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Family, Ageing and Community Services

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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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Senate passes motion compelling Government to provide report on Serco Centrelink call centre workers  

The Senate has today supported a Greens motion for the Minster to provide the independent review by KPMG of the Serco pilot program at Centrelink by 26 November.

“If the Government is going to use this report to justify expanding the outsourcing of Centrelink jobs to private contractors, then the public need to see it, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on family and community service said today.

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Greens welcome Foodbank funding reverse but more must be done to address food insecurity with income inequality on the rise 

The Australian Greens welcome the Government’s back tracking on their cruel and callous funding cuts to Foodbank.  

“The cuts were outrageous and it boggles the mind that the Government thought they could get away with cutting funding from Foodbank, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“This is an appalling approach to policy making – seeing what you can get away with and then reversing the cuts when there is public outcry.

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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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