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Greens call on Government to find their heart and stop Jobseeker Coronavirus supplement cut 

The Greens say that it is obscene that the Government is cutting $300 per fortnight from people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance tomorrow while it prepares to give tax cuts to high income earners.
 
Tomorrow the Jobseeker and Youth Allowance payments will be cut by $300 a fortnight when the corona supplement is reduced, condemning 1.8 million people to live on a payment below the poverty line.
 

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Harsh penalties for Jobseekers in the midst of a recession is cruel and unfair 

The Greens have called the Government's plan to bring back harsh penalties for people looking for work on the Jobseeker payment mean spirited and unfair.
 
“This is an approach solely driven by ideology”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
Compliance driven approaches that demonise people on income support do not help them find work. 
 

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Greens welcome announcement that Royal Commission will issue a special report on response to COVID-19 in aged care

The Greens welcome the announcement  that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will issue a special report on the COVID-19 pandemic in aged care ahead of its Final Report
 
“It is very clear that action is needed now to address the failures in the system that has lead to the terrible impact COVID is having and its continuing potential to severely impact aged care residents. We cannot wait until the final report of the Commission is handed down early next year”, Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens call for Government to extend medicare funded mental health telehealth sessions past September

The Greens warn that ending access to telehealth items for mental health care at the end of September will have dire consequences for Australians particularly those in Victoria, in quarantine or COVID hotspots. 
 
Temporary MBS telehealth items for mental health care are due to expire on 30th September, but the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian Medical Association have called for telehealth to be made permanent. 
 

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Senate supports robodebt committee recommendations for Government to explain claims of public interest immunity

The Community Affairs References Committee has tabled its third interim report into Centrelink's Income Compliance Program commonly known as robodebt.

The Senate voted to support the committee recommendations to require the Minister representing the Minister for Government Services to provide an explanation of claims of public interest immunity to the upper house. 

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Rental snapshot show Gov must invest in social housing, retain JobSeeker rate

 The Greens have said that Anglicare Australia’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot update, released today, has shown that only a tiny percentage of rentals (1 percent or less) are affordable for Australians on low incomes, and this will only get worse if the JobSeeker payment is reduced in the coming months. 

 

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Housing spokesperson, said:

 

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Greens will move a second reader amendment to Jobkeeper bill calling for Jobseeker to be kept above the poverty line

 The Greens have circulated a second reading amendment in the Senate to the Government’s Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 seeking the support of the Senate to continue the current rate of the $550 coronavirus supplement. 
 
It is untenable to cut the Jobseeker payment by $300 in September, taking it below the poverty line. 
 
There are 1.8 million people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance and we are looking at a 13% effective unemployment rate by Christmas. 
 

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Juukan Gorge inquiry hears that gag clauses in Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) are “dismantling human rights”

 

The Greens say they are very concerned about gag clauses in participation and land use agreements and the impact they have on the ability of Traditional Owners to raise objections to development proposals. 

“Today we heard from witnesses to the Juukan Gorge inquiry that confidential participation agreements with “gag clauses” negotiated before or during the signing of Land Use Agreements with Traditional Owners are “potentially illegal” and impinge on basic human rights” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on First Nation issues.

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Community has lost confidence in the Government and Minister on aged care

The Greens say that the community has lost confidence in the Government's ability to manage aged care calling their handling of the crisis and failure to take responsibility a debacle.

“Aged care is a debacle in this country,” Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“We have no national coordinating body to address the COVID crisis in aged care.  

“We have a regulator that is not regulating effectively.

“We have a Government failing on workforce.

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