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social inclusion in SA? « Previous | |Next »
October 1, 2009

Though South Australia established the first social inclusion unit when Rann Labor was elected in 2002 it has a poor record on addressing those young people who were deemed to be at risk of social exclusion social inclusion. The change of emphasis is from social classes to social inclusion and social mobility.

The aim of social inclusion policies is to cut and eventually 'eradicate' child poverty, and to ensure that no one is seriously disadvantaged by where they live. This is at a time when income inequality has widened sharply and many indicators of deprivation are deteriorating.

In South Australia the politics of social inclusion have circulated around the ageing and overcrowded Magill Training Centre built in 1870 and last upgraded in 1967.The social inclusion commissioner, David Cappo, accused the state government of human rights abuses at Magill against children as young as 12 and called for the "inhumane" facility to be demolished.The Rann Government axed plans to upgrade or replace Magillin order to protect the AAA credit rating in the 2009 budget.

Treasurer Kevin Foley said that the state could not afford to upgrade or replace the "hellhole" facility at Magill and that it was good that it was an unpleasant facility because:

that will send a message to the youth of the state that they're better off staying out of trouble than having to endure what currently is the Magill centre.

The government would not be swayed by a campaign by do-gooders, as Foley described those agitating for change, and there was no money even if the government wanted to act.

That is the voice of right wing Labor in SA on social inclusion. Poverty and social exclusion, disadvantage and life chances for children are not taken seriously. Rather than breaking the link between poverty and social exclusion (from, say low educational achievement) by a ‘social investment state’ making investments in human capital, it's all about being tough on law and order. Do the crime do the time is Foley's mantra.

The Rann Government had the money ---a $50 million contingency fund for prisons. The government last week bowed to public pressure, performed a backflip, and announced that it will build a new $67m facility financed by selling land.

This example suggest that Rann Labor is not seriously respond to a radically changed economic and social orderin terms of the challenges posed by attempting to compete in the globalisedknowledge economy where success is predicated on the existence of a highly adaptable, skilled and educated workforce with welfare policies that encourage active participation (primarily in the labour market) and equip people to face new risks.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:52 AM | | Comments (2)


I have been working lately, and I am in the city before 6am to transfer buses. There is a consistent group of people who are homeless and you see them every morning. The same three or four people sleeping in the entrance of the Southern Cross Arcade on King William Street.

Where's the social inclusion for these people?

Someone attacked Mike Rann at a fundraiser last night. This will be a big boost for the 'Laura Norder' faction in the government, and another loss for social inclusion.

Even the rich can't stand this bloke, it seems.