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Greens call for an increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance in Budget

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has today called on the Government to increase Newstart and Youth Allowance in the budget by $75 a week.

“We welcome Deloitte Access Economics’ support for an increase to the woefully low Newstart payment as part of their annual budget monitor.

“There is a growing consensus on the need for Newstart to be increased, ranging from economic and tax firms like Deloitte and KPMG to social service organisations. The payment needs to be increased by $75 a week.

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One off drug-users to be caught in Government’s plan to drug test income support recipients

A senate committee inquiry has revealed that jobseekers who smoke a single joint on the weekend could be put onto the cashless welfare card for two years if they are randomly tested when accessing income support. 

“A one-off decision by a jobseeker trying to access income support could now push them into further disadvantage as a result of being pushed onto paternalistic income management for two years, there is no merit to this approach.  

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Inquiry into drug testing income support recipients draws more condemnation from experts

Hearings into the Government’s proposed plan to drug test income support recipients have once again demonstrated an overwhelming opposition to the measure, with concerns including stigmatisation and increased crime rates. 

“Witnesses, including service deliverers, drug and alcohol experts and local Mayors and local Government officials have been very clear in their evidence outlining their concerns about drug testing income support recipients”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Personal information of income support recipients at risk with private company: Greens

While glad government has finally recognised that the call wait time is outrageous and is putting more staff on, it is very disappointing that these will be contract staff, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Using a private company to reduce Centrelink call wait times holds serious privacy concerns, and staff should be hired within the public sector.

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Greens welcome start of reforms to ensure older Australians are safe in aged care but more needs to be done

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed Government moves to ensure safe, quality aged care, but says more work needs to be done. 

“All sides of politics were shocked by abuses revealed in the Oakden and other scandals, it became clearer than ever that there needed to be a dramatic shake-up to ensure that older Australians were safe in aged care across the country. 

“The reforms announced today are a step in the right direction, particularly plans to establish a national independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. 

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Senate committee tables report on transvaginal mesh implants

Rachel Siewert 28 Mar 2018

The Senate Community Affairs References committee has tabled its report on the risks and impacts of transvaginal mesh implants, which have been carried out since the late 1990’s to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women.

“Many women who have had transvaginal mesh implants have had devastating complications resulting in ongoing emotional trauma, embarrassment, shame, depression, debilitating pain, recurring infection and a poor quality of life.

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Cashless welfare card trial begins in Goldfields WA today

It is a sad day for the WA Goldfields region, with the start today of the rollout of the cashless welfare card, said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

“Thanks to the Government and the Nick Xenophon Team, today letters are being sent in the Goldfields region informing residents that they will be put onto the paternalistic cashless welfare card. 

“We Greens fought hard to stop the cashless welfare card trials being expanded, and although we managed to stave off a site in Queensland, my home state of WA has become the home of another trial site. 

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Too precious to lose: Burrup Peninsula World Heritage Listing 

The Australian Greens welcome the tabling of the report into the Protection of Aboriginal rock art of the Burrup Peninsula which was referred to inquiry over one year ago. 
“The Burrup Peninsula is the most incredible living art gallery containing millions of petroglyphs that record human occupation of this area for up to 40,000 years, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia said today. 

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