Showing posts with label discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label discrimination. Show all posts

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Quote of the Week


"Love does no harm to a neighbour,” instructs the Bible, “therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.” The god invoked to oversee the religious discrimination bill avers such radical lefty chat. Instead, Voltaire’s suggestion that “If god [does] not exist, it would be necessary to invent him” describes the Liberals’ preferred “religious” entity with some prescience. It’s a small and petty, vengeful creature that squats in medical trauma and old bigotry, a deity conjured of conservative political resentment, and convenience." [Columnist Vanessa "Van" Badham, writing in The Guardian on 12 February 2020 on the subject of the Morrison Government's Religious Freedom Bills]

Friday, 1 November 2019

A record high of 200,000 Newstart recipients only had a partial capacity to work in December 2018 & by June 2019 the figure was higher still


The Guardian, 24 October 2019:

Official government statistics have underreported the number of sick and disabled Newstart recipients by as much as 40% or as many as 80,000 people.

Guardian Australia revealed earlier this year that Newstart recipients with partial capacity to work has reached a record high of 200,000 in December 2018 as people increasingly languish on the unemployment payment, now for an average of three years.

But new data for June 2019, released on Wednesday, provided different figuresshowing 284,900 on Newstart had “partial capacity to work” in December 2018.

The figure for June increased to 289,489, of a total of 686,000 people on Newstart. It means 42% of recipients now have an illness or disability that prevents them from working full-time. In September 2014, the figure was 25% using the new figures.

Notes provided in the updated quarterly statistics report confirmed the previous data only included people who had been assessed as having a “partial capacity to work” within the past two years. This is also stated in the previous reports.
But it means sick and disabled people who have been languishing on Newstart for years but had not been reassessed in the past 48 months were excluded from the statistics.

The new statistics are significant because welfare groups have long argued changes to the disability support pension would result in a large number of people languishing on Newstart because they were too sick to work.

It’s shocking that 40% of people on Newstart have an illness or disability,” said the Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie.

No one can survive on $40 a day and it’s even tougher if you’re sick or have a disability. It’s heartless and negligent.”……

The Department of Social Services’ Nathan Williamson rejected that the previous data contained “errors”, saying the department had found a “better way, a more fulsome way” to report the statistics.

People with a partial capacity to work are considered not sick or disabled enough to be granted the disability pension as a result of the tightening of disability support pension eligibility. They are assessed as being able to work more than 15 hours a week but less than 30 hours a week.

The Howard government introduced “partial capacity to work” for people on Newstart in a bid to get more people into work and reduce spending on the more generous disability support pension.


Sunday, 22 September 2019

Are some homeless people being denied access to affordable housing in Australia also?


It would be foolish in today's political environment - and with society seemingly drifting mindlessly further to the right each decade - to reject the propostion outright that this would not be occurring somewhere in Australia today.......

The Guardian, 17 September 2019:


