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Labor ACT Chief Minister’s call for Newstart increase is encouraging, Shorten must do the same: Greens

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr breaking ranks with federal Labor to call for an increase to Newstart is encouraging. 

“Mr Barr can see like most that Newstart is far too low to survive off and it needs to be increased if unemployed Australians are genuinely going to be supported into finding work. 

“Bill Shorten and the Federal Labor party need to show some courage and admit what we all know, that the payment has to increase so people can survive on it with some dignity. 

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Government has not sought department advice on whether Newstart is liveable

It has been revealed in senate estimates that the Government has not sought advice from the Department of Social Services on the ability for job seekers to live off $40 a day whilst on the single rate of Newstart. 

“Despite this chorus of voices about the inadequacy of the payment, the Government did not seek advice from the Department of Social Services about whether people can actually live off the payment. 

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WA last time to sign up to redress, it is time to get it done: Greens

The Australian Greens are urging the Western Australian Government to not stall any longer on signing up to the national redress scheme, particularly as it is the last state or territory to sign up. 

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, said: 

“Survivors of child sexual abuse in Western Australia are the final group around the country waiting for confirmation that they will have access to redress. 

“This is causing unnecessary distress and survivors have been through enough”. 

WA Greens MLC Alison Xamon, said:

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We need real action by the Government this Sorry Day

In the lead up to National Sorry Day and ten years since the National Apology, the Australian Greens are calling for the Turnbull Government to ensure healing and justice for the Stolen Generations, whilst also working to reduce the appalling number of Aboriginal children disproportionately entering out of home care.

“There is a link between failure of Government to ensure healing, justice and reparations for the Stolen Generations and more Aboriginal children in the out of home care system.

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Turnbull Government and Labor must show political courage and commit to increasing Newstart: Greens

Research by the Salvation Army showing the average Newstart recipient has just $17 a day to live off after accommodation expenses should not be ignored by the Turnbull Government and Shorten’s Labor party, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“$17 a day after accommodation expenses is obscene. Members of our community are foregoing food and safety because the Government won’t exercise political courage to lift the appalling low payment. At the same time Government is pursuing tax cuts for the wealthy. 

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WA police who knocked down Aboriginal man should be stood down and a full independent investigation must take place: Greens

Footage showing WA police knocking down an Aboriginal man is extremely distressing and should trigger a full independent investigation, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today. 

“The second tranche of footage that shows WA police veering into the path of an Aboriginal man and knocking him on to the footpath is extremely distressing. 

“I believe this is indicative of a broader problem within the WA police in regards to some officers' attitude and treatment of our First Peoples and should be taken very seriously. 

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Labor and Coalition gang up to vote down motion that calls for increase to Newstart

The Labor party has sided with the Government to vote down a motion that calls for an increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance.

“Despite the broad group of economists, business and social service organisations saying that the payment definitely needs to be increased, both major parties are showing cowardice.

“The rate of Newstart does not need to be ‘reviewed’ it needs to increase urgently, and the ALP knows this.

"It has been well established that it is dangerously low and causing harm to jobseekers. It’s time for Bill Shorten to come off the fence”.

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Government makes broken CDP worse despite promising overhaul

 Changes by the Turnbull Government to the Community Development Program (CDP) in remote and regional Australia are tinkering around the edges, despite Minister Scullion promising an overhaul of the broken program, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“As it stands at the moment job seekers in remote and regional Australia are suffering under the CDP, which imposes unfair mutual obligations and is causing significant harm in communities. 

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