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National Agreement on Closing the Gap targets are a significant and welcomed improvement but we must see plan for funding

The Greens welcome the steps towards a co-design and community led decision making and control by First Nations organisations in the Closing the Gap Partnerships.
“It is long overdue that the peak First Nations organisations had a seat at the table,” Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens call for Government to fund pandemic leave for all aged care workers across the country 

The Greens say that Australians are losing confidence in the aged care sector and that the Federal Government should stop at nothing to protect the most vulnerable Australians in aged care. This includes ensuring pandemic funding for all aged care workers if they need it.
“We keep hearing this narrative blaming workers for coming to work sick but the Federal Government is not taking enough action to ensure that workers are able to afford to stay home if they are sick,” Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Raising the age of criminal responsibility would show that Aboriginal Lives do matter 

The Greens have called the decision by the Council of Attorney Generals to defer the decision of raising the age of criminal responsibility a failure of justice and compassion.
“It’s deeply disappointing when we are in a moment of public consciousness about the impacts of state sanctioned criminalisation and violence against First Nations peoples that Governments have failed to act on a tangible policy change that would make such a difference to closing the gap and justice for First Nations peoples. 

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Reintroducing harsh means testing for Jobseeker is mean spirited and unfair and will leave older Australians to retire into poverty 

The Greens say reintroducing the assets test and liquid asset test is mean spirited and unfair in the midst of a recession and have called on the Government to continue to waive these tests until the employment market has more jobs and we are through this crisis.
"The reintroduction of the assets tests will mean those that lost work at the beginning of the pandemic and are on Jobseeker could lose income support in September", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.  

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21 July 2020

Greens Leader Adam Bandt and spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert have responded to today's announcement that the government has agreed to Labor’s proposal to cut JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, even as unemployment soars and the Covid outbreak continues in Victoria and NSW. 

This is being billed as an extension, but the reality for millions of Australians, many of whom are still under lockdown, is that this is a cut in vital income support.

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Greens have deep concerns about robodebt refund process

The Greens are deeply concerned about how Services Australia plans to refund illegal robodebts saying the process is too slow and unfair.

“People have been put through so much by this illegal program and now they have to wait longer for their refund with some people owed money being paid back by installment,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“The Government has not made it clear what constitutes a debt of a 'larger amount' or why money is to be refunded in installments.”

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Greens welcome greater focus on First Nations Self Determination

“I’m very pleased to see the reports that First Nations peoples will have power, responsibility and funding over health directions and decisions under the new Closing the Gap approach – this has been a long time coming” Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations Issues, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Self-determination is critical to Closing the Gap”.

“I am so glad that the proposed agreement has a greater focus on First Nations self determination. First Nations peoples have been calling for this for a very long time yet the system has continuously failed them.” 

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Greens support naming of organisations not signing up for Redress and want cutting of tax concessions

“The Greens support the naming of the 6 organisations who have failed to sign up to the National Redress Scheme. The Greens also support the revoking of tax concessions and charity status for organisations who choose not to participate in the scheme and deny justice for survivors.” Senator Siewert, the Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

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Morrison back to his old myths and tropes surrounding Jobseeker

"The PM'S claims that the Jobseeker rate is discouraging people from working is a regression to old myths and tropes used to demonise people who are accessing income support." Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

"The Government is trying to restart their campaign against people who need to access income support." 

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