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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Labor and Tony Abbott vote together against the unemployed

The Australian Greens say MPs in both houses of Parliament have failed to make a stand in support of vulnerable Australians living on low rates of income support, such as Newstart. 

Senator Rachel Siewert and Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt, MP for Melbourne today both moved motions in Parliament calling for a commitment from the Government to increase the rate of Newstart Allowance by $50 per week.

"Newstart is fundamentally inadequate for supporting people - be they looking for work or raising kids. 

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New intervention measures are based on the wrong approach

As it introduces new intervention measures in the Northern Territory, the Government is keen to talk about the effectiveness of existing policies in tackling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

Reports with glossy pages and matching colour schemes cannot hide the reality that the programs they discuss are costly, ineffective and are not based on sound evidence.

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Australian Greens National Conference Press Conference - November 6, 2011

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown, Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters, Senators for Western Australia Rachel Siewert and Scott Ludlam, and Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt spoke to the media about the Australian Greens National Conference in Fremantle, WA.

Topics included the allocation of preferences, the environmental threats posed by developments in the Kimberley, and the Nationals' call for a "discussion paper" on coal seam gas. 

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Greens vow to fight for indigenous communities as second report highlights policy failures

The Australian Greens have vowed to continue fighting for Aboriginal communities after an Amnesty International report condemned the Federal Government’s abandonment of remote communities in the NT in favour of ‘growth towns’. 

The Amnesty report comes just one day after another highly critical report revealed the expensive gap between policy intent and implementation.

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Workplace Relations

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia—Australian Greens Whip) (14:17):  My question is to Senator Evans, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations. I refer to the fact that Fair Work Australia has recently accepted that community sector workers are underpaid on the basis of gender. The tribunal called for submissions from the parties before making a final decision and has encouraged parties to negotiate. I would like to ask: what is the government doing now to engage in a genuine, meaningful way with this process?

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Fair Work decision demands Government response

The decision by Fair Work Australia to allow United Voice to bargain on behalf of low-paid aged care workers is an important step in tackling the wages gap, but unless Government commits to fully funding the increase, better wages may come at the cost of job losses and reduced services, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“It is high time that workers in this sector started receiving an appropriate level of pay for the important work that they do caring for older Australians,” said Senator Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Health  & Ageing.

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Greens seek jobs with justice

The Australian Greens continue to pressure the Government to act on failings in its flagship Indigenous housing program SIHIP, which was meant to be a key plank of the NT Intervention.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues has led calls for the Government to end the failing NT intervention, raising serious concerns about the treatment of Aboriginal workers involved in SIHIP.

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Gillard’s welfare policies more rubbery than her figures

While the Prime Minister continues to imply that there are hundreds of thousands of Australians on unemployment benefits who are unwilling to work, the Australian Greens say this is not the case, with the focus on tough talk and misleading figures coming at the expense of effective action.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Community Services spokesperson says the Government needs to focus on delivering effective employment support to job seekers, rather than using them as an easy target for criticism.

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