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Greens have deep concerns about robodebt refund process

The Greens are deeply concerned about how Services Australia plans to refund illegal robodebts saying the process is too slow and unfair.

“People have been put through so much by this illegal program and now they have to wait longer for their refund with some people owed money being paid back by installment,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“The Government has not made it clear what constitutes a debt of a 'larger amount' or why money is to be refunded in installments.”

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Greens welcome greater focus on First Nations Self Determination

“I’m very pleased to see the reports that First Nations peoples will have power, responsibility and funding over health directions and decisions under the new Closing the Gap approach – this has been a long time coming” Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations Issues, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Self-determination is critical to Closing the Gap”.

“I am so glad that the proposed agreement has a greater focus on First Nations self determination. First Nations peoples have been calling for this for a very long time yet the system has continuously failed them.” 

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Greens support naming of organisations not signing up for Redress and want cutting of tax concessions

“The Greens support the naming of the 6 organisations who have failed to sign up to the National Redress Scheme. The Greens also support the revoking of tax concessions and charity status for organisations who choose not to participate in the scheme and deny justice for survivors.” Senator Siewert, the Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

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Morrison back to his old myths and tropes surrounding Jobseeker

"The PM'S claims that the Jobseeker rate is discouraging people from working is a regression to old myths and tropes used to demonise people who are accessing income support." Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

"The Government is trying to restart their campaign against people who need to access income support." 

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Government must ensure Jobseeker remains above the poverty line

"I am disappointed that the Government has continued to deny reports of plans to permanently increase the rate of Jobseeker come September" Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

"There are over 1.6 million people currently receiving Jobseeker. It cannot be Government policy for them to live below the poverty line on a payment of $40 a day. It needs to reassure people that this won't happen." 

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Labour force participation rates for people with disability have remained static for the past 20 years despite Disability Employment Services receiving $800million annual funding 

The ANAO have released their report, Management of Agreements for Disability Employment Services which indicates clear concerns around elevations frameworks to measure the success of a program that receives $800million in funding per year and which was recently “reformed”. 

 

"The ANAO has found that the Department of Social Services did not develop an evaluation framework to measure the success of the DES reforms. 

 

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Greens welcome Labor’s support for Royal Commission into Robodebt 

A Royal Commission will ensure we know the full truth of what happened with robodebt including before 2015.  
 
“The Government has clearly demonstrated they are not going to hand over this information willingly and will continue to hide behind “public interest immunity claims” or claims that they have no “duty of care”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
“This is why it's so important to have a Royal Commission, we need to understand what happened and make sure it never happens again.

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A Royal Commission will ensure we know the full truth of what happened with robodebt including before 2015 

“I am very disappointed that the Government and Labor combined to vote down my motion in the Senate today calling for a Royal Commission into robodebt”, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
“We need a judicial review so we can find out exactly who knew what and when and for how long. There needs to be a forensic audit of every debt including those before 2015.
 
“We need to know how many debts were raised, exactly how people have been impacted and what those debts were worth as well as the interest the Government has charged people. 
 

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Senate supports motion calling on Prime Minister to withdraw his comments on slavery properly apologise and engage in a genuine process of truth telling about Australia’s history 

I am pleased that the Senate has supported the Greens motion acknowledging the true history of Australia which despite what the Prime Minister might say includes slavery, indentured labour and stolen wages. 
 
“The Prime Minister’s comments last week in regards to slavery were outrageous and I don’t believe he has properly apologised or engaged with the heart of the matter. 
 
“Rather than perpetuating false history of this nation, the Australian Government needs to make a concerted effort of truth telling for all Australians, including new Australians.
 

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