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Australian Greens reject extension of cashless welfare card trials, an ideological approach to social issues

The Australian Greens have dissented from the Community Affairs Legislation Committee majority report into the Government’s bill that seeks to extend the Cashless Welfare Card trials to Hinkler in Queensland until 30 June 2020, targeting people under 36 years old, raising the participant cap by 5000, and restricting access to cash-like products such as gift cards and money/postal orders.

“This is the third Senate inquiry into the Cashless Welfare Card and it’s still ineffective, controlling and punitive, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Mr Turnbull’s vicious cycle of passing the buck has to stop

It’s deeply disappointing that the Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull thinks that his Government shouldn’t be contributing to the cost of fixing the Northern Territory's youth justice and protection systems as well as implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

“It’s the same vicious cycle, a Royal Commission or Committee is called, truth is told, credible, tangible solutions are offered and the Commonwealth cops out, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Greens' call for PM to rethink disappointing rejection of a First Nations Peoples voice to Parliament

The Australian Greens have described the Prime Minister’s latest rejection of constitutional reform for a First Nations Peoples voice to Parliament as “deeply disappointing”.

“I have spent days at Garma hearing from inspiring speakers and talking to people. The message couldn't be clearer: there is strong support for the Voice and for constitutional reform,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said.

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Face scanning income support recipients another punitive approach: Greens

Plans to face scan people who are accessing the social safety net shows yet another punitive barrier for people needing support. 

“This is the Government once again making life harder for people accessing the social safety net”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“This adds another layer to accessing the social safety net and is unnecessary. It will be seen by many accessing support as punitive and adding to the regulatory burden.

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Students going hungry waiting for student payments to be approved should call their local MP or Senate office for help: Greens

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is urging students to call their local MP or Senator office if Centrelink is not approving student support payments in a reasonable time frame and they are finding themselves unable to pay for basic necessities.   

MP and Senate offices have a Centrelink liaison who assist them with constituent enquiries and payment approvals if students have been waiting beyond the estimated completion date. 

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Senate supports principles that strike balance between preventing foreign influence whilst allowing charities to do important work

The Australian Senate has supported an Australian Greens motion backing the Red Line Principles drawn up by the ‘Hands Off Our Charities’ alliance.

“These principles provide guidance on how to strike a balance with government proposals around foreign involvement in Australian politics. The Australian Greens have already clearly expressed concerns about the entirety of the Government’s foreign influence legislative agenda.

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Anglicare report shows automation of Centrelink still hurting Australians

A report by Anglicare Australia that shows the automation in Centrelink is ‘deliberately designed to make it hard for people’ comes as no surprise and will result in more people struggling to get by, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“Automation of Centrelink services makes it more difficult for some people who are accessing the social safety net. Making the social safety net as inaccessible as possible seems to be the modus operandi of the Turnbull Government who would rather a have a smaller safety net. 

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Australians Greens welcome local councils supporting an increase to Newstart

The Australian Greens congratulate local councils around Australia for supporting a motion to increase Newstart at their recent national conference. 

“Local councils are the closest level of Government to the community and they are seeing firsthand the devastating impacts that the current rate of Newstart is having on people trying to find work. 

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Australian Greens support passing of national redress for survivors of child sexual abuse but will continue to campaign for best possible Scheme

The Greens are pleased national redress legislation has passed, meaning survivors of institutional child sexual abuse can finally begin to access redress, but will advocate for further reforms so the scheme can be the best possible scheme.

“The Greens welcome with a heavy heart the passing of the national redress legislation and look forward to seeing the Scheme operating from the nominated date of 1 July 2018. 

“We share concerns with survivors that the Scheme is not the best it can be given there are some issues that remain unresolved.

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Australian Greens urge crossbench to oppose trial to drug test income support recipients

The Australian Greens have urged the crossbench not to cave in and wave through drug testing trials of income support recipients that would hurt vulnerable people in Canterbury-Bankstown, Logan and Mandurah. 

“When drug testing income support recipients was folded into the broader welfare reform bill, it was rejected by the Senate for good reason.

“Health and addiction experts have overwhelmingly rejected this proposal. 

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