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Cashless Debit Card: Poor quality, biased study presents opinions as evaluation

The Government has once again used poorly drawn, qualitative "research" to attempt to justify the cashless debit card roll out.

“It is incredibly frustrating that the Government has done the same thing as they did last time, using "perceptions" to evaluate these trials and presenting the "findings" as qualitative baseline data," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“They have released a report of semi-structured qualitative interviews with only 64 of the 2995 people on the card in the Goldfields while 66 "stakeholders" were spoken with?

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First Nations peoples, homeless, disabled people, single parents most impacted by Government’s new Targeted Compliance Framework

Data tabled at estimates shows a stark increase in the number of people receiving financial penalties under the draconian targeted compliance framework introduced in July 2018 under the Government’s welfare reform measures.

“I asked for this updated data because I was deeply concerned about what this compliance framework would mean for people on income support. Unfortunately my fears for people on income support have been confirmed”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Estimates reveals AAT had a 42% increase in appeals over social security

Evidence provided at Estimates today has revealed that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has seen a significant increase in appeals relating to Centrelink including a:

• 77% increase in appeals relating to the Disabilty Support Pension (DSP)

• 41% increase in appeals relating to Newstart

• 34% increase in appeals relating to Youth Allowance 

There was also a 75% increase in appeals relating to the NDIS

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Senate Inquiry demonstrates Jobactive not fit for purpose – Greens call on Government to abolish TCF and Work for the Dole

The Australian Greens have provided additional comments to the inquiry into jobactive as while we are supportive of the Majority Report recommendations we believe that they do not go far enough in addressing the serious issues raised during the inquiry process. 

The Greens are calling for Work for the Dole and the Targeted Compliance Framework (TCF) to be abolished.

“This inquiry has overwhelmingly demonstrated that the jobactive system is not fit for purpose and is failing unemployed workers", Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens: Mr Morrison’s Closing the Gap address patronising and paternalistic

Mr Morrison’s closing the gap address was paternalistic and patronising and a clear indication that he doesn’t get it.

“Mr Morrison lectured the Parliament about co-design and collaboration but he does not practice what he preaches”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“The Coalition was dragged kicking and screaming to a co-design approach and the Government’s failure to listen when the process started was in fact the reason we are so delayed with the Close the Gap refresh.

“You would think that he was the first person to think of collaboration and co-design!

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Senate votes down call for Government to reallocate $48.7million James Cook “commemoration” fund to Closing the Gap targets

The major parties have today combined to vote down the part of a Greens motion calling on the Government to reallocate their James Cook “commemoration” fund. 

“Tomorrow the Prime Minster will present his Closing the Gap address and I will be paying close attention to what he has to say”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“There is a list as long as my arm on what we could better spend this money on – for example culturally appropriate suicide prevention services, justice reinvestment and truth telling.

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Greens call on Labor to block Government attempts to extend cashless debit card trial sites to June 2020

With three cashless debit card trial sites due to expire on June 30 2019, the Government has introduced amendments to the House today in an attempt to extend the trials in Ceduna, Goldfields and the East Kimberley by another year.

“The trials in the East Kimberley, Ceduna and the Goldfields are due to end on 30 June 2019, they should not be extended, this is just an attempt by Government to entrench this dreadful card”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Truth Justice and Healing key to addressing First Nations Peoples disadvantage

The Reconciliation Australia barometer report reveals a shift in Australian attitudes to Reconciliation particularly in regards to telling the truth about our shared history with 80% of people surveyed considering truth telling important.  

"This is what we saw on January 26, across Australia. People not wanting to celebrate a day of mourning, Australians marched on Invasion Day because they want to tell the truth about our history," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

"The report has found that overwhelmingly Australians want justice and healing for First Nations peoples. 

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Greens say if the Government really cared about parents they would suspend the ParentsNext program while they reassess their approach

The Greens want to see the ParentNext program suspended and the Government reassess their approach if they really care about supporting parents. Their comments come in the wake of reports that one in five parents, the majority of whom are women have been suspended or lost their payment in just the first six months of the rollout of the program.

“The latest figures showing the high number of parents and of course their children that have been suspended from payments is deeply concerning and should send a signal to Government that this program has very serious problems. 

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Government’s own Community Development Program (CDP) evaluation indicates poor outcomes  

The Government’s evaluation of the CDP program reveals no secrets: people’s lives are worse, First Nations peoples are more likely to be penalised and are penalised more often which is what communities and researchers have been saying for a long time.

“This CDP evaluation still doesn’t get to the heart of the issue –why people in remote regions, 83% of whom are First Nations peoples have to be subjected to a work for the dole scheme that is far harsher and more punitive than their city counterparts,"Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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