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.
15 Oct 2007
On the eve of Poverty Week the Australian Greens have called on the ALP to avoid the tendency to match the Coalition's blatant vote-buying tax cuts and to commit to give a fair go to Australian families living in poverty instead.
14 Oct 2007
From 1 July last year, child-care fee assistance under the Jobs Education and Training program (JET) was cut back to only include courses of study or training of up to 12 months for new participants.
11 Oct 2007
The government's recent changes to the Disability Support Pension, introduced as part of Welfare to Work, have made life a lot tougher for people with disabilities and their carers.
People are being shifted from disability pensions to Newstart Allowance, reducing their income but are not receiving adequate training or support necessary to get a job. Now these very same people are realising that they could have the power to turn the tables on the government and affect the outcome of this crucial federal election.
11 Oct 2007
Today's release of monthly unemployment figures highlight the need for the development of new data to enable a proper examination of the employment situation in Australia according to Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.
10 Oct 2007
I am constantly amazed at the Howard Government's lack of interest in the real care and education of our children. Cutting corners on the health and well-being of today's generation of children is a false economy, as the consequence costs to society of poorer lifetime health and lower educational achievements and social engagement are massive. There is a need to focus on areas such as paid parental leave, childcare and early childhood education, and work/life balance provisions within our workplace relations system as ways in which these outcomes can be achieved.
We have seen changes to workplace relations ('Work Choices') that make it harder for working parents to balance their working commitments with their family life; we have seen changes to our welfare system ('Welfare to Work') that takes money and entitlements away from parents on income support and introduces harsh compliance conditions; and we have seen changes to the funding of our schools which creates a two-tiered system that takes money away from public education.
09 Oct 2007
Paid parental leave, affordable childcare and measures to balance work and family commitments are the cornerstones of building a brighter and more prosperous future, the Greens said today.
09 Oct 2007
The Australian Greens today put their support behind Campaign Enable, an action plan to mobilise people living with disabilities in marginal electorates being coordinated by the Australia Fair lobby group.
05 Oct 2007
Today the Australian Council of Social Services ACOSS released its Federal Election statement "Towards a Fairer Australia".
The question it poses is simple - if Australia as a nation can't find it in its heart to help out the disadvantaged and ensure a fair go for all Australians during the economic ‘good times', then can we really continue to think of this country as the land of the fair go?
The Australian Greens support the call by ACOSS for a national action plan to address the needs of low income Australians. It fits in with my previous calls in the Senate for a National Anti-Poverty strategy. A good example of the success of such a strategy is given by Ireland.
20 Sep 2007
These two bills, the Social Security Amendment (2007 Measures No. 1) Bill 2007 and the Social Security Amendment (2007 Measures No. 2) Bill 2007, represent a mix of measures, some of which are broadly beneficial to specific groups and others that have attracted considerable criticism, particularly from organisations representing people with disabilities.
25 Aug 2007
"Why is the government not publicly providing up-to-date figures on welfare breaches under their welfare to work laws," asks Senator Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on community affairs.