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Greens call on future Government to retain the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program  

The Australian Greens have today expressed strong support for the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program and said that it essential that any future Government retains it as a separate program and increase funding.

“ILAP is absolutely best placed to deliver justice for First Nations peoples and it was ridiculous that the Government ignored the recommendations of its own independent review to keep First Nations Legal Services as a standalone program,” Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens launch transformative youth mental health policy

The Australian Greens have unveiled a comprehensive suite of policies that will support young Australians to access high quality mental health services wherever they live.

“Around one in four young people have a mental health condition. Of those who develop a mental health condition in their lifetime, 50% do so before they are 14, and 75% before they are 25. That’s why the Greens are strongly committed to early intervention and prevention,” Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Raising Newstart now an election issue

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today that after over a decade of campaigning for an increase to the Newstart rate, it was refreshing to finally see it become an election issue.

“At long last the dire poverty that people on Newstart are condemned to live in is being recognised, now it must be turned into action," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“I’ve introduced four private members bills to increase Newstart since I’ve been in Parliament. 

“The community know it is not acceptable that this payment hasn’t been raised for 25 years.

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Government and ALP combine to gag debate and rush racist, punitive cashless debit card extension through the Senate

The ALP was tonight complicit in extending a social experiment on the people of Ceduna, the East Kimberley and the Goldfields by rubber stamping the Government’s extension to the Cashless Debit Card for another year.
 
“This is a sad day for people in our community who are suffering  on a coercive, controlling card that flies in the face of self-determination, Senator Rachel Siewert, Spokesperson on First Nations issues said today.
  
“How can the ALP stomach let alone support this type of policy approach?
 

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Projected budget surplus comes at expense of people on lowest incomes  

The Australian Greens said people on the lowest incomes have been ignored in the budget which has projected a so-called "surplus" at the expense of people doing it tough.

“It is as if this is a budget for a world where people on Newstart don’t exist. They didn’t get the increase in payment so desperatley needed and people on Newstart don’t get the $75 energy bribe.

 “Meanwhile, high income earners get permanent so called ‘tax relief’.

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Even more evidence that increase to Newstart makes economic sense

Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government must stop ignoring the advice of independent experts like the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling and Deloitte Access Economics who say that an increase to Newstart makes economic sense and would stimulate the economy.

“Deloitte said that an increase to Newstart by $75 a week would be a better use of Government money than the second tranche of personal tax cuts,” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.

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Overwhelming evidence that ParentsNext should not continue in current form

Following the findings of the Senate inquiry into ParentsNext the Australian Greens are calling for the ParentsNext program to cease operating in its current form.

“The ParentsNext program must be made voluntary and the punitive, coercive demerit point system abolished” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.

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Government continues its attack on people on income support - No evidence for Cashless Debit Card 

Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government had once again displayed its contempt of people on income support by extending the Cashless Debit Card and increasing the pressure of the robodebt program.

"The Government has defied logic and displayed contempt for both experts and people on income support in committing millions of dollars of public money to extend the Cashless Debit Card, a program that simply does not work," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Government's new "digital platform" not the saviour of flawed Jobactive program   

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today said she has little confidence that a transition to a digital platform and other measures announced today will go any way to addressing the broken jobactive system.  

"For a start anyone who has spoken to or at least listened to someone on Newstart would know that it is very difficult for people to actually afford internet services and smart phones. 

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