Homeless people are being denied access to affordable housing because social landlords are routinely excluding prospective tenants who are deemed too poor or vulnerable to pay the rent, a study has revealed.
Research by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) found that “screening out” of homeless applicants nominated for newly available lets was widespread, as housing associations and local authorities increasingly ration their shrinking stocks of social homes.
In many cases nominees were refused a home because of the likelihood they would accrue major rent arrears after moving on to universal credit, because of the probability they would be hit by the bedroom tax or because the benefit cap had made them a financial risk.
Others were rejected after social landlords identified they had unmet mental health or addiction problems, often because of cuts to local NHS and housing support services. Individuals with unmet support needs were regarded as “too high a risk to tenancy sustainment”, the CIH said.
Homeless people were at risk of being caught in a “catch-22 scenario”, the CIH said, with some landlords’ letting practices creating a “perverse situation where the reasons why people may need access to social homes the most can often become barriers to accessing them”.
Some housing associations demanded that prospective tenants who would be moving on to universal credit pay a month’s rent up front, an impossible requirement for many homeless people. Landlords have been badly hit by rent arrears caused by tenants’ five-week wait for a first universal credit payment.
Faye Greaves, the CIH policy and practice officer, who wrote the report, said: “For decades, we have failed to build enough homes, and our welfare safety net is no longer fit for purpose. More and more people are turning to local authorities and housing associations for help to access social housing.
“But that leaves housing providers having to find a balance between people in acute need, local priorities and their need to develop sustainable tenancies. What we found is that relying solely on processes can end up having the opposite effect to that intended.”
It called on ministers to launch a major social housing building programme and scrap right to buy. There has been a net loss of 165,000 social homes in England since 2012, the CIH estimates. It adds that 90,000 of the 340,000 new homes needed every year should be set at social rent. In 2017-18 only 6,434 homes were built for social rent.
The findings will concern critics who believe some housing associations are becoming increasingly estranged from their charitable mission to house homeless people. Many were set up in the late 1960s on a wave of public outrage over growing homelessness typified by the famous BBC drama Cathy Come Home.
Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of Crisis, called for proper scrutiny of social landlords’ letting practices: “Having a safe and stable home is a human need, and this report paints a sorry picture of the difficulties that people who are homeless, or who are at risk of becoming homeless, face in accessing this basic right.”
Pre-tenancy screening is causing tension between housing associations, which want to minimise the damage to their balance sheet of taking on tenants at risk of rent arrears, and councils, which want to exercise their right to nominate social tenancies to reduce growing numbers of homeless people on their books.
The research did not ask what happens to homeless people who are refused social tenancies but the assumption is that most will continue to be housed in high-cost and often unsuitable temporary accommodation in the private sector. Local authorities in England spend nearly £1bn a year on temporary accommodation.
In recent years cuts to government grant funding have meant housing associations have adopted more commercial, profit-orientated approaches, resulting in some being accused of concentrating on building homes for private sale and “affordable rent” at the expense of the people they were set up to help.
The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, said its members were committed to providing homes for those most in need and on the lowest incomes but action was needed to reverse the “dire shortage of social rented housing caused by decades of underinvestment”.
David Bogle of Homes for Cathy, a group of housing associations dedicated to restoring the sector’s commitment to ending homelessness, welcomed the report. “Housing associations and local authorities need to be given additional support to develop new social homes and to allocate those homes to those who are homeless and in greatest need.”......

Friday, 16 August 2019

Galaxy Poll showed 2 out of 3 people believe religious organisations and individuals should not be allowed to discriminate against those who don’t hold the same views


Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Media Release 13 August 2019: 


 Religious Discrimination – What Australia Really Thinks 

The results of a Galaxy Poll, commissioned by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG+) have been released today. 

Mr Morrison needs to consider the opinion of the “Quiet Australians” before he forges ahead with a Religious Discrimination Act, Commission or Commissioner. 

The issues of religious freedom for some are in reality discrimination for others. 

Very few are against religious freedom. But as the Poll shows many are against discrimination. Additionally, Christians in Australia are not persecuted but the legislation is being put in place just as a precaution because marriage equality became a reality in this country in 2017. 

Of those who were polled 51% identified as being religious and 49% identified as having no religion

The Poll shows 63% do not agree that the religious organisations should have the right to discriminate against LGBTIQ people. The same percentage applied when asked if religious organisations should have the right to discriminate against unmarried mothers, divorcees and couples in de facto relationships. (33% identified as Christian)

The Poll also showed that 62% believe religious organisations and individuals should not be discriminated against just because of their faith. 

Additionally, the Poll showed that 68% (2 out of 3) people believe, religious organisations and individuals should not be allowed to discriminate against those who don’t hold the same views. 

The Poll showed that 48% Christians do not agree with discrimination of LGBTIQ people and others who do not comply with the religious organisations ethos, while 13% do agree with discrimination.


Ends

Monday, 18 March 2019

Even as it devours itself the Morrison Coalition Government is determined to impose its warped 1950s ideology on women and girls



On that day the Australian Human Rights Law Centre said that the [UN] High Commissioner highlighted the importance of the right to social security and of recognising the value of unpaid care work in addressing women’s inequality.  Yet the Australian Government was steadily undermining its social security system and making life harder for many women.  Currently it was imposing its punitive ParentsNext programme on single mothers accessing social security.

And Mexico and Finland, speaking on behalf of a group of countries, stated that human rights bodies’ remedies must fulfil the rights of victims, and include adequate, effective and prompt reparation.  Women and girls in humanitarian settings were particularly vulnerable to human rights violations such as sexual and gender based violence, human trafficking and forced abortions. 

After a motion was put forward in relation to Mexico and Finland’s concerns 57 countries including the United Kingdom signed the subsequent statement.

According to SBS News on 11 March 2019  the motion broadly called for greater accountability for human rights violations against women and girls and the statement proposed greater implementation of 'policies and legislation that respect women and girls' right to bodily autonomy'. This included guaranteed universal protection of women's sexual and reproductive health, comprehensive sexuality education and access to safe abortion.

