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Greens will keep campaigning for an increase to Newstart 

The Senate has today voted down a Greens motion to increase Newstart by $75 a week.

“This payment has not had a real increase since 1994, so it is very disappointing that my motion was voted down, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The median house price in my home town of Perth in 1994 was $123, 125 and look at house prices now!

"At just $38 a day, jobseekers are struggling on a Newstart payment that forces them to live in poverty. 

“For over two decades both the major parties have lacked political will and refused to increase Newstart. 

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Senate supports Greens Jobactive Inquiry: Proper scrutiny is long overdue

The Senate has today supported the Australian Greens referral for a Senate Inquiry into the jobactive employment program.

“The jobactive program is delivered by a network of providers in over 1700 locations across Australia and we need to ensure that they are doing the best for jobseekers, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“There has been numerous reports from people looking for work that the program is not delivering and significant problems with the adequacy of support to find work. Proper scrutiny of jobactive is long overdue.

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Centrelink Robodebt: Turnbull Government Targeting Most Vulnerable

The Turnbull Government has sunk to new depths in its on-going campaign to harass and punish people on income support, now targeting vulnerable people on income support as part of the robodebt program, the Australian Greens said today.

"Mr Turnbull’s Government has no shame when it comes to the appalling robodebt program. Robodebt has caused a huge amount of grief for so many people and now the Government is targeting some of the most vulnerable members of our community, said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.

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Australian Greens reject extension of cashless welfare card trials, an ideological approach to social issues

The Australian Greens have dissented from the Community Affairs Legislation Committee majority report into the Government’s bill that seeks to extend the Cashless Welfare Card trials to Hinkler in Queensland until 30 June 2020, targeting people under 36 years old, raising the participant cap by 5000, and restricting access to cash-like products such as gift cards and money/postal orders.

“This is the third Senate inquiry into the Cashless Welfare Card and it’s still ineffective, controlling and punitive, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Mr Turnbull’s vicious cycle of passing the buck has to stop

It’s deeply disappointing that the Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull thinks that his Government shouldn’t be contributing to the cost of fixing the Northern Territory's youth justice and protection systems as well as implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

“It’s the same vicious cycle, a Royal Commission or Committee is called, truth is told, credible, tangible solutions are offered and the Commonwealth cops out, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Greens' call for PM to rethink disappointing rejection of a First Nations Peoples voice to Parliament

The Australian Greens have described the Prime Minister’s latest rejection of constitutional reform for a First Nations Peoples voice to Parliament as “deeply disappointing”.

“I have spent days at Garma hearing from inspiring speakers and talking to people. The message couldn't be clearer: there is strong support for the Voice and for constitutional reform,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said.

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Continued funding for Indigenous Protected Areas welcome but we must ensure it is properly supported by Departments: Greens

The Australian Greens have welcomed the Government pressing ahead with funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, and have welcomed the renewing of contracts, but will be chasing up the role that the Department of Environment plays in the critically important programme. 

“It is good the Government is getting on with funding for Indigenous Protected Areas but I note funding was announced last year and contracts could have been signed, sealed and delivered a year ago. The stalling has created unnecessary stress and things could have moved quicker. 

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Face scanning income support recipients another punitive approach: Greens

Plans to face scan people who are accessing the social safety net shows yet another punitive barrier for people needing support. 

“This is the Government once again making life harder for people accessing the social safety net”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“This adds another layer to accessing the social safety net and is unnecessary. It will be seen by many accessing support as punitive and adding to the regulatory burden.

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Three days until remote Aboriginal housing funding expires and the Government must act: Greens

The uncertainty about funding for remote Aboriginal housing past 30 June 2018 (three days from now) has become farcical and must urgently be resolved, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“This weekend the ten year agreement on delivering remote Aboriginal housing wraps up and the Government has failed to resolve the current impasse, which will have an impact on Aboriginal communities in remote Western Australia. 

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Students going hungry waiting for student payments to be approved should call their local MP or Senate office for help: Greens

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is urging students to call their local MP or Senator office if Centrelink is not approving student support payments in a reasonable time frame and they are finding themselves unable to pay for basic necessities.   

MP and Senate offices have a Centrelink liaison who assist them with constituent enquiries and payment approvals if students have been waiting beyond the estimated completion date. 

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