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Robodebt class action success is one step closer to justice, now it’s time for a Royal Commission

The Greens welcome the settlement of $1.2billion in the Robodebt Class Action including that the Commonwealth must pay $112 million in compensation to approximately 400,000 eligible individual Group Members, including legal costs. 
 
"I am very pleased for the victims of robodebt today. This is yet another indictment on the abominable actions of the Government who went after the most vulnerable in our community to make savings", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Return of Mutual Obligations has seen 74, 434 payments suspended in less than 30 days 

In less than thirty days of mutual obligations being re-instated after they were suspended due to the covid pandemic 74,434 payments have been suspended by Centrelink. 
 
Estimates has revealed that 12,137 First Nations peoples, 6,334 single parents, 13,169 disabled people 9,100 homeless people and 12,135 culturally and linguistically diverse people are among those that have had a payment suspended within the first month of mutual obligations returning. 
 

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Minister confirms in Estimates that an extension to Jobseeker supplement will be in place by January

The Minister for Social Services has confirmed today during an Estimates hearing that the Government plans to extend the Jobseeker coronavirus supplement past December but would not confirm the amount and when we will see the legislation.

The Government needs to be clear about what they have planned for the Jobseeker payment and supplement. 

It’s unfair that Australians have had to wait to know whether there will be an extension and now uncertainty about the rate post December 31 will cause a huge amount of concern.

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Debt raising against income support recipients during a recession is a disgrace

The Greens have called the Government's decision to recommence ‘debt raising’ against income support recipients a disgrace.
 
We are in a recession and a pandemic and instead of giving Australians certainty about their future and ensuring they won’t be living on $40 a day come December this Government is choosing to create more anxiety and fear in our community by chasing people for debts at a time in their life when many are at their most vulnerable. 

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Greens say Government have wilfully ignored opportunity to reform punitive and racist Community Development Program with its reintroduction next week 

The Greens have condemned the Government’s reintroduction of the discriminatory remote work-for-the-dole scheme Community Development Program (CDP) that disproportionately impacts First Nations peoples. 
 
"It’s very disturbing to hear anecdotal claims from employment providers saying that the increase to income support is leading to more drinking and anti-social behaviours”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Government must act on companies taking advantage of gamblers during COVID and legislate a national exclusion register 

A study released by the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) today shows that gambling companies are using the pandemic as an opportunity to prey on people who may have more time  on their hands because of lockdown or job loss and are feeling anxious and alone. 
 
“The underhanded and sneaky tactics used by gambling campaigns through this pandemic show exactly why we need proper regulation nationally and in all States and Territories, including a national regulator and a national self-exclusion register”, Greens spokesperson on Gambling Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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World Mental Health Day: Government’s must look beyond budget and election cycles and invest in longterm strategy

Mental illness is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and access to treatments should be universal. People in our community should be able to get easy access to treatments in the same way they would for a broken leg or the flu,” Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health Senator Rachel Siewert said.

Mental ill health is the leading cause of sickness and long term work incapacity in the developed world. 

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