Family, Ageing, Community & Disability Services
We are committed to delivering a guaranteed adequate income to all Australians, so as to assure people have appropriate support. Accessible social services, community resources and income support are essential for ensuring everybody has access to quality health care, housing, employment, education and training. The Greens are committed to increasing Newstart Allowance and raising all income support payments to better reflect the cost of living.
The community and not-for-profit sector plays an important role in our society and Government needs to commit funding and support accordingly.
People who experience disability, and their families and carers deserve access to life-long support and services that meet their individual circumstances. They should have the opportunity to actively participate in planning and delivery of policies, services and supports in areas such as education, health, housing, mobility, employment and social engagement. The Greens are actively working to ensure all Australians have independence, self-determination and choice in their lives.
10 Dec 2009
The Australian Greens today welcomed the announcement that a deal has been struck between the Northern Territory and Western Australian governments to provide dialysis services and resources in Central Australia.
"This means that the ban on new patients from across the WA border is now lifted and patients from, or east of Warburton can access treatment and care for end-stage kidney disease in Alice Springs," Greens Health Spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
26 Nov 2009
Late on Tuesday in Canberra, while the eyes of the nation were focussed on a climate split in the Coalition party room, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin quietly briefed a few selected journalists on controversial plans to roll out welfare quarantining nationwide.
Both the timing and manner of the release were highly suspicious - with the announcement being embargoed to minimise any coverage of negative reaction to the announcement from lawyers, human rights advocates and the Greens.
25 Nov 2009
"This is the biggest negative shift in social policy from an ALP Government ever," said Greens community services spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today.
"I am shocked that a Labor Government would countenance such poor social policy without a shred of evidence of positive outcomes from this level of social control."
"This is a huge shift in values away from a culture of a 'fair go for all' and towards a paternalistic approach that restricts the choices of the disadvantaged 'for their own good'."
20 Nov 2009
The Australian Greens say there is compelling evidence to suggest the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs is being disingenuous about her inability to act on the deplorable conditions in town camps in Central Australia.
"Minister Macklin claims desperately needed work can't proceed while Federal Court proceedings are on-going. However, according to advice we have received, this simply is not true" said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues.
"Ms Macklin has previously said it would be "unconscionable to leave the town camps in their current condition and yet that is exactly what she is doing. There is no reason why the Commonwealth can not undertake urgent repairs and maintenance to make housing habitable.
17 Nov 2009
Senator Rachel Siewert delivers an apology to the Forgotten Australians - children who were physically, sexually and emotionally abused while in Australian orphanages, babies homes and foster care - in the Senate on behalf of the Australian Greens.
16 Nov 2009
The Australian Greens say today's formal apology to the Forgotten Australians and former child migrants is a watershed moment in healing past wrongs.
"Today's apology to more than 500,000 Australians will be a powerful event, said Greens Community Services Spokesperson, Rachel Siewert.
"I am proud to have chaired the recent Inquiry (Lost Innocents and Forgotten Australian's Revisited 2009), which added momentum to the decades long struggle for recognition of the pain and suffering endured by these Australians while in out-of-home care last century.
15 Nov 2009
The Australian Greens also wholeheartedly support this motion. Anybody who was in the Great Hall and heard the apology could not fail to be moved by the words that were spoken and the genuine emotion that people felt upon hearing those words. It is genuinely a very significant step in helping the forgotten Australians and former child migrants to heal.
28 Oct 2009
Suicide in Australia is a significant community health issue and its incidence is alarming: in 2007, 1,880 people took their own life and a national survey in the same year found that some 500,000 people will make a suicide attempt at some time during their lifetime. Lifeline has reported that suicide is the number one cause of death in males aged 15 to 44 years. Suicide rates of Indigenous youth and in rural communities remain high.
The Australian Senate has referred to the Community Affairs References Committee an inquiry into suicide in Australia.
27 Oct 2009
The Australian Greens welcome the announcement of a formal apology by the Australian Government to the Forgotten Australians and former child migrants.
The federal government today announced the apology will take place at a special remembrance event in Parliament House in Canberra on 16 November 2009.
"I welcome the news of an official apology to more than 500,000 Australians - many of whom suffered abuse and neglect while in out-of-home care last century," Greens Community Services Spokesperson, Rachel Siewert said.
27 Oct 2009
If your government told you where and how you could spend your money, wouldn't you feel outraged?
If your government said it would only fix essential services to your property as long as you agreed to hand over control of your property for a fixed amount of time, wouldn't that sound ridiculous?
If someone came from outside your community and imposed upon you, your family and friends a system that you could plainly see would cause more problems than it solves, wouldn't you stand up and shout NO!
The truth is, this is how your Government treats Aboriginal communities across the Northern Territory. In the NT this is the law. Aboriginal people have been standing up and shouting NO but their voices have been ignored.