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.

media-releases

Greens back churches call for crisis response

27 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens have indicated their support for the call by major church providers for the establishment of a ‘crisis and recovery fund' to help those most hurt by the global financial crisis.

"The real face of the global financial crisis isn't the banks, it is the families on the margins; those who are losing their job; those who are at risk of having their mortgage foreclosed for the first time in their lives," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

The Australian Greens have indicated their support for the call by major church providers for the establishment of a ‘crisis and recovery fund' to help those most hurt by the global financial crisis.

"The real face of the global financial crisis isn't the banks, it is the families on the margins; those who are losing their job; those who are at risk of having their mortgage foreclosed for the first time in their lives," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

media-releases

Welfare reforms will only damage communities

19 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens today condemned the Government's move to commence welfare quarantining trials in Cannington and the Kimberley in Western Australia.

"It is clear that the Government has not thought through the impacts of their planned welfare quarantining trials. I am appalled that the Government thinks this type of approach is the way to deal with this complex social problem," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

The Australian Greens today condemned the Government's move to commence welfare quarantining trials in Cannington and the Kimberley in Western Australia.

"It is clear that the Government has not thought through the impacts of their planned welfare quarantining trials. I am appalled that the Government thinks this type of approach is the way to deal with this complex social problem," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

media-releases

School Requirements Bill needs rethink

13 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens today called on the Government to withdraw the School Requirements Bill, saying that it is poor legislation, lacks an evidence base and contradicts the Governments social inclusion agenda.

"The Greens today tabled a dissenting report in the Senate following the Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the Bill. Evidence to the Committee was overwhelmingly opposed to this punitive approach to school attendance. There is simply no evidence to support this approach," said Senator Siewert.

The Australian Greens today called on the Government to withdraw the School Requirements Bill, saying that it is poor legislation, lacks an evidence base and contradicts the Governments social inclusion agenda.

"The Greens today tabled a dissenting report in the Senate following the Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the Bill. Evidence to the Committee was overwhelmingly opposed to this punitive approach to school attendance. There is simply no evidence to support this approach," said Senator Siewert.

media-releases

Greens push for immediate changes to Special Disability Trusts

16 Oct 2008

The Australian Greens have called on the Rudd Government to adopt recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into Special Disability Trusts tabled today in the Senate. The recommendations address current problems with the legislation.

"While the introduction of the Special Disability Trust in September 2006 was welcomed, there were significant flaws in the legislation which discouraged people from establishing these trusts," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

The Australian Greens have called on the Rudd Government to adopt recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into Special Disability Trusts tabled today in the Senate. The recommendations address current problems with the legislation.

"While the introduction of the Special Disability Trust in September 2006 was welcomed, there were significant flaws in the legislation which discouraged people from establishing these trusts," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

speeches-in-parliament

Special Disability Trusts Report

16 Oct 2008

It is with great pleasure that I present this report to the Senate. I am actually very pleased to be the one who is presenting the report to the Senate, because it was the Greens that referred this issue to the community affairs committee for inquiry-with very strong support from the coalition and the government, I will add.

It is with great pleasure that I present this report to the Senate. I am actually very pleased to be the one who is presenting the report to the Senate, because it was the Greens that referred this issue to the community affairs committee for inquiry-with very strong support from the coalition and the government, I will add.

news-stories

Caring for Parents & Kids

23 Sep 2008

Parents naturally want to provide the best possible environment for their kids to grow up in. The Australian Greens believe that governments have a responsibility to develop and implement policies that assist parents to provide a safe and supporting environment for their children.

speeches-in-parliament

Carers Payment Greens Amendment

22 Sep 2008

This relates to the same provisions to provide for carers so that the carers pension is increased. Carers, as I alluded to in my speech in the second reading debate, are one of the lowest groups on the social wellbeing index for a number of reasons-low income from the carers payment, the stress of their workload and the lack of support they are getting.

This relates to the same provisions to provide for carers so that the carers pension is increased. Carers, as I alluded to in my speech in the second reading debate, are one of the lowest groups on the social wellbeing index for a number of reasons-low income from the carers payment, the stress of their workload and the lack of support they are getting.

speeches-in-parliament

Pension Bill Greens Amendments

22 Sep 2008

This amendment will enable the provisions in the bill to apply to a person who receives the single disability support pension. According to my figures, there are 464,230 of these people in Australia. As I articulated in my speech on the second reading, these pensioners are also doing it exceedingly tough; in fact, these pensioners are doing it even tougher than people on the single aged pension because they in fact did not receive the bonus. I sent a letter to the government asking why, and I am still seeking a response from the government as to why they did not receive a bonus. They did receive the utility payments, and I acknowledge that.

This amendment will enable the provisions in the bill to apply to a person who receives the single disability support pension. According to my figures, there are 464,230 of these people in Australia. As I articulated in my speech on the second reading, these pensioners are also doing it exceedingly tough; in fact, these pensioners are doing it even tougher than people on the single aged pension because they in fact did not receive the bonus. I sent a letter to the government asking why, and I am still seeking a response from the government as to why they did not receive a bonus. They did receive the utility payments, and I acknowledge that.

speeches-in-parliament

Living on the aged pension

22 Sep 2008

Once again we have the coalition introducing a bill to do something about something. They have suddenly found their conscience about an injustice that has been happening in Australia for quite a significant period of time. For the whole time that they were in government, certainly for the last few years, it has not been a secret that the pensioners of Australia have been doing it tough. That is why we had the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs inquiry into the cost of living for older Australians which produced a report titled A decent quality of life.

Once again we have the coalition introducing a bill to do something about something. They have suddenly found their conscience about an injustice that has been happening in Australia for quite a significant period of time. For the whole time that they were in government, certainly for the last few years, it has not been a secret that the pensioners of Australia have been doing it tough. That is why we had the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs inquiry into the cost of living for older Australians which produced a report titled A decent quality of life.

media-releases

Centrelink staff bear the brunt of punitive welfare policies

15 Sep 2008

The Australian Greens are concerned that Centrelink staff are having their personal safety put on the line because of the decision by the Rudd Government to push on with punitive welfare measures.

"Over the last year the rate of serious physical assault of Centrelink staff has grown dramatically," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The Rudd Government needs to do more to improve the safety and well-being of frontline staff."

The Australian Greens are concerned that Centrelink staff are having their personal safety put on the line because of the decision by the Rudd Government to push on with punitive welfare measures.

"Over the last year the rate of serious physical assault of Centrelink staff has grown dramatically," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The Rudd Government needs to do more to improve the safety and well-being of frontline staff."

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