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28 million busy signals hit in the first seven months of this financial year for those trying to reach Centrelink

“28 million calls hitting a busy signal in the first seven months of this financial year is astronomical and could reflect people trying to get through to fix an incorrect debt”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Last year for the whole financial year was 29 million busy signals, up 22 million from the previous year.

“To see 28 million busy signals in the first seven months shows an extreme trajectory that the Government must work to remedy immediately.

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Unconventional gas could be worse than coal: we need a national fracking ban

The Australian Greens today reiterated their call for a national ban on fracking in light of reports that unconventional gas fracking could be worse than coal for the climate. 

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on resources said:

“This newest study on massive ‘fugitive’ pollution from fracking wells shows we need a national ban on fracking. 

“Unconventional gas fracking wells and pipes leak like a sieve, and they could be just as bad for the climate as burning coal

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ANAO report highlights failures of DHS compliance measures and recent events show it’s getting worse: Greens

An Australian National Audit Office report shows a dysfunctional crackdown on the social safety net before the large scale automated debt recovery system even begun, with saving targets not even met in most cases.

“Anyone taking a flick through the ANAO report can see that an erosion of the social safety net has been going on for some time and that the approach has long been in disarray”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Greens Senator Rachel Siewert responds to Government leaking Centrelink recipient details to media

“It is extremely concerning that the Government has willingly and openly given media the personal details of a Centrelink recipient and will do so again to those who dare to speak out about the automated debt recovery system.

"This has huge implications for the privacy of those on income support and receiving other payments from Government.

“The effort the Government has put into 'correcting the record' for media should go to correcting thousands of incorrect debts.

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Debt collectors posing as Government department just another line of deceit

A report of a debt collection agency portraying itself as a Government department is just another underhanded and nasty tactic being used as part of the Government’s automated debt recovery program, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“We have heard many times about how aggressive the debt collectors are being to struggling Australians that have accessed the social safety net in the last six years.

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Senator Brandis, pick up the phone and call Centrelink

“Senator Brandis: step out of your ivory tower, and attempt to call Centrelink. Be prepared for a wake-up call”,  Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“This is the struggle being experienced by constituents that you are meant to represent.

“I have personally witnessed my constituents wait for hours trying to get through to Centrelink. People dealing with Centrelink are exasperated and stressed.

“Hundreds of people have emailed and called my office to detail their experiences. I can assure you that the system is almost impossible to navigate.

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What Did The Greens Get Up To In The First Two Weeks Of Parliament In 2017

As the Australian Greens Whip I give a regular insight into what’s happening in Parliament with the top pieces of legislation, amendments, motions, questions, and matters of public importance that the Australian Greens work on each sitting week/fortnight. In a tough 24 hour media cycle, often work done in the run of a sitting fortnight doesn’t make it to the media. The intention of this summary is to keep you informed on the work we do. The first two weeks were packed with exciting work that spans across campaigns and issues.

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Senate calls on Government to engage with Redfern Statement

The Senate has supported a Greens motion calling on the Government to act on the Redfern Statement by committing to the Engagement Approach.

“We are not meeting our closing the gap targets but an alliance of Aboriginal leaders and organisations have the solutions on how to reduce Aboriginal disadvantage and progressing Reconciliation.

“The PM was directly handed the Redfern Statement on Tuesday that contains the solutions. I urge him to act on the will of the Senate and our First Peoples and commit to the approach.

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‘Improvements’ for debt recovery system just fiddling around the edges: Greens

The Government’s announcement of ‘improvements’ to the debt recovery system are fiddling around the edges and do not address the fundamental issues of the Centrelink automated debt recovery system, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“Making an awful clunky system that lacks proper human oversight slightly more user friendly is not going to stop the fact that thousands of struggling Australians are being issued with debts that they do not have. Why should people have to navigate a slightly improved system when they shouldn’t be navigating it at all?

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