Australia refused to be a signatory to this official UN statement.


Why was reference to existing law so important to Australia?

The highlighted section in the Human Rights Law Centre news release below gives the answer.

The Morrison Government - dominated as it is by middle-aged far-right men - refuses to open the door to debate on decriminalising abortion in the last three states which still retain a prohibition of abortion in their criminal codes.

Apparently Scott Morrison is averse to any debate on this issue, as in his own high-handed, paternalistic words “I don’t think it is good for our country”.


The Morrison Government has failed to sign on to an International Women’s Day statement at the United Nations calling for access to safe abortions, comprehensive sexuality education and sexual reproductive health.

As recently as last week, in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council, the Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, said the number one guiding principle for the Government's time on the Council was "gender equality". Yet when 57 countries came together on International Women's Day to support a motion proposed by Finland and Mexico, the Morrison Government chose not to back it.

Edwina MacDonald, a Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, who is attending the session in Geneva, said it was extremely disappointing to see the Australian Government once again fail to live up to its promises at the UN.

“Being able to make choices about our own bodies and access reproductive health are absolutely essential to achieving gender equality. No government can truly support gender equality and human rights without supporting access to safe abortions and reproductive rights," said Ms MacDonald.

In Australia, abortion is still in the criminal statute books in New South WalesSouth Australia and Western Australia. This is a recognised form of sex discrimination in international human rights law. The criminalisation of abortion harms women by making it harder to access safe and compassionate reproductive healthcare.

"The Morrison Government holds a really important role on the Human Rights Council, it should be using its voice at the UN to stand up for the rights of women all around the world. Instead we get hollow words here in Geneva and a failure to lift its game back home. It's so disappointing," said Ms MacDonald.

Australia was elected for a three-year term on the UN Human Rights Council in October 2017.  [my yellow highlighting]

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Tweets of the Week



Saturday, 8 December 2018

Tweet of the Week



Friday, 7 December 2018

Scanlon Foundation Survey finds that in contemporary Australia racist values are held by a small minority



The Guardian, 4 December 2018:

Australia has not lost faith in immigration. The political narrative has darkened but not the fundamental view of ourselves as an immigrant nation. Most of us remain convinced that we are in so many ways better off for newcomers of all races and creeds who have come in large numbers to our shores.

That is the verdict of the Scanlon Foundation’s 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion Report published on Tuesday. The mission of the foundation is to measure how this migrant nation hangs together. Over the last decade 48,000 of us have been polled to fathom the panics that sweep this country and the steady underlying views Australians have of immigration.

“Immigration is a growing concern,” says the author of the report Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University. “But for media commentators and some politicians it has become an obsession. They are in the business of creating heightened concern, of crisis. But what the survey shows is rather a picture of stability.”

Markus is one of Australia’s leading authorities on the politics of race. This is the 11th report he has written for the Scanlon Foundation. Year in year out his reports show about 80% of us believe immigrants are “generally good” for Australia’s economy and that ours is a better society for the “new ideas and cultures” that immigrants bring to this country. Support for multiculturalism in 2018 stands almost as high as ever at 85%.
 “A number of international surveys that look at Australia, America, Canada, a range of European countries from eastern Europe to western Europe, and also countries in other parts of the world, have a consistent finding that on attitudes to immigration and cultural diversity, Australia is within the top 10% of countries which are open to and welcoming of immigration,” says Markus…..

BACKGROUND


Each Mapping Social Cohesion national survey builds on the previous year and informs the Scanlon-Monash Index (SMI) of Social Cohesion. The surveys have been undertaken since 2007 where the original survey provided the benchmark against which the SMI is then measured.

These surveys provide, for the first time in Australian social research, a series of detailed surveys on social cohesion, immigration and population issues. A prime objective of the surveys is to further understanding of the social impact of Australia’s increasingly diverse immigration program.


While there are significant differences by mode of surveying in the level of strong positive response, as indicated by Figure 35, the balance of opinion remains in large measure consistent. Thus with strong positive and positive responses combined, agreement that multiculturalism has been good for Australia is at 85% RDD, 77% LinA. Agreement with discrimination based on race or ethnicity in immigration selection is at 15% RDD, 22% LinA. Larger variation by survey mode is obtained with reference to some questions on religion: negative attitude (strong negative and negative combined) to those of the Muslim faith is at 23% RDD, 39% LinA, agreement with discrimination in immigration selection on the basis of religion is at 18% RDD, 29% LinA…….

