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Family, Ageing and Community Services

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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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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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