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Punishing families for truancy destined to fail

"It is clear from Senate question time today that the Government has not thought through the impacts of their planned welfare quarantining trials for truancy," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"In the Senate today, the Government admitted that the trial was not limited to the suburb of Cannington, as originally stated. Instead, the trial extends across the Cannington Centrelink district, which includes the suburbs of South Guilford, Burswood, Victoria Park, South Perth, Queens Park, Belmont, Bentley, Rossmoyne, Welshpool and Canning Vale."

"I would hope that the Federal Government is aware of the past failed trials of such measures in Western Australia, such as the Halls Creek trial."

"The Government were also unable to answer my questions about the support services that are in place for the families that have had their payments suspended, particularly for those that have more than one child," said Senator Siewert.

The Greens WA also expressed their concerns about the proposed welfare quarantining trials.

Greens WA candidate for the South Metropolitan Region Lynn MacLaren said today: "I am concerned about the capacity of community services and charities to cope with an increase in demand for help from families who have had their payments suspended. These organisations already help well over 400,000 people who are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living in WA."

"It is worrying that the Government is rolling out a discriminatory new system across the whole country without proper data, and are failing to learn from existing programs which haven't worked," said Senator Siewert.

"Rather than attempting to punish struggling, low-income families, the Government should be focusing on the underlying causes of increased truancy and delivering a real education revolution so that kids want to be at school," concluded Senator Siewert.

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