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Government makes clear intention to still drug test income support recipients in MYEFO, Greens will continue to oppose

The Government making it clear in MYEFO that they will continue to pursue attempts to drug test income support recipients shows callousness and stubbornness, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“The Government recently had to pull the drug testing trials out of the huge welfare reform bill because they knew they couldn’t get the support needed to push it through the Senate. 

“The Government should give up and spend the money on wrap around supports and services for people struggling with addiction. 

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$41.5 million postal marriage survey underspend must go into LGBTIQ mental health services: Greens

It has been revealed in the Government Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) that the marriage equality postal survey came in $41.5m under budget; this must now go towards mental health services for LGBTIQ people, the Australian Greens said today. 

“While we are all overjoyed about finally achieving marriage equality in Australia, this survey should never have happened in the first place and it was a huge outlay of tax payer money for an unnecessary exercise that hurt our LGBTIQ communities,” said Senator Janet Rice, the Australian Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson.

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Report shows the harm of income management, Government must listen and dump income management

A new report by the University of Sydney that shows a link between income management and lower birthweights and school attendance must be carefully considered by the Government, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.  

“The longstanding excuse for implementing income management by successive Governments is that children need to be protected, well now we have evidence that there is a strong correlation between reduced birthweights, school attendance and income management.  

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Gary Johns as Commissioner of the Australian Charities & Not-for-Profit Commission is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse: Greens

The Government’s announcement of Gary Johns’ appointment as Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) is deeply concerning and raises a massive red flag for the charities and not-for-profit sector and the broader community.

"This appointment demonstrates the Government's clear intent of its approach to the charities and not-for-profit sector.

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Greens oppose cashless welfare card expansion entirely, Labor should do the same 

The Australian Greens oppose the Government’s bill to expand the cashless welfare card trials in its entirety, and have dissented from the Community Affairs committee report into the Bill. 

“The ORIMA report into the effectiveness of the card in current trial sites is flawed, it doesn't show proof of concept as the Government alleges and has been harshly criticised by independent academics”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Labor should oppose cashless welfare card trial expansion entirely: Greens

The Australian Greens welcome Labor opposing the rollout of the cashless welfare card in Bundaberg and the Goldfields, but are disappointed they support existing trial sites being extended in Ceduna and the East Kimberley, Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“I am happy the Labor party listened to evidence given to the senate inquiry, the independent academic assessment of the ORIMA report and the local communities, and decided to oppose expanded cashless welfare card trials in Bundaberg and the Goldfields”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Senate throws support behind not-for-profit sector in light of Government’s attempts to limit advocacy 

The Senate has expressed support for charities and not-for-profit organisations in Australia, who are currently being targeted by the Federal Government who want to limit their advocacy. 
“Charities and not-for-profits, whether they work on environmental issues, social services or human rights are under pressure by the Turnbull Government who want to limit their advocacy,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Senate agrees Government should reconsider royal commission into the abuse, violence and neglect of people with disabilities 

The Senate has supported a motion calling on the Government to reconsider its decision and commit to a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability in institutional and residential settings. 

“The abuse of people with disability in settings where they should feel safe and at home is prevalent and systemic, and the Government has no interest in truly addressing it”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Disabilities SenatorJordon Steele-John said today. 

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