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Raising Newstart now an election issue

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today that after over a decade of campaigning for an increase to the Newstart rate, it was refreshing to finally see it become an election issue.

“At long last the dire poverty that people on Newstart are condemned to live in is being recognised, now it must be turned into action," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“I’ve introduced four private members bills to increase Newstart since I’ve been in Parliament. 

“The community know it is not acceptable that this payment hasn’t been raised for 25 years.

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Australian Greens ready for the climate change election

Australian Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale has welcomed the official start of the election campaign, declaring that the party has never been better equipped to offer a progressive alternative to the old parties. 
 
“We’re ready. On May 18, we’ll give the Australian people a genuine alternative to the old parties, one that offers a positive plan for Australia that will create a better future for all of us,” Sen. Di Natale said.
 

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Government and ALP combine to gag debate and rush racist, punitive cashless debit card extension through the Senate

The ALP was tonight complicit in extending a social experiment on the people of Ceduna, the East Kimberley and the Goldfields by rubber stamping the Government’s extension to the Cashless Debit Card for another year.
 
“This is a sad day for people in our community who are suffering  on a coercive, controlling card that flies in the face of self-determination, Senator Rachel Siewert, Spokesperson on First Nations issues said today.
  
“How can the ALP stomach let alone support this type of policy approach?
 

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Projected budget surplus comes at expense of people on lowest incomes  

The Australian Greens said people on the lowest incomes have been ignored in the budget which has projected a so-called "surplus" at the expense of people doing it tough.

“It is as if this is a budget for a world where people on Newstart don’t exist. They didn’t get the increase in payment so desperatley needed and people on Newstart don’t get the $75 energy bribe.

 “Meanwhile, high income earners get permanent so called ‘tax relief’.

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Even more evidence that increase to Newstart makes economic sense

Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government must stop ignoring the advice of independent experts like the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling and Deloitte Access Economics who say that an increase to Newstart makes economic sense and would stimulate the economy.

“Deloitte said that an increase to Newstart by $75 a week would be a better use of Government money than the second tranche of personal tax cuts,” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.

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Overwhelming evidence that ParentsNext should not continue in current form

Following the findings of the Senate inquiry into ParentsNext the Australian Greens are calling for the ParentsNext program to cease operating in its current form.

“The ParentsNext program must be made voluntary and the punitive, coercive demerit point system abolished” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.

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Don Dale: Youth Justice in the NT still our national shame

Senator Rachel Siewert said today after visiting Darwin this week that it is clear that the NT Government blindsided stakeholders and the community when it rammed through changes to youth justice laws that go against recommendations of the Royal Commission.

“I’ve been in Darwin this week and key stakeholders have been blindsided by this legislation and didn’t know about the changes to youth justice that go against the findings of the Royal Commission until a day before it was rushed through," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Government continues its attack on people on income support - No evidence for Cashless Debit Card 

Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government had once again displayed its contempt of people on income support by extending the Cashless Debit Card and increasing the pressure of the robodebt program.

"The Government has defied logic and displayed contempt for both experts and people on income support in committing millions of dollars of public money to extend the Cashless Debit Card, a program that simply does not work," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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