A Senate inquiry into the adequacy of unemployment benefits has decided not to recommend an increase, despite general agreement that the payment is too low to live on.
At just $245 a week the Newstart allowance is well below the official poverty line and has been criticised by unions, charities and leading business groups.
The two Labor MP’s on the committee did push for a rise, as did the Greens, but they were out voted by Coalition members.
The Saint Vincent De Paul Society has bitterly attacked the outcome saying it humiliates the unemployed.
Chief Executive Dr John Falzon spoke with 2ser’s Mark Robinson.
This week the federal government lifted its ban on the pesticide Diuron after the federal pesticides authority cleared it for use at what they called reduced levels.
However conservationists say the decision by Australia's chemical regulator to allow the continued use of the toxic weed killer could kill the Great Barrier Reef.
Diuron is classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a likely carcinogen and research has linked it to coral bleaching and the death of seagrass on the Great Barrier Reef.
Nick Heath from the World Wildlife Fund spoke with 2ser’s Rory O’Gorman.
The Federal Government finally passed poker machine reforms through the Lower House after two years of political debate and public campaigning.
Pubs and clubs will need voluntary pre-commitment technology on their machines, though the first venues will not switch it on until 2018.
Clubs Australia and the Australian Hotels Association have welcomed the reforms but some say they haven’t gone far enough and won’t stop problem gamblers from losing their money.
Matt Hogan spoke to Federal Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenephon.
The state government this week announced changes to BAIL LAWS, in an effort to reduce the large numbers of people who are refused bail, while waiting for a trial.
More than a quarter of adult prisoners in NSW have not been convicted.
The Attorney General Greg Smith has put forward a new “case by case” system, designed to ease the burden on prisons and give those charged a fairer deal.
But he declined to follow the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission which suggested a general presumption in favour of bail.
Legal observers say it’s a step in the right direction but may not be enough.
MAX TAYLOR is a retired magistrate and the convenor of the Bail Reform Alliance – and he spoke with 2SER’s Mark Robinson.
The Federal Government has come under fire for its policy of processing asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island.
The Refugee Action Coalition has denounced what it calls a “pointless” and “short-sighted” practice.
In a protest outside Health Minister Tanya Plibersek’s Sydney office yesterday, demonstrators called on the government to change its approach.
They say re-opening the two offshore processing centres is not a humane solution to people smuggling.
2SER’s Sam Buckingham-Jones filed this report.
Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire this week.
As part of the deal brokered by Egypt Israel has agreed to end all military operations in the Gaza strip area while Hamas will stop its rocket attacks against Israel.
But Pro Palestinian groups aren’t satisfied and feel the agreement is a temporary solution to Israeli aggression.
Political analyst and human rights advocate, Samah Sabawi, spoke at a Melbourne protest rally last night in support of the Palestinian cause.
2ser’s Joel Moss spoke to Sabawi about the ceasefire and the need for a certain level of compromise from both sides in order to stop the violence between Israel and Palestine.
The Australian Rugby League Commission has accepted a recommendation to outlaw the shoulder-charge from all competitions from 2013.
The report stated that the increased size of athletes was creating a situation where the shoulder-charge could lead to an unacceptable injury risk.
The response from most of the players and coaches was one of dismay and most have been very vocal in opposing the ban.
So is banning the shoulder charge, taking away a key ingredient of the game or a necessary step to protect players in a “tough guy sport” from their own fearlessness?
2SER's Matt Hogan spoke to Nathan McGuirk, General Manager of Operations for the NRL.
In August this year NASA’s $2.5 billion dollar Curiosity rover landed inside Mars' huge Gale Crater where its mission is to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbial life.
This week NASA announced that Curiosity had discovered something in one of its soil samples however the space agency would need to double check its data before making an official announcement.
Since the initial announcement was made earlier this week people have been speculating on what NASA might have found and whether they will announce the discovery of alien life on mars.
2ser’s Rory O’Gorman spoke with Kerry Dougherty curator of space research at the powerhouse museum in Sydney for her thoughts on what NASA may be set to announce.
Having access to comprehensive public education is something most people take for granted.
However, concern is growing in the community about the lack of public secondary school options within the NSW seat of Sydney.
Susan Cheong spoke to Skye Molyneux, a Redfern resident and a mother of two.
There are fears the violence in Gaza will escalate with Israel mobilising up to 30 000 military reserves.
The latest aggression escalated after Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, fired rockets at Tel Aviv killing three Israelis.
The rockets were launched in response to Israel killing top Hamas military commander, Ahmed Jabaari, in Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces tweeted the video of the assassination and it was watched by 640 000 people on You Tube before it was taken down.
The assassination was part of Operation Pillar of Defence in retaliation to months of Palestinian rockets pounding south Israel.
Lecturer in Middle East studies at Deakin University, Matt Hardy, called the hostilities another sad exchange of munitions of no benefit for anyone.
2ser’s Joel Moss spoke to Matt Hardy about the cycle of violence and asked why Israel decided to use social media to publicise the assassination.