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World Mental Health Day: Mental Health is Everyone’s Business

The Australian Greens are reminding people on World Mental Health day that everyone has mental health and that we need to pay as much attention to it as our physical health. 

"Mental health needs to be everyone’s business, we all need to focus on mental health from a personal and community level. Unfortunately there is still far too much stigma associated with mental illness as if mental health is about other people, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Mental Health said. 

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Our community needs an urgent raise to Newstart, not tax cuts for the wealthy

Using the "improved budget position" to give tax cuts to the wealthy is yet another vote buying exercise and election pitch for an increasingly  desperate Government.

"Once again the Coalition's agenda is crystal clear, shoring up support for the next election rather than doing their job to ensure that no one in our wealthy country is living in poverty, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“The Government should be investing in our social security system and increasing Newstart and Youth Allowance.

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Minister refuses to answer whether he could live on Newstart: $38 a day

Minster Fifield, in Question Time today has refused to answer whether or not he could live on the $38 a day Newstart payment.

“As per usual, the Government trots out their lines “Newstart is a payment designed for people transitioning into work.”

“This is an utter fallacy, the jobs are simply not there. In May 2018, there were eight unemployed or under-employed people for every job vacancy.

“46% of Newstart recipients are on the payment for over two years.

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$2 increase to Newstart is beyond a joke

“I’m astounded that the Government thought that Newstart rising through indexation by $2.20 – or about 30c a day – to $275.10 a week will make a difference to people trying to survive on Newstart, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“It’s not news that the Government is out of touch with the community and their cost of living struggles. But saying that a $2 increase to Newstart is going to “help people keep up with cost of living” is a new low, you would think it was a joke if this issue wasn’t so serious.  

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Waiting for a Centrelink payment should not be the reason women and children are stuck in violent homes

Statistics showing poverty traps people in family violence is yet another example of how our government, through the income support system is failing our community.

Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said:

“It is unacceptable that women trying to escape violence are having to wait for Centrelink to process their claim.

"Women report having to wait months for their claim to be processed and the changes to the hardship provisions have not made the process easier.

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Addressing dangerously low aged care staffing has to be a Government priority

“I’m sure that anyone watching the Four Corners Report on aged care last night was deeply distressed by what they saw and heard.

“What was clear from the Four Corner report, is that not only is the abuse and neglect outlined deeply distressing for older Australians and their families but that staff are also in extreme distress at not being able to provide the care they want” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Ageing said today.

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Newstart could have a $75 a week increase by the end of October

The Greens have a bill before Parliament right now that would increase Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 a week.

“Newstart hasn’t been increased since 1994 – this is a significant policy failure by successive Governments that must be urgently fixed, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“We don’t need a review, we don’t need an audit, we need action.

“We have the opportunity to get it done when my bill is debated in October- what are we waiting for?

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