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Greens: Disappointed that the Welfare Reform Bill just passed through the Senate

The Welfare Reform Bill that passed the Senate today contained a suite of measures that will hurt bereaved people, people struggling with addiction, and older and unemployed Australians.
 
“The drug testing measures initially contained in this bill were an outrageous attack on vulnerable people trying to access our social safety net and we are glad they were removed but there are a suite of other changes in the bill that hurt those on income support, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Government must ensure that Aboriginal led decision making key to child protection 

Government should focus on implementing recommendations for real change on Aboriginal child health and safety rather than the old distraction of adoption, Australian Greens spokesperson on Families and Communities Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Governments have failed over many years to listen and take action on recommendations for change. How many times does it need to be said, we must have an Aboriginal-led responses in Aboriginal communities, top down approaches from Government have not and will never work.

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There needs to be truth-telling about January 26 when City of Cockburn consults further

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has urged the City of Cockburn to include important information about the true history of January 26 when consulting with the community about changing the date of Australia Day celebrations. 

“Although the City of Cockburn has consulted with local Aboriginal peoples about the future of Australia Day celebrations who support changing the date, it was decided last night that more broader consultation should occur. 

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Commonwealth urged to work as a matter of urgency to achieve redress in WA

WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and Alison Xamon MLC welcome the Victorian and NSW Governments agreeing to sign up to a national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse, but urge the Commonwealth to work closely with the McGowan Government to ensure that the scheme is rolled out in WA. 

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today: 

“It is great to see progress with Eastern states signing up to the national redress scheme - this means survivors will finally begin to receive the redress they have waited so long for. 

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Drug testing income support recipients will still be a harmful waste of time: Greens

It is a disappointing development that the Coalition Party Room is continuing its ideological approach to policy with its support for another attempt to legislate drug testing trials for income support recipients, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“Despite overwhelming evidence to the committee inquiry by drug and alcohol experts that the measure would not meet any desired objectives and could have adverse impacts, the Turnbull Government is trying to bring it back. 

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Government continues to ignore local communities with renewed push for cashless welfare card in regional QLD

News today that the Federal Government plans to renew its push for the cashless welfare card in the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region shows their fixation with this flawed policy approach and a disregard for the local community, the Australian Greens say today.

“Just earlier this month the Parliament did not support the expansion of the card to regional QLD, instead supporting legislation that only allowed for a third trial site in my home state of WA”, said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens will move again to disallow harsh measure that hurts people with disability as a result of addiction

The Australian Greens will oppose renewed attempts by the Government to stop access to the Disability Support Pension for those who enter the system with a disability as a result of addiction.

“The Australian Greens and Labor managed to strike out this harsh measure with a disallowance motion last year which was supported by the Senate", Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

"It is cruel and harsh to refuse the disability support pension to someone because they have a disability as a result of addiction.

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Sharp slowdown of expenditure for Disability Support Pension should be a cause for concern: Greens

A Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report that shows a sharp slowdown in expenditure for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) should not be seen as a positive thing by the Turnbull Government, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today. 

“The Liberal-National Government have been making it more difficult for people accessing the Disability Support Pension, in 2015 the-then Abbott Government announced reviews for DSP recipients under 35 and then started on those over 35. 

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Automating Centrelink debt recovery still a disaster: Greens

One in six robo-debts being wiped or changed in the first year shows that the program continues to be a disaster, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“This time last year the Government was under immense media scrutiny for the rollout of their Centrelink robo-debt program, which was causing a lot of harm and distress to vulnerable members of the community. Although the lime-light is no longer on the program, Australians continue to be issued false debts. 

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Old parties vote down $75 increase to Newstart in the Senate

The Turnbull Government and the Labor party have together voted down a Senate motion calling for an increase of the single rate of Newstart and other allowances by $75 a week.

“The rate of the crucial income support payment Newstart is so abysmally low that those trying to find work are living below the poverty line”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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