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.

video

ANTaR campaign - A Better Way

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.

http://www.antar.org.au/abetterway

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.

http://www.antar.org.au/abetterway

news-stories

The Greens’ stategies to tackle problem gambling

21 Oct 2009

Gambling is said to be Australia’s national sport, and is a favourite social activity for many Australians. However, gambling has become a serious problem for a significant number of Australians, impacting on the health and wellbeing of the gambler, their family and our community. 

The Australian Greens believe there are five practical steps that can be taken immediately by the Commonwealth to reduce this harm.In 2005-06 Australians spent $17.5 billion on gambling (Productivity Commission Gambling: Issues Paper, December 2008). This figure is expected to increase in the forthcoming report by the Productivity Commission into the economic and social costs of gambling, as are the large revenues flowing to state and territory governments.

Gambling is said to be Australia’s national sport, and is a favourite social activity for many Australians. However, gambling has become a serious problem for a significant number of Australians, impacting on the health and wellbeing of the gambler, their family and our community. 

The Australian Greens believe there are five practical steps that can be taken immediately by the Commonwealth to reduce this harm.In 2005-06 Australians spent $17.5 billion on gambling (Productivity Commission Gambling: Issues Paper, December 2008). This figure is expected to increase in the forthcoming report by the Productivity Commission into the economic and social costs of gambling, as are the large revenues flowing to state and territory governments.

audio

Rachel on ABC AM about problem gambling

21 Oct 2009

Rachel talks to ABC's AM program about the Greens' plan to stop problem gambling.

Copyright Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2009

Rachel talks to ABC's AM program about the Greens' plan to stop problem gambling.

Copyright Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2009

media-releases

Greens options paper calls for national action on problem gambling

21 Oct 2009

On the eve of the release of the Productivity Commission's draft report into gambling, the Australian Greens have released a strategy paper with five measures to address problem gambling which can be implemented immediately by the federal government.

Greens spokesperson on gambling, Senator Rachel Siewert called on the federal government to use its constitutional powers to intervene on this issue and implement these measures which have broad community and academic support.

On the eve of the release of the Productivity Commission's draft report into gambling, the Australian Greens have released a strategy paper with five measures to address problem gambling which can be implemented immediately by the federal government.

Greens spokesperson on gambling, Senator Rachel Siewert called on the federal government to use its constitutional powers to intervene on this issue and implement these measures which have broad community and academic support.

estimates

Aged care

21 Oct 2009

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Senator SIEWERT-Thank you, Chair. I want to go to a question I asked last time on the breakdown of the places that were made available and applied for for beds in the last round. I appreciate the answers that I received. You took the question on notice. I wonder if I could ask for a further breakdown of information on those places or just see if it is possible to get a breakdown by residential and community packages.

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Senator SIEWERT-Thank you, Chair. I want to go to a question I asked last time on the breakdown of the places that were made available and applied for for beds in the last round. I appreciate the answers that I received. You took the question on notice. I wonder if I could ask for a further breakdown of information on those places or just see if it is possible to get a breakdown by residential and community packages.

estimates

WA Care Awaiting Placement Program

21 Oct 2009

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Senator SIEWERT-I want to go to the Care Awaiting Placement Program. If I remember rightly, there was extra funding committed to that program.

Ms Podesta-The care awaiting program is a state government program.

Mr Broadhead-The one you might be referring to is the Care Awaiting Placement Program in WA.

Senator SIEWERT-Yes.

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Senator SIEWERT-I want to go to the Care Awaiting Placement Program. If I remember rightly, there was extra funding committed to that program.

Ms Podesta-The care awaiting program is a state government program.

Mr Broadhead-The one you might be referring to is the Care Awaiting Placement Program in WA.

Senator SIEWERT-Yes.

media-releases

Greens: low welfare payments undermine work-readiness

24 Sep 2009

Comments today by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard defending unemployment payments that are well below the poverty line show she is out-of-touch with ordinary Australians, the Australian Greens say. “Australia's unemployed are now officially the poorest in the developed world,” Greens Employment and Workplace Relations Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said.

media-releases

Greens urge Fed Govt to save Derby men’s service

23 Sep 2009

The Australian Greens are urging the Federal Government to ensure that a successful men’s service in WA's east Kimberley that has been widely praised for tackling alcohol abuse and reducing domestic violence is not forced to close its doors next week.

“Wamba Nilgee Burru Ngardu, also known as Derby Men's Service, accommodates about 60 men a week – providing a place to eat, sleep and wash, while supporting them to turn their lives around,” Senator Rachel Siewert said.

The Australian Greens are urging the Federal Government to ensure that a successful men’s service in WA's east Kimberley that has been widely praised for tackling alcohol abuse and reducing domestic violence is not forced to close its doors next week.

“Wamba Nilgee Burru Ngardu, also known as Derby Men's Service, accommodates about 60 men a week – providing a place to eat, sleep and wash, while supporting them to turn their lives around,” Senator Rachel Siewert said.

motions

Pension reform

15 Sep 2009

I move:

That the Senate take note of the document on pension reform.

I am concerned that, throughout the ministerial statement today on delivering pension reform, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs continues to refer simply to pensioners. This might be taken to imply that all pensioners were included in these changes, when this of course is not the case. There is one very important group of pensioners who were deliberately excluded from these reforms: single parent pensioners. The Australian Greens welcomed the move to increase the base rate of the age pension and a range of other pensions by $32.49 per week for singles and $10.14 for couples. The Greens have been campaigning for a number of years on the inadequacy of pension payments in the face of the rising cost of living and other costs and welcomed the increase in the pension rate as an important step in the right direction.

I move:

That the Senate take note of the document on pension reform.

I am concerned that, throughout the ministerial statement today on delivering pension reform, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs continues to refer simply to pensioners. This might be taken to imply that all pensioners were included in these changes, when this of course is not the case. There is one very important group of pensioners who were deliberately excluded from these reforms: single parent pensioners. The Australian Greens welcomed the move to increase the base rate of the age pension and a range of other pensions by $32.49 per week for singles and $10.14 for couples. The Greens have been campaigning for a number of years on the inadequacy of pension payments in the face of the rising cost of living and other costs and welcomed the increase in the pension rate as an important step in the right direction.

media-releases

New Senate inquiry into Suicide in Australia

10 Sep 2009

The Senate has today referred to the Community Affairs References Committee an inquiry into suicide in Australia.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Chair of the Committee, stated: 'Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. It is therefore apt that the Senate has referred this inquiry to the Committee on this day.'

The Senate has today referred to the Community Affairs References Committee an inquiry into suicide in Australia.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Chair of the Committee, stated: 'Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. It is therefore apt that the Senate has referred this inquiry to the Committee on this day.'

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