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Prime Minister and Cabinet must show leadership and urgently ensure that aged care around Australia is prepared

Questions to Prime Minster and Cabinet today at the COVID hearing have shown that despite the aged care crisis the Government is not doing enough to ensure that all aged care providers around Australia are completely prepared. 
"It’s pretty obvious that prevention is better than cure and after speaking to the Department today I have very little confidence that they are taking an appropriate leadership role. 
"We cannot just wait around, rely on self-assessment by providers on their readiness for an outbreak, there needs to be action around the country. 

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13 percent effective unemployment rate means Government must commit to a long term Jobseeker rate above poverty line and break its addiction to making life hard for people on income support

The Greens say that the Government's failure to deliver certainty to people on income support is cruel and unfair and undermines confidence in the economy.
"The Government should abandon its plans to cut the Jobseeker supplement by $300 at the end of September and increase Jobseeker permanently", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
Keeping Jobseeker above the poverty line will save people's lives and their livelihoods.

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Greens call for Government to suspend mutual obligations across Australia

The Greens welcome the Government’s suspension of mutual obligations while Victoria is in a state of disaster but say that the suspension of compliance measures needs to be extended to the rest of the country. 
"The Government's approach to mutual obligations throughout this pandemic has been haphazard, without proper information given to people on income support", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Government should drop plans to reintroduce the liquid assets test 

The Greens are calling on the Government to drop their plans to reintroduce the liquid assets tests saying it is unfair, will cause significant hardship and discriminates against the newly unemployed.

The reintroduction of the liquid assets test in September will see many people who have just lost their jobs having to wear down their savings before they can access a weekly income. 

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Greens call for Government to fund pandemic leave for all aged care workers across the country 

The Greens say that Australians are losing confidence in the aged care sector and that the Federal Government should stop at nothing to protect the most vulnerable Australians in aged care. This includes ensuring pandemic funding for all aged care workers if they need it.
“We keep hearing this narrative blaming workers for coming to work sick but the Federal Government is not taking enough action to ensure that workers are able to afford to stay home if they are sick,” Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Raising the age of criminal responsibility would show that Aboriginal Lives do matter 

The Greens have called the decision by the Council of Attorney Generals to defer the decision of raising the age of criminal responsibility a failure of justice and compassion.
“It’s deeply disappointing when we are in a moment of public consciousness about the impacts of state sanctioned criminalisation and violence against First Nations peoples that Governments have failed to act on a tangible policy change that would make such a difference to closing the gap and justice for First Nations peoples. 

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Reintroducing harsh means testing for Jobseeker is mean spirited and unfair and will leave older Australians to retire into poverty 

The Greens say reintroducing the assets test and liquid asset test is mean spirited and unfair in the midst of a recession and have called on the Government to continue to waive these tests until the employment market has more jobs and we are through this crisis.
"The reintroduction of the assets tests will mean those that lost work at the beginning of the pandemic and are on Jobseeker could lose income support in September", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.  

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21 July 2020

Greens Leader Adam Bandt and spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert have responded to today's announcement that the government has agreed to Labor’s proposal to cut JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, even as unemployment soars and the Covid outbreak continues in Victoria and NSW. 

This is being billed as an extension, but the reality for millions of Australians, many of whom are still under lockdown, is that this is a cut in vital income support.

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