On June 25, 2012, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), of which the St Vincent de Paul Society is a member, wrote to Mr Henry Jenkins MP the Committee Chair of the Parliamentary Join Committee on Human Rights to thank the Committee for its time and allowing us an opportunity to present oral evidence at the preliminary hearing held on 21 June 2012 at Parliament House, which was to assist the Committee to more fully consider our request for an inquiry into the above proposed legislation. As per your suggestion, we now provide written supplementary submissions for you to take into account at your meeting, scheduled tomorrow, Tuesday 26 June 2012.

In summary, we respectfully urge that, at the meeting to be held on Tuesday, 26 June 2012, the Committee:

  • 1. Make a preliminary finding that the Bill appears to impact on the human rights of the sole parents and their children, including the right to social security (i.e. the basic rights of very vulnerable women and their children are affected)
  • 2. Find that the Compatibility Statement does not adequately address the human rights implications of the Bill
  • 3. Urge the Australian parliament to not proceed with adopting the proposed legislation until a proper inquiry into the human rights implications of the Bill is conducted
  • 4. Call for submissions from people (individual or organisations) to comment on the compatibility of this Bill with human rights;
  • 5. Following submissions, convene a public hearing to hear evidence from:
  • a. Individuals or organisations from whom it deems necessary to hear (further) evidence; and
  • b. Single parents that will be impacted by the removal of the Parenting Payment.
  • 6. On the basis of the evidence from submissions and evidence given by way of hearing, produce a written report to both Houses of Parliament on the compatibility of the Bill with human rights.