registration of births, which includes the following provisions:

  • Births to be registered before the family is discharged from the hospital
  • Maternal & child health nurses to be trained/funded to follow up cases where the birth has not been registered.
  • Welfare payments bot be paid until a birth certificate for dependent children is produced.

Support for families

GPA/GPV believes that any civilized society must have an equitable welfare system that ensures families have access to the necessities of life.

GPA/GPV believes that welfare measures should support families without stigmatising them, and empower them to better their circumstances, rather than crushing them.

Therefore GPA/GPV calls on the Australian government to:

Cease operation of the Cashless Welfare Card program, until it can provide evidence that proves the card benefits families and has no adverse consequences over time.

Support out of home care families by:

  • Reducing red tape so that accessing Centrelink support is easier
  • Reviewing Centrelink claims criteria for kinship carers, including eligibility for Family Tax Benefit payments
  • Increasing the funding that enables the Centrelink Grandparent Adviser to travel to meet carers
  • Reviewing the time allocations awarded to the Centrelink Grandparent Advisers to ensure that each State has adequate coverage and creating an assistant to the Grandparent  Advisers  in  the busiest States
  • Ensuring that the Centrelink Grandparent Adviser positions are funded for three years.
  • Subsidising grandparents providing childcare to working families

About GPA/GPV

Grandparents Australia Inc. was formed in 2002 to:

  • Promote the role and needs of grandparents and grandchildren
  • Undertake public awareness campaigns and research projects relevant to the interests and needs of grandparents and grandchildren
  • Liaise with the federal, state and local governments on matters of significance to grandparents and grandchildren

Founded in 2001, Grandparents Victoria is a state- wide community organisation of grandparents working together to shape a positive future for all children in Australia.

GPA/GPV addresses a wide range of issues and often campaigns for or against current programs affecting children and young people.

Further information:

Grandparents Australia

(03) 9372 2422

director@grandparents.com.au

www.grandparentsaustralia.org

www.grandparents.com.au

www.kinshipcarersvictoria.org.au