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Australian Government must do better on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Rights

The Government has got to listen to the Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT (APO NT) and involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in a transparent process of reform of the discriminatory Commonwealth Development Program.

"The Commonwealth Development Program is a discriminatory program that is financially penalising Aboriginal people more harshly than those on the other work for the dole program, that is not producing the results and causing disastrous outcomes for communities, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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We cannot sacrifice quality in a race to get people signed up to the NDIS

The Government needs to act immediately on the Productivity Commission findings including planning for a new timeline for the NDIS rollout, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Many people including the Greens have been raising the issues outlined in the Productivity Commission report for a long time now, and our concerns have been ignored for far too long.

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Senate supports Greens motion condemning engagement of Serco contractors to address Centrelink woes

The Senate has supported a Greens motion condemning the engagment of Serco and calling on the Government to commit to reinstating the nearly 1200 jobs cut from the Department of Human Services in the 2017-18 Budget.  

“There was deep concern in the community when the Government announced it had engaged a private contractor to staff a Centrelink call centre. Centrelink missed 42 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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Australia’s credibility on world stage on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues lacking

Australia’s election to the Human Rights Council will shine a harsh light on our country’s treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Australia’s record when it comes to closing the gap and addressing injustices to our First Peoples shows that we are failing to deliver on our human rights responsibilities for Australia’s First People.

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A functional Centrelink is key to tackling poverty

This afternoon the Senate had the opportunity to speak on the Government’s response to the Centrelink robo-debt Inquiry which was tabled out of session last month.

“Given that it is Anti-Poverty week it was quite poignant that we were discussing the Government's appalling approach to some of the most vulnerable members of our community who were subject to the robo-debt debacle, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Another outrageous attack on our social safety net

It is outrageous that the Government will be staffing Centrelink call centres with private contractors, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 
 
“While it seems that the Government is finally admitting that staffing of Centrelink call centres is inadequate, it is beyond comprehension that they would seek to ameliorate this problem through employing private contractors.
 
“We saw how that worked out when they contracted private debt collectors. 
 

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Government response to Centrelink Robo-Debt Inquiry shows contempt for the people affected

The Government response to the Centrelink robo-debt Inquiry report is grossly inadequate and shows contempt for the thousands of Australians affected by this debacle, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"It is frankly insulting to the people who gave evidence at the inquiry to be referred to in this response as third parties looking to score political points. The comments that the Chair's report relied on evidence that was inaccurate is insulting to those who gave evidence.

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