CONDITIONAL WELFARE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF COMPULSORY INCOME MANAGEMENT POLICIES IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

(2018–2021) ARC Discovery Project

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Income management quarantines a portion of social security payments, placing these funds in a special account that can only be used to pay for essentials such as food and bills, and cannot be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco. Compulsory income management was first introduced to Australia - and, indeed, the world - in 2007 as part of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (‘the intervention’), and has been through several incarnations in the decade since. A comparable policy - ‘money management’ - was introduced to New Zealand in 2012.

This project is the first large independent study of compulsory income management in Australia and New Zealand. It investigates how income management has developed as a policy, how it is being implemented by service providers, and how it affects the lives, choices and autonomy of benefit recipients.

More information on the project website.

RESEARCH TEAM

  • Professor Greg Marston, University of Queensland (Lead Chief Investigator)

  • Associate Professor Phillip Mendes, Monash University (Chief Investigator)

  • Associate Professor Louise Humpage, University of Auckland (Chief Investigator)

  • Dr Shelley Bielefeld, Griffith University (Chief Investigator)

  • Dr Michelle Peterie, University of Queensland (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

  • Dr Zoe Staines, University of Queensland (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

  • Mr Steven Roche, Monash University (Research Assistant)

WHO YOU KNOW OR WHERE YOU GO? THE ROLE OF FORMAL AND INFORMAL NETWORKS IN FINDING EMPLOYMENT AND MAINTAINING WELLBEING

(2015-2018) ARC Linkage Project

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Recent empirical studies have demonstrated that informal social networks improve well-being and labour market outcomes for the unemployed in Europe. However, no comparable Australian study has been conducted and there is little research on the role of the 'formal' networks represented by employment services programs in Australia or overseas.

This project explores unemployed people's formal and informal networks and the impact of those networks on employment status and wellbeing.

The research will inform unemployment policy design and service delivery by providing a greater understanding of the role that social networks play in finding jobs and surviving unemployment.

RESEARCH TEAM

  • Associate Professor Gaby Ramia, University of Sydney (Lead Chief Investigator)

  • Professor Greg Marston, University of Queensland (Chief Investigator)

  • Dr Roger Patulny, University of Wollongong (Chief Investigator)

  • Dr Michelle Peterie, University of Queensland (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

  • Ms Kirsten Ibbotson, CoAct (Industry Representative)