In New South Wales alone, poker machines raked in almost $5 billion for the 2010-11 financial year. That’s a little more than $1000 per adult.
In Victoria, gamblers lost $2.6 billion on machines.
Yet in each state, only around $60 million was donated to community organisations and charities. That’s 1.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent of losses respectively.
The Monash University study found:
”Since poker machine losses are very large … the amounts expended on community benefit purposes appear to be large themselves. But as a proportion of losses such claims are minimal,” the research found.
”Poker machines thus provide an extremely inefficient and high cost method for funding community sporting and charitable activities.”
The research was commissioned by UnitingCare Australia.
Which might offer some peace of mind to those worried about ‘unintentional incest’. The program, known as Donor SibLinks, would release basic details such as gender, month and year of birth and provide them on a database if half-siblings request information.
Despite research showing that the chances of such an encounter are infinitely small, IVF Australia’s leading professor, Peter Illingworth, said the issue remained a serious concern for parents.
Prof Illingworth said: “Concern among donor sperm parents is (that) their child might in the future unknowingly meet a half-sibling and as a result of that, get into an incestuous relationship.
“The risk of this is extraordinarily low, however, but it is something that concerns parents a great deal.”
It was the schools funding review that was meant to end them all. The Australian Government released the Gonski review of school funding earlier this year which recommended a base rate of funding per student with extra loadings added on top for factors like disabilities, low socio-economic backgrounds and Indigenous descent.
But the NSW Association of Independent Schools has warned the Australian Government it would be forced to increase fees under the model and some schools may close.
”At this stage the independent schools sector in NSW is not withdrawing its support for funding reform as it does not believe this result was the intent of the review or of the government,” Dr Newcombe said.
”However, the sector … is calling on the Australian government to give certainty to parents and independent schools by stating that funding to schools will not be reduced in real terms.”
The Government has always insisted no school will lose funding based on current terms. It has so far not committed to any of the recommendations and is holding a ‘listening tour’ around the country to measure feedback.
The National Party wants Coalition leader Tony Abbott to double the baby bonus to $10,000 for stay-at-home mums, a move the Gillard Government has said would cost the budget $3 billion over the next three years.
“It’s an incredible sacrifice for women to stay at home. You can see it in their superannuation and everything else,” Senator Barnaby Joyce said.
“We want to make sure people don’t lose their house. Because everything is based on two incomes these days. All policies have a cost. But it’s a substantial sacrifice for people not to go to work.”
Nationals leader Warren Truss stressed the plan to double the baby bonus was a policy of the Nationals rather than the Coalition and had not been endorsed by Mr Abbott.
“There were certain concerns that the proposal did provide very substantial assistance to some and not to others,” he said.
“That issue was raised by some. But it is a workplace issue not a welfare payment. That’s the thinking to encourage married women to stay in the workforce.”
MEANWHILE, Insurance Australia Group (IAG) has announced women returning from maternity leave in its organisation would be paid double wages for six weeks as an incentive to get them back into the workforce. That’s on top of the 14 weeks’ of standard pay the company would dish out for the maternity leave itself.
Combined with the Australian Government’s own 18 week scheme, well, it’s a windfall for working mothers that has been hailed as a ‘major advance’ in workplace management.
IAG chief executive Mike Wilkins said he wanted to encourage mums to return to work. “We want people who can multitask inside the organisation – and I think mums are the ultimate multitaskers,” he said.
It was the night which surprised a few. Hamish Blake took the major Gold Logie award while the ABC walked away with eight statues while Channel Nine took six and Channel Seven took five. Adam Hills won the silver Logie for most popular presenter for Spicks and Specks, Hugh Sheridan won most popular actor and more.
We’ll have a full wrap this morning, so check back on the Logies post.
If you missed all the spectacle of the red carpet and celebrity behind the scenes shots, this enormous gallery might do the trick:
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The sinking of the Titanic by an iceberg in the Atlantic was remembered at the weekend, 100 years to the day since she went under. 1500 people died.
Well, that’s what the Australian Egg Corporation (AEC) thinks. The industry body has just revised voluntary guidelines for its farmers to allow for as many as 20,000 birds per hectare and still be called ‘free range’. The current standard, drafted in 2001, recommends 1500 birds in the same space. Genuine free range farmers (750 birds per hectare or less) say the standard is dangerously misleading. Managing director of the AEC James Kellaway said prices would rise if suppliers were expected to keep fewer birds per hectare and that this would lead to Australians importing shell eggs from countries with lower animal welfare standards.
But she’s got a good reason. Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be attending the G20 summit and the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference when the PM’s Olympic Games fundraising dinner is held in June. She’s sending Sports Minister Kate Lundy in her place, but that didn’t stop Australia’s Games chief John Coates having a go.
”I thought London would be an absolute must for Julia, so I’m disappointed,” Coates told The Sun-Herald. ”It’s a disappointment to us. It will be a disappointment to our team.”
While he said the G20 summit was a ‘valid reason’ to miss the dinner he said he phoned Ms Lundy’s office and asked for an apology ‘before you read about this’.
Prime Ministers have missed the Olympic Games in the past.
– Meanwhile, Australian Olympic swimming champion Murray Rose has passed away after a battle with leukaemia. He was 73.
Taliban insurgents armed with semi-automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a Pakistan prison in the city of Bannu, near the Afghanistan border, and freed 400 prisoners. 20 of them were described as ‘very dangerous’. All would be expected to rejoin the fight against allied forces and the Afghanistan government.
In Kabul, militants launched a series of coordinated attacks on the Afghanistan parliament and international embassies in the largest attack this year.