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

The Australian Greens have outlined in additional comments to the senate committee report into National Redress legislation that they will advocate for further reforms so the scheme can be the best possible scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

“The Greens want to see the Scheme operating from the nominated date of 1 July 2018. At the same time we are concerned that the Scheme will not be the best it can be given there are some issues that remain unresolved.

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Greens welcome WA finally committing to national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and WA Greens MLC Alison Xamon have welcomed Western Australia finally committing to the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse. 

Alison Xamon MLC said: 

“WA was the last state to fully commit to the scheme but I’m glad they’ve finally got on board. This will be a huge relief for survivors in WA - many of whom are vulnerable, ageing and ill – and have been waiting for a long time. 

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Labor ACT Chief Minister’s call for Newstart increase is encouraging, Shorten must do the same: Greens

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr breaking ranks with federal Labor to call for an increase to Newstart is encouraging. 

“Mr Barr can see like most that Newstart is far too low to survive off and it needs to be increased if unemployed Australians are genuinely going to be supported into finding work. 

“Bill Shorten and the Federal Labor party need to show some courage and admit what we all know, that the payment has to increase so people can survive on it with some dignity. 

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Government has not sought department advice on whether Newstart is liveable

It has been revealed in senate estimates that the Government has not sought advice from the Department of Social Services on the ability for job seekers to live off $40 a day whilst on the single rate of Newstart. 

“Despite this chorus of voices about the inadequacy of the payment, the Government did not seek advice from the Department of Social Services about whether people can actually live off the payment. 

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WA last time to sign up to redress, it is time to get it done: Greens

The Australian Greens are urging the Western Australian Government to not stall any longer on signing up to the national redress scheme, particularly as it is the last state or territory to sign up. 

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, said: 

“Survivors of child sexual abuse in Western Australia are the final group around the country waiting for confirmation that they will have access to redress. 

“This is causing unnecessary distress and survivors have been through enough”. 

WA Greens MLC Alison Xamon, said:

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Turnbull Government and Labor must show political courage and commit to increasing Newstart: Greens

Research by the Salvation Army showing the average Newstart recipient has just $17 a day to live off after accommodation expenses should not be ignored by the Turnbull Government and Shorten’s Labor party, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“$17 a day after accommodation expenses is obscene. Members of our community are foregoing food and safety because the Government won’t exercise political courage to lift the appalling low payment. At the same time Government is pursuing tax cuts for the wealthy. 

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Labor and Coalition gang up to vote down motion that calls for increase to Newstart

The Labor party has sided with the Government to vote down a motion that calls for an increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance.

“Despite the broad group of economists, business and social service organisations saying that the payment definitely needs to be increased, both major parties are showing cowardice.

“The rate of Newstart does not need to be ‘reviewed’ it needs to increase urgently, and the ALP knows this.

"It has been well established that it is dangerously low and causing harm to jobseekers. It’s time for Bill Shorten to come off the fence”.

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Government makes broken CDP worse despite promising overhaul

 Changes by the Turnbull Government to the Community Development Program (CDP) in remote and regional Australia are tinkering around the edges, despite Minister Scullion promising an overhaul of the broken program, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“As it stands at the moment job seekers in remote and regional Australia are suffering under the CDP, which imposes unfair mutual obligations and is causing significant harm in communities. 

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