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.

speeches-in-parliament

Welfare to Work and Family Carers

15 Jun 2006

The Greens share the concerns articulated today by Senator Wong and Senator Bartlett.

But today I want to focus on one particular area of the Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (Welfare to Work and Other Measures) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2006. I have circulated an amendment to this legislation to deal with an issue that I have been raising repeatedly about this legislation whenever I can. That is the issue of family carers.

The Greens share the concerns articulated today by Senator Wong and Senator Bartlett.

But today I want to focus on one particular area of the Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (Welfare to Work and Other Measures) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2006. I have circulated an amendment to this legislation to deal with an issue that I have been raising repeatedly about this legislation whenever I can. That is the issue of family carers.

speeches-in-parliament

The role of the Third Sector as the imagination of our democracy

04 May 2006

Things have moved on quite quickly since I put in the outline for this talk last year, and so the talk I intend to give to day is a bit different from the conference abstract. At the time I'd just been through the soul-rending experience of dealing with the Welfare to Work and Work Choices legislation in the Senate…

Things have moved on quite quickly since I put in the outline for this talk last year, and so the talk I intend to give to day is a bit different from the conference abstract. At the time I'd just been through the soul-rending experience of dealing with the Welfare to Work and Work Choices legislation in the Senate…

speeches-in-parliament

Shared Parenting Responsibility

26 Mar 2006

Today I would like to address some specific concerns with the particulars of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2006 as highlighted in the Greens' and Democrats' minority report to the committee's findings on this issue. But I would also like to reflect on the wider debate on how parenting responsibilities are shared within Australian families-those who stay together, those who go through tough times and those who separate. Beyond the specific issues I have with the changes to family law and the changes to support services for families in crisis that we are considering, I have some wider concerns about how this debate is being conducted and the particular subset of issues that the government has chosen to focus on in this legislation.

Today I would like to address some specific concerns with the particulars of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2006 as highlighted in the Greens' and Democrats' minority report to the committee's findings on this issue. But I would also like to reflect on the wider debate on how parenting responsibilities are shared within Australian families-those who stay together, those who go through tough times and those who separate. Beyond the specific issues I have with the changes to family law and the changes to support services for families in crisis that we are considering, I have some wider concerns about how this debate is being conducted and the particular subset of issues that the government has chosen to focus on in this legislation.

speeches-in-parliament

Welfare to Work - Just not Working

06 Dec 2005

I was tempted to say that this is the final act in the farce that has been perpetrated by the welfare to work legislation but unfortunately it will not be. What will be the final outcome of this legislation is that hundreds of thousands of Australians will lose income support and hundreds of thousands of Australian children will be forced into poverty or further into poverty. At a time when the Australian economy is booming, it is so distressing to see that we are forcing these families into poverty and that we are taking money off them. At the same time, the government is talking about tax cuts-tax cuts for the well-to-do, tax cuts for the well off, tax cuts for the people who can afford it.

I was tempted to say that this is the final act in the farce that has been perpetrated by the welfare to work legislation but unfortunately it will not be. What will be the final outcome of this legislation is that hundreds of thousands of Australians will lose income support and hundreds of thousands of Australian children will be forced into poverty or further into poverty. At a time when the Australian economy is booming, it is so distressing to see that we are forcing these families into poverty and that we are taking money off them. At the same time, the government is talking about tax cuts-tax cuts for the well-to-do, tax cuts for the well off, tax cuts for the people who can afford it.

speeches-in-parliament

Welfare assault

04 Dec 2005

I believe Welfare to Work is a major assault on those on welfare, introducing harsh penalties for those on income support and cutting support to single parents and people living with disabilities. If this legislation goes through, these people, the most disadvantaged in our society, will have to learn to live on less, and I do not see how the government expects them to do so.

I believe Welfare to Work is a major assault on those on welfare, introducing harsh penalties for those on income support and cutting support to single parents and people living with disabilities. If this legislation goes through, these people, the most disadvantaged in our society, will have to learn to live on less, and I do not see how the government expects them to do so.

speeches-in-parliament

Position Paper: Welfare to Work - Living On Less

29 Nov 2005

Welfare to Work is a major assault on those on welfare - introducing harsh penalties for the unemployed, and cutting support to single parents and people living with disabilities.

Welfare to Work is a major assault on those on welfare - introducing harsh penalties for the unemployed, and cutting support to single parents and people living with disabilities.

speeches-in-parliament

Welfare to work: still broken

08 Nov 2005

I take the opportunity to pick up from where Senator Bartlett left off and express a deal of concern about the comments that Senator Evans made, reflecting on the Greens's so-called opposition to the introduction last week of the amendments to the anti-terror legislation. The Greens indicated at the time that we would not be opposing the amendments. We were concerned about the timing and the manipulation of the fear of terrorism at a time when the industrial relations legislation had just been introduced into parliament. We made it quite clear that that was our concern.

I take the opportunity to pick up from where Senator Bartlett left off and express a deal of concern about the comments that Senator Evans made, reflecting on the Greens's so-called opposition to the introduction last week of the amendments to the anti-terror legislation. The Greens indicated at the time that we would not be opposing the amendments. We were concerned about the timing and the manipulation of the fear of terrorism at a time when the industrial relations legislation had just been introduced into parliament. We made it quite clear that that was our concern.

speeches-in-parliament

Women, Work and Family

13 Oct 2005

I am deeply disappointed that the government firstly refused the extension and secondly will no doubt object to this motion as well. Don't they want scrutiny of the impacts of their proposals? As a community, we need to know the full ramifications of the legislation that is going to come before this place. We need to know what has happened in the past with various industrial agreements.

I am deeply disappointed that the government firstly refused the extension and secondly will no doubt object to this motion as well. Don't they want scrutiny of the impacts of their proposals? As a community, we need to know the full ramifications of the legislation that is going to come before this place. We need to know what has happened in the past with various industrial agreements.

speeches-in-parliament

Family Day Care

10 Oct 2005

I move:
That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Family and Community Services (Senator Patterson) to a question without notice asked by Senator Siewert today relating to child care.

I move:
That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Family and Community Services (Senator Patterson) to a question without notice asked by Senator Siewert today relating to child care.

speeches-in-parliament

Caring for Carers

14 Sep 2005

The matter of public interest I rise to speak on today is the specific issue of accommodation and support services for people with disabilities. In doing so, I also want to highlight issues surrounding the philosophy and approach taken by the coalition to the wider issues of social services, to highlight its hypocrisy and to point out why this approach will not deliver on the goals it purports to be pursuing.

The matter of public interest I rise to speak on today is the specific issue of accommodation and support services for people with disabilities. In doing so, I also want to highlight issues surrounding the philosophy and approach taken by the coalition to the wider issues of social services, to highlight its hypocrisy and to point out why this approach will not deliver on the goals it purports to be pursuing.

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