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.
17 Nov 2010
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (3.34 pm)—I am going to take note of only one of the answers, and that is about the issue of SIHIP and the Aboriginal employment program. I am very concerned and want to clarify the employment and working conditions for Aboriginal workers employed under SIHIP. We want to know under what conditions participants in CDEP, traineeships or Work for the Dole programs are being employed. We have received some very disturbing reports from communities in Central Australia of inconsistent and in fact exploitative treatment of Aboriginal workers. This, surely, should not be happening in what is supposed to be one of our premier infrastructure programs in this country.
17 Nov 2010
Senator SIEWERT (2.22 pm)—My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Arbib, who also happens to be the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development. I would like to draw the minister’s attention to recent reports of Aboriginal workers renovating houses under SIHIP in Central Australia. Is the minister aware of claims that CDEP participants are being used in preference to providing real jobs for Aboriginal workers and that these CDEP workers have been underpaid, some have not been paid top up or some have had diminishing rates of top up? Is it a fact that some of these workers are in fact on the BasicsCard? If the minister is aware of this, what is the government doing about addressing the problems in this key infrastructure program?
16 Nov 2010
Second Reading Speech
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (12.40 pm)—The Greens do not support the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Connecting People with Jobs) Bill 2010 and I will articulate why. During the election the government announced the Connecting People with Jobs trial, which will allow long-term unemployed people—those who have been out of work for 12 months or more—to be eligible for reimbursement of up to $3,000 if they relocate to a metropolitan area for work or up to $6,000 if they relocate to a regional area for work, plus an additional $3,000 if they have dependent children. The trial, as we know, will provide a wage subsidy of $2,500 to employers as an incentive to employ these particular job seekers. The trial will be for two years and is aimed to assist 2,000 people.
15 Nov 2010
The Senate has supported an Australian Greens motion for the Community Affairs Reference Committee to examine the Commonwealth Government’s role in forced adoption polices from the late 1940s to the 1980s.
15 Nov 2010
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (3.34 pm)—I move: That the Senate—
(a) notes the implications of the consumer price index figure of 2.8 per cent (for the week beginning 24 October 2010) for the provision of aged care services, in light of the limitation of the recent increase in the Commonwealth aged care subsidy to 1.7 per cent;
12 Nov 2010
The Australian Greens are extremely concerned about reports suggesting that Aboriginal workers on the flagship housing program (SIHIP) are not being paid properly.
28 Oct 2010
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (10.55 am)—I move:
That the Senate—
(a) recognises the grief and anguish suffered by thousands of mothers who were victims of the forced adoption policies of the recent past;
25 Oct 2010
(Question No. 2908) Senator Siewert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 24 June 2010:
(1) What criteria are used in the current government valuations of mandatory leases in the Northern Territory.
20 Oct 2010
The Australian Greens are calling for money being wasted on income management in the Northern Territory to be diverted and used to deal with the crisis facing the Territory’s child protection service.