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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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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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Greens will oppose Omnibus Bill

The Australian Greens today said they will oppose the Government’s Omnibus Bill in its entirety.

“The Australian Greens will be opposing this bill in its entirety. The measures in the Bill will hurt struggling Australians to support.

“The threat that the social safety net cuts are necessary to pay for childcare reforms and the NDIS shows their spiteful and ham-fisted approach to our most vulnerable.

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Child mortality no longer on track as Government continues rhetoric to close the gap

The Close the Gap report now showing that child mortality rates are not on track is a dismal reflection on the Government’s half-hearted and under-funded attempts to end Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

“One of the targets is on track to Close the Gap for our First Peoples. Just one. How has the Government let it get to this stage?

“I have witnessed many Closing the Gap reports in my time as a Senator but this year’s report is particularly devastating. Unfortunately it is not surprising.  

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Greens call on Turnbull to get behind Redfern Statement

The Australian Greens have recommitted to the Redfern Statement presented to political leaders today and call on the Federal Government to urgently commit to the recommendations and engagement approach outlined.

 “The Government is notorious in using rhetoric when talking about reducing disadvantage for our First Peoples – the Redfern Statement offers Aboriginal-led solutions to closing the gap in a timely manner rather than going backwards”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert responds to news that Brandis will change the Native Title Act

“The news that Attorney General Brandis will hurriedly push through changes to the Native Title Act smacks of knee jerk reaction to a significant situation because they want to protect the Adani coal mine project”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“This could have profound implications for native title and native title holders that will need careful consideration and consultation.  People need the opportunity to look at the native title legislation very carefully.

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Senate supports Greens motion calling for justice targets

The Senate has supported a Greens motion calling on the Government to implement justice targets to help with efforts to reduce Aboriginal incarceration.

 “The Senate has spoken, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has spoken, I urge Prime Minister Turnbull to listen to all these voices and announce justice targets as part of efforts to close the gap on Tuesday”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert responds to news that the Government is tying social safety net cuts to the NDIS:

“Treasurer Morrison, stop robbing Peter to pay Paul. We should not be hacking billions from the social safety net to pay for the NDIS and you know it.

“The Treasurer is trying to pressure the Senate to support their cuts - this is a cheap trick".

“People with disability would no doubt be outraged that a young person had to wait five weeks in poverty to pay for the NDIS. 

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