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 Mar 2008
With all the discussion around the government's intentions for carer bonuses and payments, Mr Rudd seems to have lost sight of the bigger picture: even with this bonus, carers are seriously under appreciated and under funded. Payment of the bonus or a reorganisation of existing allocation of funds does little to address an issue which has been in dire need of attention for some time now.
14 Mar 2008
The Australian Greens today welcomed the Government's move to overhaul the welfare to work rules for single parents.
"Single mothers have suffered enormously under welfare to work's punitive measures. The $25-better-off commitment in particular was always ridiculous and should be scrapped," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
11 Mar 2008
"The Prime Minister's personal guarantee that carers would not be adversely affected by budget cuts in May is simply not good enough," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
11 Mar 2008
I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunawal people. It was a great pleasure to be at the first welcome to country that we had in this place on 12 February. I congratulate the government for having made sure that that happened. It was also a great privilege to be at this place when the apology was finally made.
07 Mar 2008
"Cutting support to Australia's carers is mean, tight-fisted and short-sighted," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
Carers save Australian taxpayers in excess of $32 Billion, and are as a result one of the most disadvantaged groups with the lowest quality of life in the country.
29 Feb 2008
Post-apology, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has asked us to "embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed," asserting that the mistakes of Indigenous policy of the past won't be repeated. His Government, however, is persisting in the ill thought-out and ideologically driven Northern Territory Intervention - despite a promise to pursue evidence-based policy.
The NT Intervention is racially discriminatory, which is why the previous government had to exempt it from the Racial Discrimination Act. It takes away Aboriginal land and quarantines people's money without cause, forcing them to use 'ration' cards. Hasn't this approach already failed? Aren't we simply repeating the mistakes of the past?
05 Feb 2008
The Australian Greens today remained reserved about the Government's plans to tackle Australia's worsening housing crisis.
"In the past decade the median house price in Australia has increased from four times average incomes to six to seven times average incomes," said Australian Greens spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.
"Coupled with today's interest rate hike which brings standard variable mortgage rates closer to 9 per cent, we are seeing existing and potential home buyers being priced out of the market. The savings plan announced yesterday is as the Treasurer admits a 'modest' measure. It will not solve the housing crisis for those in most need."
"We need measures to support not only those finding it difficult to buy a house but those who cannot even afford to rent. We must tackle the underlying structural issues of housing affordability in this country," she said.
"There is a clear link between the lack of stable housing and the perpetuation of intergenerational poverty. Supplying incentives for young people to save better for their first home will certainly help that demographic, but what about those without the means to save at all?"
"We look forward to the Government implementing further measures to ease Australia's housing crisis including a much needed significant increase in investment in low-cost public and community housing and a review of existing subsidies and incentives to ensure they improve access to housing for low income households."
"We need a comprehensive, in-depth approach that tackles all levels of this problem," she concluded.
09 Jan 2008
The Australian Greens are pleased the Government has announced it will review contracts with non-government organisations to remove gagging clauses.
"This is a great first step, but far more needs to be done to undo the legacy of John Howard," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
11 Dec 2007
"The tragic death of a 12 year old boy in Hermannsburg points clearly to the need to roll-out ALL elements of the 8 point plan to end petrol sniffing to all affected areas in central Australia," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
03 Dec 2007
The Greens today called for the newly sworn-in Rudd Government to take action on the International Day of people with Disability.