The Scanlon Foundation surveys are of relevance to a fourth dimension, attitudes within the community. All populations comprise people with diverse personalities and views ranging, for example, from the tolerant to the intolerant – from those who celebrate cultural diversity to those who are comfortable only with what they perceive to be Australian culture.

As discussed in this report, the Scanlon Foundation survey findings establish that in contemporary Australia racist values are held by a small minority – arguably most clearly indicated by ‘strong agreement’ with discrimination in immigrant selection policy based on race, ethnicity or religion. Across the two survey modes, ‘strong agreement’ with such discrimination is indicated by 7%-11% of the population. [my yellow highlighting]


Monday, 15 October 2018

Australian Politics 2018: Liberal and Nationals hard right agenda revealed


It appears the rigid hard-right core of the Liberal and National parties, whose face for public consumption is Prime Minister Scott Morrison, thought that Australian voters would find it acceptable that the only people that religious institutions of any denomination would not be able to discriminate against will be heterosexual individuals and those born with absent or ambiguous secondary sexual characteristics.

Everyone else would apparently be fair game for every rabid bigot across the land.

Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender citizens and their children are not to be afforded the full protection of human rights and anti-discrimination law in this New World Order.

It doesn't get any clearer than the main thrust of the twenty recommendations set out  below.

However, now the cat is out of the bag Morrison is backtracking slightly. Just hours after arguing schools should be run consistent with their religious principles and that no existing exemption should be repealed, Scott Morrison told Sky News that he was "not comfortable" with private schools expelling gay students on the basis of their sexuality. 

Rejecting new enrolment applications by gay students was something he was careful not to directly address.

It should be noted that "not comfortable' leaves a lot of wiggle room to look the other way as state and federal legislation is either amended or new Commonwealth legislation created which would allow this blatant discrimination to lawfully occur.


Recommendation 1
Those jurisdictions that retain exceptions or exemptions in their anti-discrimination laws for religious bodies with respect to race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status should review them, having regard to community expectations.

Recommendation 2
Commonwealth, state and territory governments should have regard to the Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when drafting laws that would limit the right to freedom of religion.

Recommendation 3
Commonwealth, state and territory governments should consider the use of objects, purposes or other interpretive clauses in anti-discrimination legislation to reflect the equal status in international law of all human rights, including freedom of religion.

Recommendation 4
The Commonwealth should amend section 11 of the Charities Act 2013 to clarify that advocacy of a ‘traditional’ view of marriage would not, of itself, amount to a ‘disqualifying purpose’.

Recommendation 5
The Commonwealth should amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to provide that religious schools can discriminate in relation to the employment of staff, and the engagement of contractors, on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status provided that:
The discrimination is founded in the precepts of the religion.
The school has a publicly available policy outlining its position in relation to the matter and explaining how the policy will be enforced.
The school provides a copy of the policy in writing to employees and contractors and prospective employees and contractors.

Recommendation 6
Jurisdictions should abolish any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws that provide for discrimination by religious schools in employment on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status. Further, jurisdictions should ensure that any exceptions for religious schools do not permit discrimination against an existing employee solely on the basis that the employee has entered into a marriage.

Recommendation 7
The Commonwealth should amend the Sex Discrimination Act to provide that religious schools may discriminate in relation to students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status provided that:
The discrimination is founded in the precepts of the religion.
The school has a publicly available policy outlining its position in relation to the matter.
The school provides a copy of the policy in writing to prospective students and their parents at the time of enrolment and to existing students and their parents at any time the policy is updated.
The school has regard to the best interests of the child as the primary consideration in its conduct.

Recommendation 8
Jurisdictions should abolish any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws that provide for discrimination by religious schools with respect to students on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status.

Recommendation 9
State and territory education departments should maintain clear policies as to when and how a parent or guardian may request that a child be removed from a class that contains instruction on religious or moral matters and ensure that these policies are applied consistently. These policies should:
Include a requirement to provide sufficient, relevant information about such classes to enable parents or guardians to consider whether their content may be inconsistent with the parents’ or guardians’ religious beliefs
Give due consideration to the rights of the child, including to receive information about sexual health, and their progressive capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Recommendation 10
The Commonwealth Attorney-General should consider the guidance material on the Attorney-General’s Department’s website relating to authorised celebrants to ensure that it uses plain English to explain clearly and precisely the operation of the Marriage Act 1961. The updated guidance should include:
A clear description of the religious protections available to different classes of authorised celebrants, and
Advice that the term ‘minister of religion’ is used to cover authorised celebrants from religious bodies which would not ordinarily use the term ‘minister’, including non-Christian religions.

