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.
25 Jun 2008
"Despite all their rhetoric about caring for charitable and community service organisations, today the major parties rejected a simple Australian Greens amendment to fix the yawning gap in wages and conditions," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
24 Jun 2008
The Australian Greens today called on the Coalition and the Government to support their amendments in the Senate that will increase the cap on allowable fringe benefits for low-income workers in charitable organisations to $40, 000.
20 Jun 2008
The Australian Greens will today propose an amendment to fix changes to fringe benefits tax that will otherwise have a severe impact on employees in the charity and not-for-profit sector.
18 Jun 2008
The Australian Greens today expressed their concerns over the changes to income calculations that will inadvertently hit low-paid charity workers.
"Charities and other non-government organisations have traditionally used salary packaging to compensate workers for low wages," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.
16 May 2008
Although the introduction of the Special Disability Trust (SDT) in September 2006 was welcomed by parents and carers of those living with disabilities, it has not been as widely taken up as expected, during questioning in Senate Estimates it was revealed that only 22 trusts have been established Australia wide to date.
I'm aware through constituents contacting the office that many people are not happy with various aspects of the current SDT legislation and that significant barriers are preventing Trusts being established.
15 May 2008
The Rudd Government has not delivered enough for carers in the budget, say the Australian Greens.
"After all of Mr Rudd's assurances about protecting carers in this budget, he has failed to live up to those promises," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
15 May 2008
The R2776 Social Security and Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (One-off Payments and Other 2007 Budget Measures) Bill 2007 provides for one-off bonus payments to carers and seniors as announced in the 2008 budget. The Australian Greens support any measure to provide more assistance to these essential and valuable groups in our community.
09 May 2008
The Australian Greens today expressed their strong concerns over the Government's proposed welfare debit card system.
"This is the wrong approach to welfare in this country, and I'm astonished that the Rudd Government considers it appropriate," said Greens spokesperson on Family & Community Affairs, Senator Rachel Siewert.
30 Apr 2008
Senator Rachel Siewert predicted that the re-introduction of the CDEP scheme in prescribed communities in the Northern Territory in June would result in a rush of willing participants who were keen to escape from the prescriptive welfare quarantining measures and take control of their own money.
14 Apr 2008
New data released by The Greens today reveals a massive increase in the number of people receiving 8 week no payment penalties from Centrelink, with Indigenous Australians hit the hardest by these breaches.