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Aboriginal Legal Services should not have been excluded from race-hate inquiry: Greens

It is atrocious that the Government excluded Aboriginal Legal Services from giving evidence at a senate inquiry into race-hate laws, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“When committee chair LNP Senator Ian MacDonald excluded Aboriginal Legal Services from giving evidence at the inquiry, he excluded a voice for our First peoples. The committee should have heard from these important services.

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The Government should not have Accenture ‘transforming’ Centrelink, recipients have been through enough

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has expressed concern that the company behind the bungled Tax Office overhaul has been selected to ‘transform’ the Centrelink system, saying that Centrelink recipients have been through enough.

“Centrelink recipients, some of which have just had their payments cut by legislation passed yesterday, should not be subject to anymore poorly operating systems.

“They have a track record of taking a system and making it worse for many users, this was demonstrated by the bungled Tax Office rollout.

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Greens and Labor secure support for senate inquiry into broken Community Development Program

The Greens and Labor have secured Senate support for a senate inquiry into the failing Community Development Program that is being rolled out in remote communities.

“The Community Development Program imposes harder so called mutual obligations for income support recipients in remote communities compared to their metropolitan counterparts”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“People in remote communities have to do much longer hours for work for the dole, and for basically a full year rather than 6 months.

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The Government is still cutting payments from vulnerable people to pay for childcare and it should not be supported: Greens

The legislation announced by the Government today will take money out of the pockets of average Australians who rely on a decent social safety net, said Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale.

“This grubby little deal between the Government, One Nation and Nick Xenophon’s senators will strip nearly $2 billion from the people who need it the most.

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Justice for teargassed youth at Don Dale welcome: Greens

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed the decision by Justice Judith Kelly to award damages to four teenagers who were tear-gassed at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in 2014.

“Those that saw the footage of the young boys being teared gassed in Don Dale in a squalid enclosed space were justifiably outraged. 

“As the Royal Commission continues to unveil ongoing and disturbing mistreatment of youth detainees in Don Dale, today’s judgement is a small victory.

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Senate calls for action on Aboriginal hearing health

The Greens have secured Senate support for a motion calling on Australian Governments to urgently address hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The recent Close the Gap report called for a reset on addressing health inequality this needs to include hearing health.

“Governments around Australia have failed to adequately address hearing health which affects our ability to close the gap.

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Australian Greens respond to Native Title Amendment Bill 2017

Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues Senator Rachel Siewert says:  

“The proposed amendments to the Native Title Act have raised many issues that could have significant ramifications for Native Title holders. 

“There has been limited consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as significant doubt of the operation of some of the measures.

“Due to these issues, the Australian Greens cannot support the Native Title Amendment legislation in its current form at this time.

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More cuts to social safety net not the solution for budget repair: Greens

The Business Council’s claims that we would require a $50 billion cut to the social safety net to plug up the budget if savings don’t pass the senate is farcical fear mongering, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Time and time again I have said that there is no senate gridlock, there is bad legislation. Put forward better legislation that doesn't take money off some of the most vulnerable members of our community and it will have a better chance of passing the senate.

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