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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues

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PM must fold National Congress into Indigenous Advisory Council mix

If the Government has in fact dissolved the Indigenous Advisory Council to appoint a new head and members, they should seek advice from National Congress of Australia’s First People, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“National Congress is a representative body of elected members, they are an incredibly valuable peak body, and are doing important work across the board on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, particularly with the Redfern Statement.

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Release of CCTV footage of Ms Dhu a welcome development, Govt must now stop jail for non-payment of fines

Findings by the WA Coroner that Ms Dhu’s death could have been prevented as early as the day before she died should jolt the Government into acting on Aboriginal deaths in custody, particularly the practice of jail time for non-payment of fines.

“The coroner’s findings are no doubt incredibly distressing for the family and friends of Ms Dhu, but the coroner’s decision to release the CCTV footage is testament to immense determination from Ms Dhu’s family who wanted it released”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Human Rights Commission report on Social Justice and Native Title should not be ignored like many other reports into addressing Aboriginal disadvantage: Greens

The Australian Greens said today that they hoped the Government would act on the latest Social Justice and Native Title report by the Australian Human Rights Commission, fearing it would be added to the largely ignored pile of reports that outline policy failings and make recommendations to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

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Turnbull Government should not interfere in the City of Fremantle Australia Day decision

Interfering with a decision by the City of Fremantle to move Australia Day celebrations is significant overreach by the Turnbull Government and should not be occurring, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and Lynn MacLaren MLC said today.

"The Turnbull Government threatening to ban citizen ceremonies in Fremantle because they do not agree with the City of Fremantle kick-starting an important conversation about cultural inclusivity is inappropriate, bullying and sets a dangerous precedent," Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.  

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Any consultation for a proposed cashless welfare card in Port Hedland must be with actual income support recipients

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said income support recipients must be properly consulted in Port Hedland by local, state and federal Governments if the cashless welfare card is being considered.

“We’ve heard both the Mayor of Hedland and Member for the Pilbara suggest the cashless welfare card could be rolled out in Port Hedland, but neither of them will be on the card themselves”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Senate calls for funding of National Congress

The Senate has supported an Australian Greens motion calling on the Government to fund National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples for the next three years for $15 million, with a sinking fund of a further $100 million.

“In 2014, the Coalition broke away from a multi-party approach and cut funding for National Congress as part of the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples funding cuts and the chaotic rollout of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, it was a hard year for our First Peoples” Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Government has known for too long that the number of Aboriginal kids in out of home care is growing, it is time to act

The Government must urgently respond to the inaugural Family Matters report, which is projecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids in out of home care will almost triple by 2035.

“The growing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care is a crisis in the system. A near tripling of Aboriginal kids in out of home care by 2035 is a devastating projection, if this doesn’t jolt the Government into action, I’m not sure what will.

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British Museum should return sacred objects

“I wish to again express my support for Rodney Kelly in his endeavour to retrieve sacred objects taken from Gweagal people by a member of Captain Cook's crew when the HMS Endeavour arrived in Botany Bay in 1770”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“As Mr Kelly has said, these sacred artefacts were taken by gunfire and the legal title belongs to the descendant Gweagal people.

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