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Time for a different approach to school truancy: Greens

The Australian Greens today called on Federal Minister Jenny Macklin to cancel punitive truancy welfare trials in the Northern Territory, following indications that the Western Australian Government might not go ahead with trials in selected suburbs of Perth.

"I welcome WA Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney's comments this week that her Government would not support the trial because they are concerned it could increase crime and leave children hungry," Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said.

"With vocal opposition for these trials from WA Ministers, Minister Macklin should reconsider using the same approach in the Northern Territory."

"These trials fail to address the underlying causes of non-attendance and only further undermine families in need of support," Senator Siewert said.

"Both the Territory and Federal Governments are ignoring attendance strategies developed in the NT ten years ago but never implemented."

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

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