6 Monday news bites (Oct 10)

Former Victorian Premier and Beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett

1. Childless homes to become the norm

Homes with traditional families will make up less than a quarter of the national population by 2026 when childless couples and singles become the norm. Single person homes will become the biggest demographic in the country, at 31 per cent.

2. Have clubs been exaggerating the cost of poker machine reform?

A strategy paper from Clubs Training Australia, meant to remain secret, was posted on the website of Clubs Queensland and reveals that the profits estimated to be lost due to the proposed introduction of mandatory pre-commitment technology at gaming venues with poker machines were exaggerated by about 20 per cent. The paper also revealed Clubs were drafting plans to install ATMs outside of venues, such as in carparks and on trailers, to get around the requirement for machines inside to dispense no more than $250 a day per person. Clubs Australia has now offered support for a trial in one state.

3. Depression charity, alleged bullying and homophobia

BeyondBlue, the charity that helps those with mental illnesses, has suffered its own version of the blues recently after its chariman Jeff Kennett was accused of being homophobic. And it has now been revealed that Mr Kennett was the subject of a bullying complaint by Beyondblue’s former chief executive Dawn O’Neill who resigned after just nine months in the job. Ms O’Neill was the former head of Lifeline and allegedly said Mr Kennett’s behaviour included ‘ranting, name-calling and using abusive language’. The board investigated the claims and found them to be unsubstantiated. According to the SMH: “The relationship appears to have broken down completely after Mr Kennett wrote in his column in the Herald Sun on September 9 that the best environment for the mental health of a child was a ”stable, loving environment in which a male and female are married to each other”. The column sparked a furore in the gay and lesbian community and embarrassed major sponsor Movember, which gave more than $10 million to beyondblue last year. Ms O’Neil was forced to distance the organisation from her chairman’s comments, issuing a statement on the beyondblue website that said there was no evidence parents’ gender had an effect on children’s mental health. She tendered her resignation on September 16 and left two weeks later.”


4. Nobel Peace Prize awarded to three women

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was awarded to three women Friday evening. The prize went to Africa’s first democratically elected female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee who worked in the same country to secure women’s rights and Tawakkul Karman for her work in similar pursuits in Yemen.

5. Young women drinking? Tell your mates if you plan on having sex.

That’s the message from the NSW Police Commissioner who referred to studies that showed the number of women aged 18-25 who drank heavily and regularly. One quarter of girls in that age bracket drank twice a week and another quarter drank heavily in one session four times a month. The Commissioner said women should let each other know if they plan to have sex before going out to hopefully prevent drunken ‘mistakes’. The question is: will it work, and is it the right way to go about fixing the problem?

6. Sex therapists in Victoria using prostitutes to help

Some therapists in Victoria are using prostitutes to help (mostly) male patients with problems such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and body image. Others have complained saying the sessions are just ‘glorified prostitution’ because the fees involved are in the hundreds of dollars. Sex surrogacy has a reported 95 per cent success rate in Australia, according to a study presented to the World Congress on Sexual Health in 2007.

Today’s news brought to you by Rick.

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