Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.
Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.
Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4868 0
Case Study - Combating poverty
Social welfare research
The Commonwealth Government is concerned to ensure that its policies alleviate poverty, and the Department of Social Security (DSS) is undertaking several major research projects which include exploring issues such as the most appropriate ways of assessing the living standards of low income groups and the adequacy or otherwise of social security payments. Examples of such research follow.
- The Adequacy Project is undertaking research into approaches to measuring the adequacy of DSS payments. The project involves developing, testing and piloting a survey instrument to assess the incidence of deprivation among DSS clients and to explore the relationship between levels of relative deprivation and other factors, for example DSS payment rates, duration of dependence, education and location. This research also includes developing comprehensive and contemporary Budget Standards for Australia.
- The Community Research Project is examining the potential of new and innovative community based services to enhance the living standards of people on low incomes. The key research elements of this project include:
- a Community Information Network, which will test the effectiveness of a computer based information and communication system in improving particular aspects of the living standards of people on low incomes; a primary aim of the network is to ensure free public access to information technology (IT) and communication and to develop IT utilisation skills amongst people on low incomes; and
- an action research project designed to test the ability of local, community based activities and services to improve the living standards of people on low incomes; the primary focus of the research is on the provision of services and products by and/or for low income earners, thus emphasising the self-help, community based and self-sustaining nature of the services.
- The Customisation Payments Project which is examining the methods of better meeting DSS customer needs by providing greater flexibility in the way payments are made; it explores the possible approaches to providing variable payment arrangements and analyses the delivery mechanisms.
- The Payment Structure Review which aims to simplify basic payment structures and develop a system that enables income support to be tailored to meet customer needs; this involves analysis of the existing payment structure and examining possible reforms which would simplify the system of income support for people of workforce age, increase equity and make the income support system more flexible in meeting individual needs.