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Schooling Requirements Bill

The Australian Greens believe that the best educational and social outcomes for Australian families and their children will be achieved if the children are enrolled in and regularly attending school and actively participating in an education that is relevant to their lives, their culture and their aspirations. However, we do not believe that this is what the Social Security and Veterans' Entitlements Legislation Amendment (Schooling Requirements) Bill 2008 is all about. This bill is not a genuine attempt to deliver educational engagement.

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School Requirements Bill needs rethink

The Australian Greens today called on the Government to withdraw the School Requirements Bill, saying that it is poor legislation, lacks an evidence base and contradicts the Governments social inclusion agenda.

"The Greens today tabled a dissenting report in the Senate following the Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the Bill. Evidence to the Committee was overwhelmingly opposed to this punitive approach to school attendance. There is simply no evidence to support this approach," said Senator Siewert.

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Coercive interventions without family support doomed to fail

The Australian Greens today welcomed the launch of ‘Contexts of Child Development - Culture, Policy and Intervention' by the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.

"This work clearly demonstrates why ungrounded coercive approaches like the Northern Territory Intervention and the upcoming welfare truancy trials are doomed to fail from the very start," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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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."

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Truancy & Welfare Quarantining

I would like to speak about the legislation that was tabled in the House of Representatives today that deals with truancy. The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today tabled a bill in the House of Representatives that gives the government the power to cut off or even cancel welfare payments to parents whose children do not attend school. Julia Gillard is the Minister for Education and the Minister for Social Inclusion.

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Greens will oppose Truancy Bill in Senate

The Australian Greens today responded the Rudd Government's bill to allow welfare payments being cut, by vowing to oppose the passage of the legislation in the Senate.

"It is telling that the first piece of legislation Julia Gillard has introduced to enact the promised ‘education revolution' in our schools is a punitive and populist measure that targets the families of disadvantaged children - and is likely to make their lives all the harder," said Senator Siewert today.

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