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Stimulus package has significant holes that leave people on low incomes vulnerable

The Greens say that the Government’s response to supporting people on low incomes and income support is piecemeal and will leave vulnerable people behind. 
"I’m deeply concerned about families on Newstart with children and parents on parenting payment single - there is no additional payment for children in the stimulus package which will seriously hurt these families. There needs to be an additional payment for each child," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Government should consider delaying rollout of new Jobseeker Payment as Centrelink workload will increase with COVID-19 response roll out

From March 20, 2020 Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Wife Pension, Bereavement Allowance and Widow B Pension will cease and most recipients of these payments will transition to Jobseeker Payment, Age Pension or Carer Payment.
“I am very concerned that the Centrelink system will be under additional strain as casual workers are forced to self-isolate and will be applying for either an emergency payment, Newstart or the former sickness payment," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Estimates reveals only 28 people have been successfully exempted from Cashless Debit card out of 859 applications

Only 28 people have had their applications to be exempted from the cashless debit card approved out of a total of 859 applications.
“These applications were only processed in the two weeks before Estimates, despite the exemption process officially being in place since July 2019 although not operational until sometime after that.
“Why has it take the Department so long to start processing these applications and can the remaining hundreds of people expect to hear soon about their application?

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Services Australia refuses to tell Estimates how many robodebts are impacted by income averaging

“Questions to Services Australia in Estimates this evening have made it clear that there is no justice in sight for victims of the Government’s illegal robodebt program,” Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“The Government using the on-going legal case over illegal Robodebts to refuse to release details of the process for reassessment of income averaging is outrageous.

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Lack of sick leave a coronavirus ‘ticking time bomb’, stimulus payments needed: Greens

Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP and Greens Community Services spokesperson Rachel Siewert have called on the government to extend the Disaster Recovery Allowance to those affected by the coronavirus, especially those without sick leave.

The Greens have also called for any government stimulus to be targeted to support low-income Australians, support coronavirus resilience and be a more effective response to the threat of recession.

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:

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Government should use projected $2.1 billion in savings from Bill passed today towards compensating victims of illegal robodebts

The Australian Greens are concerned that there will be a rushed start of the Simplified Income Reporting measure coming in on 1 July this year as a result of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Income Reporting and Other Measures) Bill 2020 passing through the Senate today.

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Greens appalled by RSL WA decision to ban Welcome to Country 

The Greens have labelled the RSL WA’s decision to ban the performance of Welcome to Country ceremonies and the flying of the Aboriginal flag at all of its ANZAC and Remembrance Day services as offensive and hurtful.

“This is First Nations land and many First Nations peoples served this nation. The RSL should be part of leading our nation as an inclusive and welcoming organisation,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues said. 

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