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Greens say if the Government really cared about parents they would suspend the ParentsNext program while they reassess their approach

The Greens want to see the ParentNext program suspended and the Government reassess their approach if they really care about supporting parents. Their comments come in the wake of reports that one in five parents, the majority of whom are women have been suspended or lost their payment in just the first six months of the rollout of the program.

“The latest figures showing the high number of parents and of course their children that have been suspended from payments is deeply concerning and should send a signal to Government that this program has very serious problems. 

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Bill Shorten must commit to abolishing compulsory income management Australia wide

The Greens are calling on Bill Shorten to commit to abandoning the cashless debit card trials Australia wide if they win Government this year.

“While it’s a positive development that Mr Shorten has finally realised that income management is a punitive approach with no evidence that it works, he must commit to abandoning all of the trial sites, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said.

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$350million ParentsNext Program must drop harsh compliance regime and focus on assisting families

The Australian Greens call on the Government to scrap the operation of the punitive targeted compliance framework in the ParentsNext program as complaints about the program grow.

“Parents are getting their payments suspended for things like missing appointments or activities because they have to take a child to a medical appointment and they are quitting units of study because they can’t miss an appointment or an “activity". 

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Shorten’s fair-go excludes those looking for work on Newstart

The Australian Greens will continue to push for an urgent $75 a week increase to Newstart.

“It is extremely disappointing and disheartening that Mr Shorten doesn’t think that addressing poverty is a priority for the Australian Labor Party, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Mr Shorten has an opportunity to show some leadership and commit to delivering a policy outcome in the interests of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

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Employment services are outdated, not fit for purpose and have become cash cows for private companies  

The Australian Greens call for Government to abandon the targeted compliance framework and urgently reform employment services.

“Between the I want to work, Employment Services 2020 Report and the evidence we have already heard during the senate inquiry hearings into jobactive it is clear that employment services aren’t working and providers are more focused on compliance rather than finding people jobs, particularly since the introduction of the Targeted Compliance Framework, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Service said today.

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Government pursues punitive cashless debit card despite no evidence it works. Greens call on Labor to commit to abandoning income management

I am gob smacked by the Morrison Government’s announcement that they will be extending the cashless debit card trails and adding a new site, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

"The Government is falsely claiming there is evidence that these trials are working, the evidence is not there, they are simply pursuing their ideological agenda.

"I as in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay earlier this week and the community is devastated by what this card will mean for them and their children.

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Shorten’s Labor are out of credible excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now

With both major parties in South Australia now supporting an increase to Newstart, Shorten’s Labor are running out of excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now.

“It’s been clear for years and years now that the rate of Newstart is too low. Now with pressure from the community, social service and business sectors, economists, the Greens and now the cross-bench we see that the heat is really on the major parties, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Senate passes motion referring ParentsNext program to inquiry 


The Senate has today supported a joint motion from the Greens and ALP to refer the ParentsNext program to inquiry.

“I am really pleased the ParentsNext program has been referred to committee inquiry, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“This will enable us to take a really good look at this program, particularly as my attempts to disallow this punitive program were voted down by the senate earlier this year. 

“The committee process will allow us to hear from the single parents affected, most of whom are women.

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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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