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Minister, get out of your ivory tower and speak to people actually struggling on Centrelink

Minister Alan Tudge refusing to suspend or scrap the automated debt recovery system demonstrates a huge failing to comprehend the struggles and distress that the program has caused to people accessing the social safety net, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Coalition is scrambling around trying to work out why voters are so disillusioned and sick of major parties, well they only have to look at the huge disconnect demonstrated by Minister Tudge today.

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Government automated debt recovery system must be scrapped and should be referred to Senate inquiry: Greens

The Australian Greens are calling for the Government’s automated debt recovery system to be scrapped and investigated through a senate inquiry.  

Australian Greens spokesperson on community services Senator Rachel Siewert said:

“Prior to and over Christmas, the automated debt recovery system caused anguish and stress to people using our social safety net, impacting on the mental health of those that we should be supporting.

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Government fails to address real issues of inequality in MYEFO

The Government’s MYEFO has once again proven to be a budget document lacking imagination that seeks to pick apart the thread of our social safety net while offering no real solutions to overcoming barriers people face that keep them below the poverty line and out of work.

“Another MYEFO has passed and the Government has once again failed to meaningfully address major underlying issues with our social safety net that are having a huge impact on our most vulnerable and increasing inequality.

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert responds to Tony Abbott’s defence of the DSP crackdown

“Tony Abbott’s defence of the DSP crackdown and attempting to minimise the struggles of people with disability who are unable to work is ridiculous and should be condemned”, Australian Greens spokesperson on disabilities Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“He has once again demonstrated how out of touch he is with community and particularly vulnerable Australians, and he clearly doesn't know what he is talking about.

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Adjustments to aged care cuts a step in the right direction but changes must go to a senate inquiry: Greens

Although proposed changes to aged care funding are a step in the right direction Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has emphasised that we need a senate inquiry to investigate the complicated cuts and most recently proposed changes.

“The bottom line is that the cuts to the aged care funding are really complicated and need investigation. The Greens have repeatedly put forward a motion for the cuts to go to a senate inquiry and repeatedly both Labor and the Coalition have voted against it.

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Greens welcome KPMG calls for an increase to Newstart

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed reaffirmed calls by KPMG for a significant increase to Newstart of $50 a week in its report Reform Agenda for Australia, released today.

“The Australian Greens have been campaigning for a long time to increase Newstart, woefully low income support payments mean people are living in poverty and this is another barrier to gaining employment.

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Jobs Australia and ANU reports show CDP must be relegated to the policy dustbin

The disastrous failings of the Community Development Programme (CDP) in remote Australia have been criticised by Jobs Australia and the ANU, with reports released today that further highlight the programme is entrenching poverty and should be urgently overhauled.


“Ever since the CDP was introduced in remote Australia, the Australian Greens alongside the community have pointed out that the policy is harsh, unfair and discriminatory and will further entrench disadvantage.

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Senate committee tables report on the indefinite detention of people with cognitive impairment in Australia

The Community Affairs References Committee has tabled its report into the indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment after a year of gathering evidence.

“Many people would struggle to reconcile that people can be and are being indefinitely detained in our prisons because they have a disability and there are no alternatives for them, but that is a reality in Australia at the moment”, Australian Greens Senator and Chair of the Community Affairs References Committee Rachel Siewert said today.

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Senate supports motion calling on the Government to act on year-long calls for a Royal Commission into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability

The Senate has supported a motion acknowledging that it has been a year since a report into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability was tabled in the Senate by the Community Affairs References Committee.

 “One whole year. That is how long the Government has ignored a harrowing senate committee report into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability in institutional settings.  

 “All of the recommendations addressing this national shame, including an urgent Royal Commission into the issue are yet to be addressed.

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Greens raise red flags with youth jobs PaTH bill in dissenting report

The Australian Greens have submitted a dissenting report recommending that the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Youth Jobs Path: Prepare, Trial, Hire) bill proposed by the Government not be passed in its current form.

“The Greens cannot support the youth jobs PaTH bill in its current form because of a wide range of concerns that include intern exploitation, intern churn, payments below minimum wage, and limited protections for participants”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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