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Government must meet the deadline for implementation of Aged Care Royal Commission special report recommendations and fund them in the budget

The Greens say that the Government has no excuse not to urgently act on the recommendations of the Aged care and COVID-19: a special report. 
 
Let’s face it, these recommendations are really the bare minimum of what the Government should have already done when this pandemic started, extra support for the workforce, infection prevention and control training, mental health support for residents and of course a national coordinating body. 
 

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Government is abandoning older women to retire in poverty with failure to increase Jobseeker and invest in an effective income support system 

The Parliamentary Budget Office’s (PBO) report on the Jobseeker payment is yet another indictment on the Government failing to ensure that everyone gets through this pandemic together. 
 
Our income support system has been used ideologically to stigmatise and shame people accessing the social safety net. 
 

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Punitive ParentsNext program extended for another three years with no evaluation 

The Greens have condemned Minister Cash’s decision to extend the punitive ParentsNext program for another three years.
 
“How can the Government continue to pour millions into a program that has been widely condemned when they have no evidence to support that it is meeting any of its objectives?” Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Government must address climate change in the upcoming National Preventive Health Strategy

Rachel Siewert 29 Sep 2020

The Australian Greens strongly support the call from over 30 health groups' for the Government to address climate change in the National Preventive Health Strategy.

"The Strategy's Consultation paper does not include climate change in its six focus areas, nor even mention climate change.

This is simply not good enough," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Health.

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Greens call on Government to find their heart and stop Jobseeker Coronavirus supplement cut 

The Greens say that it is obscene that the Government is cutting $300 per fortnight from people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance tomorrow while it prepares to give tax cuts to high income earners.
 
Tomorrow the Jobseeker and Youth Allowance payments will be cut by $300 a fortnight when the corona supplement is reduced, condemning 1.8 million people to live on a payment below the poverty line.
 

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Greens welcome Government commitment to COVAX  

Rachel Siewert 24 Sep 2020

The Greens are pleased that the Government has finally announced that Australia has joined the COVAX facility. 

Australia’s participation in COVAX is critical to ensuring developing countries, especially our neighbours in the Pacific, have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

Australia has a responsibility to be part of the solution to vaccine nationalism. 

The Government must continue to commit funding to COVAX to actively support smaller nations to access Covid-19 vaccines. 

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Harsh penalties for Jobseekers in the midst of a recession is cruel and unfair 

The Greens have called the Government's plan to bring back harsh penalties for people looking for work on the Jobseeker payment mean spirited and unfair.
 
“This is an approach solely driven by ideology”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
Compliance driven approaches that demonise people on income support do not help them find work. 
 

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Greens welcome announcement that Royal Commission will issue a special report on response to COVID-19 in aged care

The Greens welcome the announcement  that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will issue a special report on the COVID-19 pandemic in aged care ahead of its Final Report
 
“It is very clear that action is needed now to address the failures in the system that has lead to the terrible impact COVID is having and its continuing potential to severely impact aged care residents. We cannot wait until the final report of the Commission is handed down early next year”, Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens welcome resignation of Rio Tinto bosses but cultural shift is needed across the mining industry

The Greens say that the resignation of Rio CEO Mr Jacques is a good sign that the company is taking some responsibility for the Juukan Gorge disaster but there needs to be a cultural shift in the entire company and across the mining industry.
 
This cannot just be a symbolic gesture, there is still a lot of work to do, Greens Senator for Western Australia Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Greens call for Government to extend medicare funded mental health telehealth sessions past September

The Greens warn that ending access to telehealth items for mental health care at the end of September will have dire consequences for Australians particularly those in Victoria, in quarantine or COVID hotspots. 
 
Temporary MBS telehealth items for mental health care are due to expire on 30th September, but the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian Medical Association have called for telehealth to be made permanent. 
 

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