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BLOCKED VACCINE SHIPMENT MAKES THE CASE FOR DOMESTIC PRODUCTION

The Greens say that halted shipments of Astra Zeneca vaccines from Europe show the risks of relying on international supply chains to inoculate Australians, extending their call for the government to establish a publicly-owned vaccine production centre.

News of a quarter of a million doses due for Australia being blocked has exposed the risks caused by the privatisation and winding down of Australia’s domestic vaccine production capabilities over decades.

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$25 a week is a cruel joke

Today is an extremely distressing day for the 1.5 million people on the JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments who have now had confirmation that the Morrison Government has made the cruel decision to condemn them to poverty. 
 
$44 a day is not enough to live on. This will mean people going without meals, without medication, without the funds to pay for heating or cooling.
 
This should not be happening in a country as wealthy as Australia.
 
This is an appalling slap in the face for all those people trying to survive on Jobseeker.
 

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We need a new approach to quarantine

Rachel Siewert 18 Feb 2021

The Greens say quarantine facilities need to be established out of cities and that facilities must be publicly funded and run. 

“Our hotel quarantine system needs to be watertight. The UK, South Africa, Brazil variants are becoming the dominant variants in other parts of the world and we must keep these from getting out into our community”, Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said

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Mr Morrison must stop playing games with Jobseeker’s lives and announce a permanent increase to Jobseeker

The Greens say a so-called employment insurance scheme is an appalling idea and that Mr Morrison is being cruel to people on the Jobseeker payment, drip feeding potential plans for the JobSeeker payment through media leaks.

“This so-called insurance scheme would make an already appalling system worse, further entrenching poverty and homelessness”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“This concept is based on the assumption that has been disproven time and again, that poverty is an incentive to finding work. 

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Greens welcome AstraZeneca approval but say further diversity is needed. 

Rachel Siewert 18 Feb 2021

The Greens welcome the news that AstraZeneca has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia.
 
“However we cannot put all our eggs in one basket. It’s clear with differing rates of efficacy and with new Covid-19 strains developing that we must continue to expand and diversify Australia’s vaccine portfolio”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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Prime Minister and Cabinet must show leadership and urgently ensure that aged care around Australia is prepared

Questions to Prime Minster and Cabinet today at the COVID hearing have shown that despite the aged care crisis the Government is not doing enough to ensure that all aged care providers around Australia are completely prepared. 
 
"It’s pretty obvious that prevention is better than cure and after speaking to the Department today I have very little confidence that they are taking an appropriate leadership role. 
 
"We cannot just wait around, rely on self assessment by providers on their readiness for an outbreak, there needs to be action around the country. 
 

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13 percent effective unemployment rate means Government must commit to a long term Jobseeker rate above poverty line and break its addiction to making life hard for people on income support

The Greens say that the Government's failure to deliver certainty to people on income support is cruel and unfair and undermines confidence in the economy.
 
"The Government should abandon its plans to cut the Jobseeker supplement by $300 at the end of September and increase Jobseeker permanently", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 
Keeping Jobseeker above the poverty line will save people's lives and their livelihoods.
 

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Government should drop plans to reintroduce the liquid assets test 

The Greens are calling on the Government to drop their plans to reintroduce the liquid assets tests saying it is unfair, will cause significant hardship and discriminates against the newly unemployed.

The reintroduction of the liquid assets test in September will see many people who have just lost their jobs having to wear down their savings before they can access a weekly income. 

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