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Disadvantage move welcomed

04 December 2012

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Peter Whiteford is a Professor in the Crawford School. He works on child poverty, family assistance policies, welfare reform, and other aspects of social policy, particularly ways of supporting the balance between work and family life. He has published extensively on various aspects of the Australian and New Zealand systems of income support. He teaches Social Policy, Society and Change (POGO8024) and Social Policy Analysis (POGO8025).

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The announcement yesterday of a move towards greater cooperation between peak bodies for business, trade unions and social services has been welcomed by Crawford School social issues expert Professor Peter Whiteford.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Business Council of Australia signaled yesterday that they intend to work together in an ongoing effort to tackle certain policy areas, including entrenched disadvantage and inequality.

Professor Peter Whiteford told national public radio’s The Wire that the move may go some way towards tackling one of the country’s most pressing issues.

“One of the major sources of inequality in Australian society is entrenched disadvantage amongst people who aren’t in paid work,” he said.

“I’d argue that people of working age not being in paid work is actually the most important single source of inequality in Australian society.”

Whiteford added that he welcomed the move by the organisations to cooperate.

“I think it’s a testament to a really important degree of common sense in Australian political life, in the sense that people with different interest group backgrounds can actually agree on what are important social issues.”

To listen to the interview:

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