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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Uncertain future for regional staff under NHT

"The future of staff employed by Catchment Councils and regional natural resource management groups remains uncertain," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Senate Estimates today learnt that the new government has yet to decide on the changing direction of the third round of funding for the National Heritage Trust."

"There is no date set for a decision and there are no transitional arrangements in place to help organisations to keep on staff and survive a break in funding," she said.

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Support not punishment for welfare system

The report released yesterday by the Mental Health Council of Australia, Let's Get to Work, is further confirmation of the wrong-headed and damaging approach of the Government's Welfare to Work laws.

"As with many of the Government's policies, welfare to work is not grounded in the evidence of what actually works to assist people with disabilities, including mental illness, into work, but rather is an ideological assault on some of the most vulnerable in our society," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens hold forum on Women & IR

In December 2006 the Howard Government rushed into law two pieces of legislation that are having a disastrous effect on many women in our community - Work Choices and Welfare to Work.

Tomorrow, the Australian Greens are holding a forum to look at the impacts of Work Choices and Welfare to Work on women and consider the best way forward for new fairer industrial relations and welfare systems.

"Work Choices and Welfare to Work are leaving many Australian women with no choices," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Government ignores single mums

The Australian Greens today blasted the Government for their treatment of single mothers.

"The Howard Government's latest announcement of an increase in the Pensioners and Carers Utility Allowance merely highlights their disregard for the single parents in this country (85% of whom are single mothers)," said Senator Rachel Siewert, the Greens spokesperson on community services, today.

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Women left with no choices

"Work Choices and Welfare to Work are leaving many Australian women with no choices", said Senator Rachel Siewert.

Each of these two measures, Work Choices and Welfare to Work, are hurting women. Together they represent a direct attack on a particularly vulnerable group in our community.

"The research is clearly showing that women are losing out under Work Choices through poorer working condition and less pay."

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Sunday Rally: JET child care changes unfair

From 1 July last year, child-care fee assistance under the Jobs Education and Training program (JET) was cut back to only include courses of study or training of up to 12 months for new participants.

"Through this system, the Government is disadvantaging single parents (most of whom are women) who are trying to get a better education so they can provide a better future for their children," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Unemployment figures highlight need for new data

Today's release of monthly unemployment figures highlight the need for the development of new data to enable a proper examination of the employment situation in Australia according to Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The figures released today point to a trend that has concerned me for some time and that is the growing level of underemployment in Australia," Senator Siewert stated.

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Family Care

I am constantly amazed at the Howard Government's lack of interest in the real care and education of our children. Cutting corners on the health and well-being of today's generation of children is a false economy, as the consequence costs to society of poorer lifetime health and lower educational achievements and social engagement are massive. There is a need to focus on areas such as paid parental leave, childcare and early childhood education, and work/life balance provisions within our workplace relations system as ways in which these outcomes can be achieved.

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