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ANAO audit finds Human Services Quality Framework “less than effective”

An ANAO audit has found that the Department of Human Services has been “less than effective” in designing and implementing a Quality Framework that achieves its strategic purpose of a consistent and integrated approach to delivering quality services.

“It’s hardly a revelation that the Department of Human Services is “less than effective” at delivery of integrated and quality services, but ANAO has effectively confirmed what people depending on their services have been saying for a long time.  

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Damaging political game of pitting groups against each other is electioneering at its worst

Politics has stooped so low that the Government is now pitting people in our community against each other to win votes, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Earlier this week it was disabled people vs. farmers, now it’s pensioners vs. people looking for work.

 “Wasn’t it Mr Morrison, who as Treasurer was strongly pushing raising the pension age to 70?

"I recall questions over that at Estimates just last week.

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Senate inquiry hears Jobactive is not fit for purpose, a form of “institutional abuse” and needs urgent reform

Evidence heard at the senate inquiry into the jobactive program today has revealed a punitive system that is not getting people into long term employment and is causing distress and humiliation.  

“I referred this issue to inquiry because I have heard of too many experiences of people not getting the help they need, living in poverty unable to find work, next to no support in a competitive job market and an extremely punitive compliance framework.  

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Labor still hedging their bets on raising Newstart and addressing poverty

Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale today said Labor was clearly feeling the heat on Newstart, with an internal document showing cracks starting to appear in their continued refusal to back any raise to the payment.

“It’s good that Labor is finally waking up to the reality that $278 a week is simply not enough to live on, but again, they’re not making any promises to fix it,” Dr Di Natale said.

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January 26: Government shouldn’t be pressuring local government over plans to change citizenship ceremonies 

The Australian Greens commend the Byron Bay Council for wanting to move their citizenship ceremony so as to avoid a day that causes hurt to members of their community and are very disappointed by the thuggish approach coming from Canberra to those Councils seeking to make this change.

“We urge Councils around Australia not to be put off by the bullying coming from Canberra, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Government should release "secret" Centrelink report

The Australian Greens have deep concerns about the outsourcing of call centre workers in Brisbane, basically privatising Centrelink. The jobs that have been cut from the Department of Human Services by successive Governments should be reinstated including the 1200 jobs cut in the 2017-18 Budget. 

“Centrelink missed nearly 48 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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Australian Greens launch tax overhaul to smash systemic inequality

Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale today has launched the party’s plan to use our tax system to end poverty and inequality, stripping back tax breaks and ending subsidies to Big Business in favour of funding essential services and increasing Newstart for the first time since 1994.

Following a keynote speech at the Australian Council of Social Services National Conference, Dr Di Natale said Australia’s economic growth was not being shared by all.

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Almost 48 million calls to Centrelink have gone unanswered last financial year

47, 950, 425 million calls to Centrelink have reached a busy signal in the last financial year with 5,313,954 being abandoned.

Youth and students are spending the longest average time waiting, currently waiting on hold for 32 and half minutes.

16 460,902 calls to the Families and Parenting line, 15,895,174 calls to the Employment Services line and 7,781,803 calls to the Youth and Students line reached a busy signal in the last financial year.

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Deaths in Custody Audit: Governments had decades to act  

The Government has tabled their audit of the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, complying with an order for the production of documents from the Australian Greens passed by the Senate.

“Successive Governments have had almost thirty years to get this right, but we now see that incarceration rates have in fact doubled since the completion of the Royal Commission, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues said today.

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Fewer people applying for and being approved for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) Estimates reveals

“There has been a sharp decline in people applying for and being approved for the disability support pension Estimates has revealed.

“In 2012 the Labor Government  reduced the number of people able to access the support, introducing changes to the eligibility criteria and forcing people to prove they can’t find work for 18 months.

“In 2015 the Abbott Government announced they would be reviewing  DSP recipients under 35 and then started on those over 35.

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