Recommendation 11
The Commonwealth Attorney-General should consider whether the Code of Practice set out in Schedule 2 of the Marriage Regulations 2017 is appropriately adapted to the needs of smaller and emerging religious bodies.

Recommendation 12
The Commonwealth should progress legislative amendments to make it clear that religious schools are not required to make available their facilities, or to provide goods or services, for any marriage, provided that the refusal:
Conforms to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of the religion of the body
Is necessary to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion.

Recommendation 13
Those jurisdictions that have not abolished statutory or common law offences of blasphemy should do so.

Recommendation 14
References to blasphemy in the Shipping Registration Regulations 1981, and in state and territory primary and secondary legislation, should be repealed or replaced with terms applicable not only to religion.

Recommendation 15
The Commonwealth should amend the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, or enact a Religious Discrimination Act, to render it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’, including on the basis that a person does not hold any religious belief. In doing so, consideration should be given to providing for appropriate exceptions and exemptions, including for religious bodies, religious schools and charities.

Recommendation 16
New South Wales and South Australia should amend their anti-discrimination laws to render it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’ including on the basis that a person does not hold any religious belief. In doing so, consideration should be given to providing for the appropriate exceptions and exemptions, including for religious bodies, religious schools and charities.

Recommendation 17
The Commonwealth should commission the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative information on the experience of freedom of religion in Australia at the community level, including:
Incidents of physical violence, including threats of violence, linked to a person’s faith
Harassment, intimidation or verbal abuse directed at those of faith
Forms of discrimination based on religion and suffered by those of faith
Unreasonable restrictions on the ability of people to express, manifest or change their faith
Restrictions on the ability of people to educate their children in a manner consistent with their faith
The experience of freedom of religion impacting on other human rights
The extent to which religious diversity (as distinct from cultural diversity)
is accepted and promoted in Australian society

Recommendation 18
The Commonwealth should support the development of a religious engagement and public education program about human rights and religion in Australia, the importance of the right to freedom of religion and belief, and the current protections for religious freedom in Australian and international law. As a first step, the panel recommends that the Attorney-General should ask the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to inquire into and report on how best to enhance engagement, education and awareness about these issues.

Recommendation 19
The Australian Human Rights Commission should take a leading role in the protection of freedom of religion, including through enhancing engagement, understanding and dialogue. This should occur within the existing commissioner model and not necessarily through the creation of a new position.

Recommendation 20
The Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Attorney-General should take leadership of the issues identified in this report with respect to the Commonwealth, and work with the states and territories to ensure its implementation. While the panel hopes it would not be necessary, consideration should be given to further Commonwealth legislative solutions if required.

Because Scott Morrison made no secret of his dislike of same-sex marriage and his intention to make new laws protecting so-called religious 'freedoms'. he is now going to have a fight on his hands every single day until the next federal election - these recommendations have made that a certainty.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Let's talk about education funding under a hard-right Morrison Coalition Government


If one attempts to assess access and equity in education across Australian society there is a measurement tool available which gives some indication.

The Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) is a scale that represents levels of educational advantage based on the relationship between the educational advantage a student has, as measured by the parents’ occupation and level of education completed, and their educational achievement.

This measurement as applied to a school is broken down into five factors:
1. Parents’ Occupation
2. Parents’ Education
3. Geographical Location
4. Percentage of Aboriginal students
5. Percentage of disadvantaged LBOTE students.

Therefore if the majority of a school's population come from families where one or both parents had a tertiary-level education and the employed parent/s has a profession, or is self-employed or in a management position and these families live in suburbs where the median household income is above the average for the region and, there are fewer indigenous and/or disadvantaged students in the school population – then the community socio-educational advantage score will be higher for that school.

