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Government pursues punitive cashless debit card despite no evidence it works. Greens call on Labor to commit to abandoning income management

I am gob smacked by the Morrison Government’s announcement that they will be extending the cashless debit card trails and adding a new site, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

"The Government is falsely claiming there is evidence that these trials are working, the evidence is not there, they are simply pursuing their ideological agenda.

"I as in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay earlier this week and the community is devastated by what this card will mean for them and their children.

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Shorten’s Labor are out of credible excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now

With both major parties in South Australia now supporting an increase to Newstart, Shorten’s Labor are running out of excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now.

“It’s been clear for years and years now that the rate of Newstart is too low. Now with pressure from the community, social service and business sectors, economists, the Greens and now the cross-bench we see that the heat is really on the major parties, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Senate passes motion referring ParentsNext program to inquiry 

 

The Senate has today supported a joint motion from the Greens and ALP to refer the ParentsNext program to inquiry.

“I am really pleased the ParentsNext program has been referred to committee inquiry, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“This will enable us to take a really good look at this program, particularly as my attempts to disallow this punitive program were voted down by the senate earlier this year. 

“The committee process will allow us to hear from the single parents affected, most of whom are women.

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Senate inquiry into rural and remote mental health recommends strategic approach, investment in workforce and community led approaches, particularly in First Nations communities

The senate has today tabled the Community Affairs References committee report into the Accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia.

“Myself and Senator O’Neill referred this issue to inquiry after the Royal Flying Doctor Service released a major report sparking a national conversation around the state of mental health and services in rural and remote regions, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health said.

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Labor’s dirty deal with the Coalition passes the senate leaving migrants to wait four years to access Newstart

The Australian Greens have deep concerns for new migrants granted certain permanent visas after the Promoting Sustainable Welfare Bill (formerly Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants Bill 2018) passed the Senate this evening.

“The Labor party is now complicit in making migrants wait four years to access Newstart and it didn’t have to be this way, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“Let’s make one thing clear, we had the numbers to block this – if Labor had bothered to even ask the Greens and the cross-bench.

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Australians Greens keen to work with parties to increase Newstart

The Australian Greens are heartened to hear that at least some people in the ALP want to raise the woefully low rate of Newstart

“Clearly the pressure is on, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Affairs Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“You’ve got the lower house cross bench supporting this reform, you’ve got the social services sector, Australian people, the business community and as we all know, John Howard calling for an increase.

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Labor does dirty deal with the Coalition that will leave migrants waiting four years to access Newstart

“The Australian Greens have deep concerns for new migrants granted certain permanent visas after the Promoting Sustainable Welfare Bill (formerly Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants Bill 2018) was rushed through the House.

“Once again we have legislation by stealth – here we have one bill, Encouraging Self-Sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants – magically turned into the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) Bill 2018 with significant amendments dumped on the cross-bench at the very last minute.

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Greens: Constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament before we vote on becoming a republic

The Australian Greens support First Nations peoples and their calls for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament before Australians are asked to vote in a plebiscite on whether to become a republic.

“We can’t move to become a republic before we have justice for First Nations peoples, that includes enshrining the Voice before we vote on a republic. We have unfinished business in this country that must be addressed. 

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Senate passes Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill but rejects human rights based approach

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill 2018 has today passed the Senate with Government amendments addressing concerns raised by the Greens and stakeholders during the committee process.

“While the Greens supported the Bill and were pleased to see the Government amend it, we are disappointed that some important areas remain unaddressed, such as specifically referencing older Australian’s human rights and reporting on staff numbers, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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