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Greens welcome suspension of mutual obligations to June 1 but say it is a temporary solution 

With almost half a million people losing their jobs in the last month and underemployment rising to 1.8 million people there are going to be a very large number of people engaging with job providers and having to deal with mutual obligations for the first time. This will put a lot of pressure on a system that is already not fit for purpose. 

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COVID Senate Committee hears there may be changes to Community Development Program post Covid 

I was pleased to hear at the public hearing of the COVID Senate Select Committee today that there are active discussions about the future of the Community Development Program. 

CDP cannot continue to keep running as it was before its suspension as part of the response to COVID19. It is a punitive and discriminatory program that sees work for the dole participants, who are largely First Nations peoples having to do work hours and have participation requirements that are far higher than those in the Jobactive program.

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Disappointment that Senate didn’t show solidarity with disabled people and carers who are struggling with costs due to COVID-19 

“It’s deeply disappointing that the Senate didn’t demonstrate solidarity with disabled people and carers by supporting the Greens motion calling on the Government to provide the full $550 coronavirus supplement to Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment recipients,” Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 
“Disabled people and carers feel abandoned by this Government and today we had the opportunity to show them they have not been abandoned by the Senate. 
 
“The Government cannot deny that there are increased costs that come with living through a pandemic. 
 

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Senate says no to longterm increase to Jobseeker payment

The Senate has not supported a Greens motion calling on the Government to retain the new rate of the Jobseeker Payment of $1115 a fortnight to ensure no one is forced to live in poverty. 
 
“I can’t see how anybody can think that it is okay to return the Jobseeker Payment to the old rate of $40 a day which will condemn unemployed Australians to poverty and will act as a barrier to employment. 
 

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Senate expresses support for survivors of child sexual abuse 

 
"I am pleased that the Senate has expressed its ongoing support for survivors of child sexual abuse. 
 
"When we have high profile child sexual abuse cases being discussed in the media it is more important than ever that we send a clear message of support for survivors.
 
"We must support and encourage survivors to keep coming forward.
 
"It’s important that the Parliament reiterates its support for survivors of child sexual abuse and commit itself to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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Reducing Jobseeker would be irresponsible

The Greens say the Government's plans to reduce the Jobseeker payment in September is reckless, unfair and fiscally irresponsible.

“To meet the OECD relative measure of poverty a fortnightly income of at least $1012 is needed, keeping Jobseeker at its current rate would ensure people were not living in poverty.

“How will people survive if they cannot even afford the basics like rent or groceries and how will our economy repair if people can’t spend?

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Flawed baseline study will undermine evaluation of Cashless Debit Card in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay (Hinkler region)

The Department of Social Services has just released a qualitative and quantitative study of the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay CDC trial which unfortunately are once again flawed and biased.

“It is incredibly frustrating that the Government has done the same thing as they did last time, using "perceptions" of the Cashless Debit Card in what they call their baselines study.

"These "findings" will be used in the evaluation of the trial.

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Adding paypass to the Cashless Debit Card won’t magically make it acceptable

Adding paypass to the Cashless Debit Card won’t magically make it acceptable
 
While welcoming any positive change to the Cashless Debit Card adding paypass to the card is not going to fix the ongoing and debilitating impacts it is having on people’s lives. 
 
"Instead of properly evaluating the trials and looking at the evidence, the Minister has decided to add paypass and give people one percent interest which doesn’t address the underlying issues with the card.
 

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A decent and fair safety net means all payments above the poverty line 

The Australian Greens say that Treasurer Frydenberg’s statement that we must ensure “a safety net which is underpinned by a sense of decency and fairness” means that the Government must commit to maintaining the current rate of the Jobseeker payment and ensuring that no income support payment is below the poverty line. 
 
"It would not be decent or fair to take the Jobseeker payment back below the poverty line. 

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Greens say strong action needed against institutions who fail to sign up to Redress Scheme by June 30 deadline 

The Australian Greens said today that the recommendations of the Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on the Implementation of the National Redress Scheme highlights the need for reforms of the Redress scheme.
 
“There is an urgent need for action in a number of key areas particularly in view of the looming deadline for institutions to join the scheme. It is unacceptable that some institutions are not joining the scheme", Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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