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Government pursues punitive cashless debit card despite no evidence it works. Greens call on Labor to commit to abandoning income management

I am gob smacked by the Morrison Government’s announcement that they will be extending the cashless debit card trails and adding a new site, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

"The Government is falsely claiming there is evidence that these trials are working, the evidence is not there, they are simply pursuing their ideological agenda.

"I as in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay earlier this week and the community is devastated by what this card will mean for them and their children.

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Shorten’s Labor are out of credible excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now

With both major parties in South Australia now supporting an increase to Newstart, Shorten’s Labor are running out of excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now.

“It’s been clear for years and years now that the rate of Newstart is too low. Now with pressure from the community, social service and business sectors, economists, the Greens and now the cross-bench we see that the heat is really on the major parties, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Australian Greens welcome Triple j holding firm on moving Hottest 100 countdown

The Australian Greens have welcomed Triple j holding firm on their commitment to move their Hottest 100 countdown from January 26.

“More and more people in our community, as well as organisations and institutions around the country are joining the movement for justice, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Senate votes down Greens motion to Change the Date, despite another year of growing community momentum

I’m disappointed that the Senate has voted down my motion calling on the Government to consult with First Nations communities to change the day we celebrate Australia.

“We have seen some exciting developments this year with more local councils and community leaders working for justice in their communities.

“It’s disappointing that after the strong community support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the tabling of the report on Constitutional Recognition just last week that the major parties won’t even commit to this small step.

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Senate passes motion referring ParentsNext program to inquiry 


The Senate has today supported a joint motion from the Greens and ALP to refer the ParentsNext program to inquiry.

“I am really pleased the ParentsNext program has been referred to committee inquiry, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“This will enable us to take a really good look at this program, particularly as my attempts to disallow this punitive program were voted down by the senate earlier this year. 

“The committee process will allow us to hear from the single parents affected, most of whom are women.

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Senate inquiry into rural and remote mental health recommends strategic approach, investment in workforce and community led approaches, particularly in First Nations communities

The senate has today tabled the Community Affairs References committee report into the Accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia.

“Myself and Senator O’Neill referred this issue to inquiry after the Royal Flying Doctor Service released a major report sparking a national conversation around the state of mental health and services in rural and remote regions, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health said.

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Labor’s dirty deal with the Coalition passes the senate leaving migrants to wait four years to access Newstart

The Australian Greens have deep concerns for new migrants granted certain permanent visas after the Promoting Sustainable Welfare Bill (formerly Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants Bill 2018) passed the Senate this evening.

“The Labor party is now complicit in making migrants wait four years to access Newstart and it didn’t have to be this way, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“Let’s make one thing clear, we had the numbers to block this – if Labor had bothered to even ask the Greens and the cross-bench.

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Australians Greens keen to work with parties to increase Newstart

The Australian Greens are heartened to hear that at least some people in the ALP want to raise the woefully low rate of Newstart

“Clearly the pressure is on, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Affairs Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“You’ve got the lower house cross bench supporting this reform, you’ve got the social services sector, Australian people, the business community and as we all know, John Howard calling for an increase.

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