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.
13 May 2009
That the Senate-
notes that the week beginning 11 May 2009 is National Volunteer Week;
recognises that more than 5.4 million Australian volunteers contribute more than 700 million hours of their time to support our community in a wide range of areas from aged cared, health, emergency services, education and sport;
acknowledges that community groups, charities and services would not be able to deliver their services without volunteers;
commends volunteers for their tireless contributions to our community; and
acknowledges the enormous role that volunteers play in civil society.
Question agreed to.
13 May 2009
We have heard a lot of discussion about the issues around the growing debt and deficit in this country. We do not hear a lot of discussion about the growing social deficit in this country, which is going to be expanded under this budget. We of course have concerns around the deficit, but we also believe that many Australians share with us the view that in tough times we need to invest very carefully in measures that soften the blow to those hardest hit during those tough times, during recession. We agree we need to be investing in building infrastructure that supports our future prosperity and we need to be doing this with well-targeted stimulus measures. However, we are deeply concerned that we are not investing that money in areas that meet the needs of those hardest hit in Australia.
12 May 2009
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert today expressed deep concern that the Federal budget leaves many people behind and does not develop the new green economy.
"While the increase of $32.49 per week for single aged pensioners is a welcome step, the Government has not addressed the crisis Australia is facing in aged care. In fact, for Western Australia I am deeply concerned that beds may need to close and many older people will face deeper hardship, particularly in regional and rural areas," said Senator Siewert.
10 May 2009
The Australian Greens today called for the Government to include single parents in the pension increases foreshadowed for the Budget.
"If the Rudd Budget duds single parents, the Greens will take the Government on in the Senate," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Affairs, Senator Rachel Siewert.
06 May 2009
The Australian Greens said today the upcoming budget must deliver for those most disadvantaged in our community.
"As the impacts of the global financial crisis are increasingly impacting on the Australian economy, we need to be focusing our efforts on those individuals and families who are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn and those most at risk of unemployment and financial crisis," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Affairs Senator Rachel Siewert.
05 May 2009
The Australian Greens today called on the Government to apply promised increases in the single pension rate to all pensioners and unemployed people (including single parents) in the May Budget.
"The Government should be listening to calls from community service providers to immediately raise rates of income support. People surviving day-to-day on the pension are already struggling, and this is only likely to get worse," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today.
01 May 2009
The Australian Greens have implored the Federal Government to heed warnings from the residential and community aged care sector of an imminent crisis in WA due to a shortage in aged care beds.
29 Apr 2009
The Australian Greens welcome the release today of a landmark Senate report into aged care and have urged the Federal Government to start implementing the recommendations immediately.
28 Apr 2009
The Australian Greens today highlighted the need for income support for the unemployed to be raised in the May budget.
"Those people currently on the Newstart allowance struggle to get by on the existing rate. People have mortgages and rent to pay, food to buy and families to provide for," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.
21 Apr 2009
The Australian Greens are urging the WA Government not to go ahead with expansion of a program that quarantines up to 70 per cent of parents' welfare payments before the trial has been assessed.
"Removing parents' control over their money is not a silver bullet solution to solving child neglect in the long term," Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said.