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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues

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Heartbreaking lack of leadership on Referendum Council Recommendations

I welcome the joint statement led by Fiona Stanley and ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie, and signed by over 1000 prominent Australians calling on Mr Turnbull to rethink his decision to reject the proposal by the Referendum Council for a voice to Parliament.

“This could be a moment that brings our country together, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The vast majority of Australians want to see progress and a positive way forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Government out of touch with Community Support for Referendum Council

News that polling has been done that shows strong support for an Aboriginal "voice" to Parliament makes a mockery of the Government's claim that such a proposal would not get popular support, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today. 

"At Estimates last Friday I asked Minister Scullion how he and his colleagues had arrived at the opinion that the Australian people would reject a referendum on constitutional reform for a ‘voice” to Parliament.

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Mr Turnbull is utterly failing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

We have heard in Estimates this morning that Minister Scullion thought it  “most unfortunate” that the cabinet brief on the Referendum Council was leaked.

“What is “most unfortunate” is how this Government has failed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by dismissing the Referendum Council’s recommendation for a Voice to Parliament.

"Before making the decision to dimiss the concept the Government didn't consult or talk to key Aboriginal bodies or representatives, nor go back to the Co-chairs of the Council.

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Coalition cannot let Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Down

I am deeply distressed by news that Cabinet has reportedly rejected the Referendum Council's proposal for Constitutional reform for 'the voice', Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“If Cabinet has rejected this reform it makes a mockery of the Government's claim that they will listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Referendum Council's recommendation was unanimously supported by the First Nations' delegates that met at Uluru and produced the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

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Australian Government must do better on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Rights

The Government has got to listen to the Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT (APO NT) and involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in a transparent process of reform of the discriminatory Commonwealth Development Program.

"The Commonwealth Development Program is a discriminatory program that is financially penalising Aboriginal people more harshly than those on the other work for the dole program, that is not producing the results and causing disastrous outcomes for communities, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Australian Greens welcome ex gratia payment and formal apology to the family of Ms Dhu

The Australian Greens welcome the WA State Government’s ex gratia payment and formal apology to the family of Ms Dhu.

“Although this will not bring back Ms Dhu and the family will continue to experience deep grief from her avoidable death, I hope these steps made by the McGowan Government offers some solace.

“Moves to implement a comprehensive Custody Notification Service in Western Australia are a welcome step and I agree that Aboriginal deaths in custody will dramatically reduce or stop altogether once implemented. This has been evidenced interstate.

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Australian Greens welcome City of Moreland’s change the date push

I welcome the City of Moreland joining the push to change the date of Australia Day to ensure everyone is welcome, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“It is clear that the current date for Australia Day is seen as a day of invasion for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is considered a day of grieving for many.

“We are kind and inclusive nation and simply moving the day to a date where everyone can celebrate this wonderful country makes sense. 

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Crimes have significantly increased in Kununurra since the cashless welfare card was introduced: Australian Greens

Crimes statistics indicate a significant increase in robbery and threatening behaviour in Kununurra since the cashless welfare card trial was introduced in the community, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.   

“In figures provided by the WA police we have seen a marked increase in non-aggravated robbery offences, theft, and threatening behaviour in the period that the card was introduced.

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Australian Greens welcome City of Yarra in Change the Date efforts

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed City of Yarra getting behind changing the date for Australia Day, with citizenship ceremonies moved to another day and the council not referring to January 26 as Australia Day.

“Our First Australians have been saying for a long time that January 26 is a day of pain because it is historically the day of invasion.
“The Federal Government has forced local councils to take matters into their own hands because they are terrified of moving the day so that all are included in celebrating wonderful Australia.

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Discussions of a Custody Notification Service in WA welcome

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed commencement of discussions with the Federal Government over funding for a Custody Notification Service (CNS). 

“I'm very pleased to see the WA Attorney General’s interest in introducing a Custody Notification Service (CNS) in WA to drive down Aboriginal deaths in custody in the state”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“The Custody Notification Service operating in NSW has effectively stopped Aboriginal deaths in custody in New South Wales (NSW) since implementation in 2000. 

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