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Family, Ageing and Community Services

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Government can act now on restraints

The Government can do something about the use of chemical and physical restraints in aged care right now, by immediately amending the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019 tabled in Parliament by Government earlier this year.
"The regulation is currently before the Senate in the form of a disallowable instrument.
"The regulation is overwhelming considered by stakeholders to be flawed and it is feared that the regulation could lead to an increased use of chemical restraints.

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Greens call for Senate to reject drug testing bill after passage in the house

The Australian Greens are calling on the Senate to reject the harmful and dangerous Government proposal to drug test income support recipients in trial areas because of the overwhelming evidence of the damage it will cause to individuals and our communities. 
“The stigma experienced by people with addiction will be further compounded through this trial by subjecting participants to compulsory income management. It will be incredibly damaging and health and addiction experts have consistently opposed this approach”, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Human Rights Watch Report reinforces need to disallow legislative instrument regulating aged care restraints

The Human Rights Watch Fading Away  - How Aged Care Facilities in Australia Chemically Restrain Older People with Dementia report has called on the Government to end the use of chemical restraints as a means of controlling the behaviour of older people in aged care.
The Australian Greens have moved to disallow the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019 which is the legislative instrument regulating the use of chemical restraints in aged care facilities. The report reinforces the need to rethink the approach in the new regulation.

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Greens call on Prime Minister Morrison to have a heart this anti-poverty week

The Senate has today passed another motion in anti-poverty week calling on the Government to raise the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance urgently.
"The calls to increase Newstart are absolutely overwhelming, today we have the “Newstart Nannas” who have come all the way to Canberra because they know how important an increase of Newstart is to our community.
"Over 50 percent of people on Newstart are over the age of 45, if we don’t increase Newstart, we are looking at an epidemic of older Australians retiring into poverty.

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Senate passes motion calling on Government to increase Newstart during anti-poverty week

On the first sitting day of anti-poverty week the Senate has passed another motion calling for the Government to immediately raise the rate of Newstart.
“The high rates of poverty in this country are shameful and Australians care about what poverty does to our families and communities.
“Last week at the Senate inquiry hearing into Newstart we heard some devastating accounts from those living on Newstart in a constant state of fear and anxiety with the daily worry of whether than can eat or afford their medication and rent for that week.

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People shouldn't be going hungry in this country 

At the beginning of anti-poverty week Foodbank Australia has released their Hunger Report which has found that one in five Australians went hungry in the last twelve months with women being more likely to experience food insecurity.

"It's heartbreaking that in a country as wealthy as Australia that people in our community are going without food. This should not be happening in 2019," Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Drug, alcohol and medical experts reject drug testing for the third time

The Government’s proposal to drug test income support recipients in trial areas has been thoroughly rejected by medical experts for the third time today.
“There was a clear sense of frustration at the Senate inquiry hearing today from the medical professionals who are not being listened to and a number of references to the fact that the Government continues to doggedly pursue this policy despite strong evidence that it will not work, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today.

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Greens call for Government to stop hiding Jobactive compliance data

The Greens have questioned why the Government has only released partial compliance data on the Jobactive Targeted Compliance Framework saying that it indicates that they have something to hide.
“The Minister has released an abysmal report on Jobactive that means it’s basically impossible to figure out what is going on with the Jobactive program and the demerit point system of the Targeted Compliance Framework", said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community services. 

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NT stakeholders slam Government for rushing Cashless Debit Card bill without adequate consultation and hearings in remote locations at senate inquiry 

The Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee have heard of a stunning lack of consultation with key stakeholders in the NT on the expansion of the Cashless Debit Card in the Northern Territory.

“The issues that the Government is trying to address through compulsory income management were meant to have been “fixed”  through the controversial Intervention over a decade ago”, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues said.

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Greens to oppose Hanson’s toxic family law inquiry and call on senate to reject referral

The Greens have condemned the Government and Senator Hanson’s attempts to stitch up an inquiry into the Family Law system saying they have multiple concerns about the inquiry.
“There is no doubt that the family law system has serious problems which need addressing, however this committee is not fit for the task” said Senator Mckim, Australian Greens spokesperson on Attorney General
“This is clearly a political stitch up between the Government and One Nation and the Greens have no confidence in the committee as currently constituted to do the job.

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