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.

media-releases

Survey points to growing hole in Rudd’s response to economic crisis

04 Jun 2009

The results of the ACOSS Community Sector Survey released today show that the Rudd Government are ignoring those hardest hit by the global financial crisis, said the Australian Greens today.

"There was already a significant rise in the number of disadvantaged Australians who were turned away from social services in 2008 - before the main impacts of the GFC were starting to be felt in Australia," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

The results of the ACOSS Community Sector Survey released today show that the Rudd Government are ignoring those hardest hit by the global financial crisis, said the Australian Greens today.

"There was already a significant rise in the number of disadvantaged Australians who were turned away from social services in 2008 - before the main impacts of the GFC were starting to be felt in Australia," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

media-releases

Rudd’s stance on town camp leases contradictory - Greens

02 Jun 2009

Moves by the Federal Government to push through with compulsory acquisition of Alice Springs town camps are a disaster in the making, and highlight a discord with rhetoric from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, say the Australian Greens.

"A positive resolution is still possible, but the Rudd Government seems determined to dig in their heels and refuse to negotiate," said Senator Siewert today.

Moves by the Federal Government to push through with compulsory acquisition of Alice Springs town camps are a disaster in the making, and highlight a discord with rhetoric from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, say the Australian Greens.

"A positive resolution is still possible, but the Rudd Government seems determined to dig in their heels and refuse to negotiate," said Senator Siewert today.

media-releases

Positive outcome on town camp leases still achievable

28 May 2009

"I am extremely concerned by the breakdown in negotiations between the Minister Jenny Macklin and Tangentyere Council over housing leases for Alice Springs town camps," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"I believe that a positive resolution to the current impasse can still be achieved, and I have written to the Minister suggesting a way forward."

"I am calling for the appointment of an independent mediator, someone with the standing and experience in Aboriginal affairs who commands the respect of both parties, to finalise the details of an agreement that delivers certainty to the camp families and tenancy reform," she said.

"I am extremely concerned by the breakdown in negotiations between the Minister Jenny Macklin and Tangentyere Council over housing leases for Alice Springs town camps," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"I believe that a positive resolution to the current impasse can still be achieved, and I have written to the Minister suggesting a way forward."

"I am calling for the appointment of an independent mediator, someone with the standing and experience in Aboriginal affairs who commands the respect of both parties, to finalise the details of an agreement that delivers certainty to the camp families and tenancy reform," she said.

media-releases

Greens question Macklin's sincerity over intervention reform

21 May 2009

A paper released today by the Federal Government which proposes to "re-set" its relationship with the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory is missing key information, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says.

"I am concerned that this lack of full and frank disclosure indicates insincerity on behalf of the Government," Senator Siewert said.

A paper released today by the Federal Government which proposes to "re-set" its relationship with the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory is missing key information, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says.

"I am concerned that this lack of full and frank disclosure indicates insincerity on behalf of the Government," Senator Siewert said.

media-releases

Senate recognises importance of Australia’s volunteers

14 May 2009

The contribution of Australia's more than 5.4 million volunteers was recognised in the Senate this week, with a motion put forward by the Australian Greens.

"The good work of many charities, non-profits and other organisations would not be able to succeed without the hard work and dedication of volunteers," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

The contribution of Australia's more than 5.4 million volunteers was recognised in the Senate this week, with a motion put forward by the Australian Greens.

"The good work of many charities, non-profits and other organisations would not be able to succeed without the hard work and dedication of volunteers," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

media-releases

Many left behind in ‘budget for tough times’

13 May 2009

The Australian Greens raised concerns today about the Rudd Government's budget priorities, after single parents and the unemployed were overlooked in what was meant to be a budget for tough times.

"The nation expected a tough budget and the vast majority of Australians were prepared to dig a little deeper to make sure there was a fair go for those hit hard by the recession," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"What they didn't expect was to be asked to take on a massive deficit so we can fund further government largesse in tax cuts, a massive boost in defence spending and re-badged clean coal without delivering services and support to those most in need."

The Australian Greens raised concerns today about the Rudd Government's budget priorities, after single parents and the unemployed were overlooked in what was meant to be a budget for tough times.

"The nation expected a tough budget and the vast majority of Australians were prepared to dig a little deeper to make sure there was a fair go for those hit hard by the recession," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"What they didn't expect was to be asked to take on a massive deficit so we can fund further government largesse in tax cuts, a massive boost in defence spending and re-badged clean coal without delivering services and support to those most in need."

motions

National Volunteer Week

13 May 2009

I move:

That the Senate-

(a)
notes that the week beginning 11 May 2009 is National Volunteer Week;
(b)
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;
(c)
acknowledges that community groups, charities and services would not be able to deliver their services without volunteers;
(d)
commends volunteers for their tireless contributions to our community; and
(e)
acknowledges the enormous role that volunteers play in civil society.

Question agreed to.

I move:

That the Senate-

(a)
notes that the week beginning 11 May 2009 is National Volunteer Week;
(b)
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;
(c)
acknowledges that community groups, charities and services would not be able to deliver their services without volunteers;
(d)
commends volunteers for their tireless contributions to our community; and
(e)
acknowledges the enormous role that volunteers play in civil society.

Question agreed to.

speeches-in-parliament

MPI - Record level of debt

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.

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.

media-releases

Budget delivers no green economy for Western 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.

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.

media-releases

Single parents must not be left behind

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.

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.

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