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We cannot sacrifice quality in a race to get people signed up to the NDIS

The Government needs to act immediately on the Productivity Commission findings including planning for a new timeline for the NDIS rollout, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Many people including the Greens have been raising the issues outlined in the Productivity Commission report for a long time now, and our concerns have been ignored for far too long.

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Senate supports Greens motion condemning engagement of Serco contractors to address Centrelink woes

The Senate has supported a Greens motion condemning the engagment of Serco and calling on the Government to commit to reinstating the nearly 1200 jobs cut from the Department of Human Services in the 2017-18 Budget.  

“There was deep concern in the community when the Government announced it had engaged a private contractor to staff a Centrelink call centre. Centrelink missed 42 million calls last year and employing Serco is not an answer to their woes, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Australia’s credibility on world stage on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues lacking

Australia’s election to the Human Rights Council will shine a harsh light on our country’s treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Australia’s record when it comes to closing the gap and addressing injustices to our First Peoples shows that we are failing to deliver on our human rights responsibilities for Australia’s First People.

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A functional Centrelink is key to tackling poverty

This afternoon the Senate had the opportunity to speak on the Government’s response to the Centrelink robo-debt Inquiry which was tabled out of session last month.

“Given that it is Anti-Poverty week it was quite poignant that we were discussing the Government's appalling approach to some of the most vulnerable members of our community who were subject to the robo-debt debacle, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Another outrageous attack on our social safety net

It is outrageous that the Government will be staffing Centrelink call centres with private contractors, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 
 
“While it seems that the Government is finally admitting that staffing of Centrelink call centres is inadequate, it is beyond comprehension that they would seek to ameliorate this problem through employing private contractors.
 
“We saw how that worked out when they contracted private debt collectors. 
 

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Government response to Centrelink Robo-Debt Inquiry shows contempt for the people affected

The Government response to the Centrelink robo-debt Inquiry report is grossly inadequate and shows contempt for the thousands of Australians affected by this debacle, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"It is frankly insulting to the people who gave evidence at the inquiry to be referred to in this response as third parties looking to score political points. The comments that the Chair's report relied on evidence that was inaccurate is insulting to those who gave evidence.

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Many in the Hinkler community do not want the cashless welfare card, Mr Pitt should listen to their concerns

News that the cashless welfare card will be rolled out across the Hinkler electorate next year will be incredibly distressing for members of that community that desperately do not want the card, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“The Government has consistently insisted the card won’t get ahead in a region where there is not community support. I have met many, many people in the Hinkler region that do not want the card, why have they been ignored? 

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Australian Greens welcome ex gratia payment and formal apology to the family of Ms Dhu

The Australian Greens welcome the WA State Government’s ex gratia payment and formal apology to the family of Ms Dhu.

“Although this will not bring back Ms Dhu and the family will continue to experience deep grief from her avoidable death, I hope these steps made by the McGowan Government offers some solace.

“Moves to implement a comprehensive Custody Notification Service in Western Australia are a welcome step and I agree that Aboriginal deaths in custody will dramatically reduce or stop altogether once implemented. This has been evidenced interstate.

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