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Family, Ageing and Community Services

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Minister must urgently act to ensure food security in remote communities

Existing issues of price gouging and difficulty in accessing supplies in remote communities is an ongoing issue that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis with reports that First Nations families in remote communities are spending up to 93 percent of their weekly income on food.

"I’m hearing accounts of scarcity, difficulty and inability to access even basic supplies and high prices from many remote communities", Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Senate committee recommends an increase to JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment 

The Senate Community Affairs References committee has recommended an increase to the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment  rates to ensure people do not live in poverty.

"This report clearly indicates that the pre-covid payment rates for Jobseekers, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment do not support an acceptable minimum standard of living", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Change is possible when you tell the truth: Captain Cook did not “discover” Australia

"First Nations peoples and nations had lived here on the land now known as Australia for more than 60,000 years before the Endeavour dropped anchor and this country was founded on a false doctrine of terra nullius.

"For First Nations peoples Cook’s voyage was the most consequential encounter by early European explorers as it heralded the beginning of a fundamental change to their way of life.

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Employment Service Program needs urgent reform

The Greens say that the Government must urgently reform the employment provider system to ensure that the system is fit for purpose and that job providers are not using the influx of new clients as an opportunity to turn massive profits.
"It’s been clear for years now that employment services are not fit for purpose and do not meet the needs of jobseekers. 
"The Government did not adequately address the issues following the 2019 Senate inquiry that overwhelmingly demonstrated that the jobactive system is failing unemployed workers. 

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COVID Committee reveals Treasury were not asked to do any modelling on providing the COVID supplement for people on DSP or carer payment

Questions to the Treasury during the Select Committee on COVID-19 hearing today revealed that they were not asked to and nor did they do any modelling on providing the COVID supplement to people on DSP and carer payments. 

"At the moment, people on DSP and carer payments are feeling left behind by this Government and this is not good enough.

"Disabled people and their carers should not be living below the poverty line which is what is happening with the increase in their essential living costs. 

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It is untenable to drop Jobseeker payment back to $40 a day

"I am gobsmacked that the Prime Minister is thinking it is ok to return  the Jobseeker payment to $40 a day in six months, condemning what is likely to be over a million people to living in poverty on Jobseeker. This is untenable. 

"The cruelty of low income support rates has been laid bare by this pandemic. 

"How can it be Government policy for people to live below the poverty line? 

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One month extension to Mutual Obligations suspension is a temporary solution 

"I am pleased that Minister Cash has agreed to extend the suspension of Mutual Obligations by another month, however it’s only a temporary solution. 

"Mutual Obligations need to be suspended for six months, other programs like Jobkeeper and the Jobseeker supplement run for six months because the Government knows this is an on-going evolving situation that people need to be supported through. 

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Greens write to Minister Ruston asking her to use legislative instrument to increase support for people on DSP and Carers payment

"I have written to Minister Ruston asking her to immediately increase the Disability Support Pension and Carers payment using the power under amendments in the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Act 2020 to change social security settings via legislative instruments to provide additional support when needed. 

"It is crystal clear if you speak to anyone on these payments that additional support is urgently needed for Disability Support Pensioners through this crisis. 

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