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Crossbench Joins Government to vote down Greens attempt to disallow punitive jobseeker measures

Last night the crossbench had the opportunity to reduce some of the harsh impacts of the Welfare Reform Bill that passed the Parliament in March this year by supporting the Greens’ disallowance motions on some of the legislative instruments that implement some of the measures. Measures that punish people in our community, simply because they are out of work or have a an addiction, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens will seek to compel Government to release KPMG report that claims Serco call centre workers are doing “better” than Centrelink staff

The Australian Greens want answers and transparency on why on there is such a wide gap between what the Government is saying their “secret” KPMG report says about Serco call centre works and Centrelink staff are actually reporting.

“We know that Centrelink is hitting a crisis point and things are getting worse and worse but the Government is trying to hide behind their secret reports. We want that report released and will move an order for production of documents for its release,  Australian Greens spokesperson on community services Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Foodbank funding cuts are callous and cruel and will affect young people and those in remote regions

The Australian Greens are deeply concerned for those that will be impacted by the significant funding cuts to Foodbank announced last week.

"These are callous and unnecessary cuts that will have a significant impact on children, young people and those living in remote and regional areas, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

"The reality we have at the moment in this country is a Government who targets those with the least to make small "savings", right before Christmas. 

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Grattan Institute report points to where we should focus more attention for older Australians

The Money in retirement: More than enough report has found that most Australians will have sufficient savings and income into retirement, while those at risk of retiring in poverty are older Australians in the private rental market.

“This report really puts into context Mr Morrison’s comments that he would give an increase to pensioners before people on Newstart. Mr Morrison should not be playing off one group of people on income support against another, Australian Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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ANAO audit finds Human Services Quality Framework “less than effective”

An ANAO audit has found that the Department of Human Services has been “less than effective” in designing and implementing a Quality Framework that achieves its strategic purpose of a consistent and integrated approach to delivering quality services.

“It’s hardly a revelation that the Department of Human Services is “less than effective” at delivery of integrated and quality services, but ANAO has effectively confirmed what people depending on their services have been saying for a long time.  

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Damaging political game of pitting groups against each other is electioneering at its worst

Politics has stooped so low that the Government is now pitting people in our community against each other to win votes, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Earlier this week it was disabled people vs. farmers, now it’s pensioners vs. people looking for work.

 “Wasn’t it Mr Morrison, who as Treasurer was strongly pushing raising the pension age to 70?

"I recall questions over that at Estimates just last week.

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Senate inquiry hears Jobactive is not fit for purpose, a form of “institutional abuse” and needs urgent reform

Evidence heard at the senate inquiry into the jobactive program today has revealed a punitive system that is not getting people into long term employment and is causing distress and humiliation.  

“I referred this issue to inquiry because I have heard of too many experiences of people not getting the help they need, living in poverty unable to find work, next to no support in a competitive job market and an extremely punitive compliance framework.  

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Labor still hedging their bets on raising Newstart and addressing poverty

Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale today said Labor was clearly feeling the heat on Newstart, with an internal document showing cracks starting to appear in their continued refusal to back any raise to the payment.

“It’s good that Labor is finally waking up to the reality that $278 a week is simply not enough to live on, but again, they’re not making any promises to fix it,” Dr Di Natale said.

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Australian Greens launch tax overhaul to smash systemic inequality

Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale today has launched the party’s plan to use our tax system to end poverty and inequality, stripping back tax breaks and ending subsidies to Big Business in favour of funding essential services and increasing Newstart for the first time since 1994.

Following a keynote speech at the Australian Council of Social Services National Conference, Dr Di Natale said Australia’s economic growth was not being shared by all.

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Almost 48 million calls to Centrelink have gone unanswered last financial year

47, 950, 425 million calls to Centrelink have reached a busy signal in the last financial year with 5,313,954 being abandoned.

Youth and students are spending the longest average time waiting, currently waiting on hold for 32 and half minutes.

16 460,902 calls to the Families and Parenting line, 15,895,174 calls to the Employment Services line and 7,781,803 calls to the Youth and Students line reached a busy signal in the last financial year.

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