According to http://www.schoolcatchment.com.au  the Top 20 Australian Primary Schools for 2016 were:

PRIMARY SCHOOLS  (combined ICSEA score as a percentage of all Number One schools)

Sydney Grammar School – 100%
Presbyterian Ladies' College – 99.69%
St Aloysius' College – 97.57%
Abbotsleigh – 95.26%
Yarwun State School* – 95.20%
St Andrews Christian College – 94.39%
Northcross Christian School – 94.20%
Huntingtower School – 94.14%
Haileybury College – 93.98%
Meriden School – 93.86%
Matthew Pearce Public School* – 93.81%
John Colet School – 93.79%
Arkana College – 93.61%
Burwood East Primary School* – 93.33%
Artarmon Public School* – 93.28%
Camberwell Girls Grammar School – 93.09%
Woollahra Public School* – 92.96%
Fintona Girls' School – 92.92%
Hornsby North Public School* – 92.68%
Serpell Primary School* – 92.68%.

Only 7 government schools across the country are in the Top 20 Primary Schools.

While 47 of the Top 100 Primary Schools are government schools.

Conversely the Top 20 Australian Secondary Schools for 2016 are dominated by government selective schools.

However, 73 of the Top 100 Secondary Schools are non-government schools.

When it comes to the total Australian primary & secondary school student population, Independent schools enrol 5% of children from below the ICSEA benchmark average, Catholic schools enrol 11% of children below the benchmark average and Government schools which enrol est. 65% of all children also enrol 52% of children below the benchmark average.


Yet under a Morrison Coalition Government $4.5 billion in additional funding is to be given to private schools – most of which do not appear to require this additional funding to produce high education outcomes.

Apparently Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison and his hard-right cronies consider only families from the likes of Vaucluse, Point Piper, Toorak, Bulimba, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Forrest, Red Hill, Rose Park and Sandy Bay are the type of people who "have a go" and therefore deserve to get "a fair go".

Aged Care in Australia 2018: why government and the aged care industry make one want to weep in frustration


"The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members." [Attributed to Mahatma Ghandhi]

A little over five months ago the ABC program "4 Corners" asked people to contact its office to talk about their experience of the aged care system as staff, client or family member of an older person. 

Over four thousand Australians responded and the "Who Cares?" episode was produced and then aired on national television on 17 September 2018.

The day before this episode was scheduled for viewing Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison made a rush announcement of a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety - no terms of reference and no start date specified.

This royal commission if it goes forward this year will be the 21st review of the aged care system since 1997 - that's 21 reviews in 21 years.

Twenty-one years in which not one federal or state government has come to grips with the fact that there is a two-tier care system in operation based on the older person's ability to pay.

This plays out almost as apartheid in many aged care facilities, with separate wings in the building/s, separate nursing & other staff, separate meal choices and recreational activities.

It is also twenty-one more years in which older people of limited means have been almost warehoused. Receiving at best what can only be described as benign neglect and at worst extreme abuse.

No-one appears to being asking why so many older people entering residential care die within four years of admission (with death occurring on average around 2.5 years after admission) and why there is such a high percentage of premature deaths.

The incidence of premature and therefore potentially preventable death from the 11 principal external causes identified in a 2016 epidemiological analysis is apparently not going down over time and over the last ten or so years appears to be rising.

For over two decades registered charities, consumer groups and government watchdogs have never truly comes to grips with the basic realities of this two-tier care system.

A system which sees vulnerable older people verbally abused, threatened, physically beaten and deliberately denied appropriate basic care - reports of which can be found in the records of the federal Health Care Complaints Commission, state agencies such as the Nurses and Midwifery Council of New South Wales and in the media.

The day after the "4 Corners" program went to air, one representative of a registered charity which purports to represent older Australians was on national television condemning the types of abuse revealed in this program.

However, in the next breath - and almost in denial of such widespread abuse - he was talking about the need to understand why there was also excellent care in the aged care system and how residential aged care providers which meet or exceed Commonwealth aged care standards need to be rewarded.

He talked about some aged care providers being "world class" until the interviewer brought him back to looking at the ugly truth of the situation.

He was not alone in demonstrating how difficult it is for those associated with aged care to steadily fix their gaze on this seriously flawed system and insist that it be genuinely reformed.

It is hard not to see Scott Morrison's announcement of a royal commission as one meant to pre-empt the "4 Corners" program ahead of the Wentworth by-election on 20 October 2018 - given that the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care & Liberal MP for Hasluck Ken Wyatt appeared lukewarm about the need for a royal commission into the aged care system just last month and, in the face of contrary evidence the Prime Minister continues to deny the controversial federal funding cuts to the sector by way a tweak of the Aged Care Funding Instrument to the tune of $1.2 billion in efficiency savings in the 2018-19 Budget.