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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10 Oct 2005
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.
14 Sep 2005
My question is to the Minister for Family and Community Services. Given the unmet need for disability support services acknowledged by the Senate yesterday, and given the Commonwealth's powers as recognised under the CSTDA-
Senator Abetz-What does that stand for?
Senator SIEWERT-for example, section 4.2(b), which obliges the Commonwealth and states to: strengthen across government linkages to ensure access to appropriate services, and improve collaboration and coordination across programs and government, and section 4.2(d) which obliges governments to take a strategic approach to equitable funding to respond to unmet demand, and given the shared roles outlined in section 6(1)(b), (e) and (f), which encourage reform of existing services to achieve objective and policy priorities of the agreement and to fund R&D in the provision of services, does the minister acknowledge that the federal government has a clear mandate under the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement to address unmet need? Can the minister outline what actions she intends to take to meet these unmet needs? Is the Commonwealth prepared to put in more money to make this happen?
The PRESIDENT-Senator, that was a very long question.
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.
13 Sep 2005
I thank Senator Wong for raising this important issue which is of grave concern to many of us. The National Foundation for Australian Women this morning described these Welfare to Work provisions as the government's new poverty trap, calling the Newstart allowance:
A Procrustean one size fits all poverty trap for people with disabilities.