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

Transformative change in disability services essential for equal future- Greens

12 Jul 2010

The Australian Greens have announced their commitment to transformative change in disability support services and support the principles underpinning of the proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

media-releases

New PM, same disregard for the disadvantaged.

07 Jul 2010

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Community Services has today expressed great disappointment with the Prime Minister’s decision to continue punitive income management measures in the Northern Territory.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Community Services has today expressed great disappointment with the Prime Minister’s decision to continue punitive income management measures in the Northern Territory.

news-stories

Greens hold ALP and Coalition to account over Income Management

05 Jul 2010

It was greatly disappointing to see both the Government and Coalition support the expansion of income management measures in the biggest change to Australia’s system of social security since the Second World War.

It was greatly disappointing to see both the Government and Coalition support the expansion of income management measures in the biggest change to Australia’s system of social security since the Second World War.

speeches-in-parliament

Social Security and Indigenous Legislation Amendment

24 Jun 2010

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (12.29 pm)—I will keep my comments brief. The Greens will be supporting the Social Security and Indigenous Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2010.

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (12.29 pm)—I will keep my comments brief. The Greens will be supporting the Social Security and Indigenous Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2010.

speeches-in-parliament

Special disability trusts

24 Jun 2010

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(11.04 am)—This is an issue that I have been passionate about for some time. In fact I initiated the Senate inquiry into special disability trusts that I think has led—along with the very strong community campaign—to the government putting forward the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Measures No. 3) Bill 2010.

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(11.04 am)—This is an issue that I have been passionate about for some time. In fact I initiated the Senate inquiry into special disability trusts that I think has led—along with the very strong community campaign—to the government putting forward the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Measures No. 3) Bill 2010.

questions-without-notice

Aged Care

23 Jun 2010

Senator SIEWERT (2.21 pm)—My question is to Senator Ludwig, the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing. My question relates to the open letter to the PM today around aged care, one which concerns the widening gap between the cost of delivering aged-care services and the funding

Senator SIEWERT (2.21 pm)—My question is to Senator Ludwig, the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing. My question relates to the open letter to the PM today around aged care, one which concerns the widening gap between the cost of delivering aged-care services and the funding

media-releases

Greens call for immediate increase to aged care funding

23 Jun 2010

The Federal Government has again demonstrated its lack of understanding of Australia’s aged care needs, failing to commit to the immediate funding increase called for by the aged care sector and supported by the Australian Greens.

The Federal Government has again demonstrated its lack of understanding of Australia’s aged care needs, failing to commit to the immediate funding increase called for by the aged care sector and supported by the Australian Greens.

speeches-in-parliament

Child Care Budget Measures

21 Jun 2010

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (9.43 pm)—I rise to speak on the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Child Care Budget Measures) Bill 2010 and the government’s decision on budget night to freeze the indexation of the childcare rebate for four years at the 2008-09 level of $7,500, affecting tens of thousands of Australian families. Following the collapse of the corporate giant ABC learning, we were faced with the opportunity to dramatically reform the way in which child care is delivered in Australia to ensure that no profit-driven company will ever have the opportunity again to control 25 per cent of the market share in Australia.

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (9.43 pm)—I rise to speak on the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Child Care Budget Measures) Bill 2010 and the government’s decision on budget night to freeze the indexation of the childcare rebate for four years at the 2008-09 level of $7,500, affecting tens of thousands of Australian families. Following the collapse of the corporate giant ABC learning, we were faced with the opportunity to dramatically reform the way in which child care is delivered in Australia to ensure that no profit-driven company will ever have the opportunity again to control 25 per cent of the market share in Australia.

speeches-in-parliament

Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act

21 Jun 2010

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(8.34 pm)—The Greens oppose the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009. We opposed the Northern Territory Emergency Response. We opposed that process and we oppose this flawed bill. There is no proof that income management works. There is no hard evidence at all. To claim that this is implementing successful policy is absolute nonsense. The only hard evidence that is there is that income management does not work. There is evidence from the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association that shows the negative emotional and social impacts that it has on communities. There is statement after statement from local people in the Northern Territory about the negative impact of income quarantining.

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(8.34 pm)—The Greens oppose the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009. We opposed the Northern Territory Emergency Response. We opposed that process and we oppose this flawed bill. There is no proof that income management works. There is no hard evidence at all. To claim that this is implementing successful policy is absolute nonsense. The only hard evidence that is there is that income management does not work. There is evidence from the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association that shows the negative emotional and social impacts that it has on communities. There is statement after statement from local people in the Northern Territory about the negative impact of income quarantining.

speeches-in-parliament

Social Security Amendment Bill 2010

17 Jun 2010

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (1.10 pm)—The Greens will be supporting the Social Security Amendment (Flexible Participation Requirements for Principal Carers) Bill 2010 because it shows that the government is taking a more compassionate approach to foster carers and to the people who will benefit from these amendments, while winding back slightly the punitive Welfare to Work approach of the former government. I will continue to say this until it is fixed: this amendment does not go far enough in dealing with the issue of principal carers. It is an issue I raised when the Welfare to Work legislation was brought in by the former government, which was around the same time that the changes were made to family law.

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (1.10 pm)—The Greens will be supporting the Social Security Amendment (Flexible Participation Requirements for Principal Carers) Bill 2010 because it shows that the government is taking a more compassionate approach to foster carers and to the people who will benefit from these amendments, while winding back slightly the punitive Welfare to Work approach of the former government. I will continue to say this until it is fixed: this amendment does not go far enough in dealing with the issue of principal carers. It is an issue I raised when the Welfare to Work legislation was brought in by the former government, which was around the same time that the changes were made to family law.

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