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Senate votes against delaying liquid assets test for people on JobSeeker 

Yesterday I sought the support of the Senate to disallow the reintroduction of the liquid assets test waiting period for new claims for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Austudy made from 25 September.
 
I am very disappointed that the Senate did not support the Greens disallowance motion to ensure that people who lose their jobs can get access to income support as soon as possible during this crisis. 
 
It is very unfair to make people use up almost all of their savings before they can access income support. It leaves them in a very precarious position. 

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Government defies Senate and fails to provide information on legal advice on robodebt 

The Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert has failed to comply with Senate resolutions that he provide documents relating to robodebt legal advice.
 
"The Minister’s claims of public interest immunity in regards to the Centrelink Income Compliance Program legal advice and an Executive Minute are not acceptable", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Government must meet the deadline for implementation of Aged Care Royal Commission special report recommendations and fund them in the budget

The Greens say that the Government has no excuse not to urgently act on the recommendations of the Aged care and COVID-19: a special report. 
 
Let’s face it, these recommendations are really the bare minimum of what the Government should have already done when this pandemic started, extra support for the workforce, infection prevention and control training, mental health support for residents and of course a national coordinating body. 
 

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Government must meet the deadline for implementation of Aged Care Royal Commission special report recommendations and fund them in the budget

The Greens say that the Government has no excuse not to urgently act on the recommendations of the Aged care and COVID-19: a special report. 
 
Let’s face it, these recommendations are really the bare minimum of what the Government should have already done when this pandemic started, extra support for the workforce, infection prevention and control training, mental health support for residents and of course a national coordinating body. 
 

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Government is abandoning older women to retire in poverty with failure to increase Jobseeker and invest in an effective income support system 

The Parliamentary Budget Office’s (PBO) report on the Jobseeker payment is yet another indictment on the Government failing to ensure that everyone gets through this pandemic together. 
 
Our income support system has been used ideologically to stigmatise and shame people accessing the social safety net. 
 

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Punitive ParentsNext program extended for another three years with no evaluation 

The Greens have condemned Minister Cash’s decision to extend the punitive ParentsNext program for another three years.
 
“How can the Government continue to pour millions into a program that has been widely condemned when they have no evidence to support that it is meeting any of its objectives?” Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Government must address climate change in the upcoming National Preventive Health Strategy

Rachel Siewert 29 Sep 2020

The Australian Greens strongly support the call from over 30 health groups' for the Government to address climate change in the National Preventive Health Strategy.

"The Strategy's Consultation paper does not include climate change in its six focus areas, nor even mention climate change.

This is simply not good enough," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Health.

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Greens call on Government to find their heart and stop Jobseeker Coronavirus supplement cut 

The Greens say that it is obscene that the Government is cutting $300 per fortnight from people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance tomorrow while it prepares to give tax cuts to high income earners.
 
Tomorrow the Jobseeker and Youth Allowance payments will be cut by $300 a fortnight when the corona supplement is reduced, condemning 1.8 million people to live on a payment below the poverty line.
 

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Greens welcome Government commitment to COVAX  

Rachel Siewert 24 Sep 2020

The Greens are pleased that the Government has finally announced that Australia has joined the COVAX facility. 

Australia’s participation in COVAX is critical to ensuring developing countries, especially our neighbours in the Pacific, have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

Australia has a responsibility to be part of the solution to vaccine nationalism. 

The Government must continue to commit funding to COVAX to actively support smaller nations to access Covid-19 vaccines. 

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