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First Nations Peoples’ Issues

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Government and ALP combine to gag debate and rush racist, punitive cashless debit card extension through the Senate

The ALP was tonight complicit in extending a social experiment on the people of Ceduna, the East Kimberley and the Goldfields by rubber stamping the Government’s extension to the Cashless Debit Card for another year.
 
“This is a sad day for people in our community who are suffering  on a coercive, controlling card that flies in the face of self-determination, Senator Rachel Siewert, Spokesperson on First Nations issues said today.
  
“How can the ALP stomach let alone support this type of policy approach?
 

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Don Dale: Youth Justice in the NT still our national shame

Senator Rachel Siewert said today after visiting Darwin this week that it is clear that the NT Government blindsided stakeholders and the community when it rammed through changes to youth justice laws that go against recommendations of the Royal Commission.

“I’ve been in Darwin this week and key stakeholders have been blindsided by this legislation and didn’t know about the changes to youth justice that go against the findings of the Royal Commission until a day before it was rushed through," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens: Truth, Justice and Healing Now 

The Greens have today announced their election commitment to work with First Nations peoples to address Australia’s unfinished business, close the gap and achieve justice.

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said a commitment to self-determination must be at the heart of closing the gap, and that this approach has been sadly lacking.

“The Greens have today announced our costed commitment to addressing our unfinished business with the Uluru Statement from the Heart as a priority," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens: Mr Morrison’s Closing the Gap address patronising and paternalistic

Mr Morrison’s closing the gap address was paternalistic and patronising and a clear indication that he doesn’t get it.

“Mr Morrison lectured the Parliament about co-design and collaboration but he does not practice what he preaches”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“The Coalition was dragged kicking and screaming to a co-design approach and the Government’s failure to listen when the process started was in fact the reason we are so delayed with the Close the Gap refresh.

“You would think that he was the first person to think of collaboration and co-design!

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Senate votes down call for Government to reallocate $48.7million James Cook “commemoration” fund to Closing the Gap targets

The major parties have today combined to vote down the part of a Greens motion calling on the Government to reallocate their James Cook “commemoration” fund. 

“Tomorrow the Prime Minster will present his Closing the Gap address and I will be paying close attention to what he has to say”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“There is a list as long as my arm on what we could better spend this money on – for example culturally appropriate suicide prevention services, justice reinvestment and truth telling.

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Greens call on Labor to block Government attempts to extend cashless debit card trial sites to June 2020

With three cashless debit card trial sites due to expire on June 30 2019, the Government has introduced amendments to the House today in an attempt to extend the trials in Ceduna, Goldfields and the East Kimberley by another year.

“The trials in the East Kimberley, Ceduna and the Goldfields are due to end on 30 June 2019, they should not be extended, this is just an attempt by Government to entrench this dreadful card”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Truth Justice and Healing key to addressing First Nations Peoples disadvantage

The Reconciliation Australia barometer report reveals a shift in Australian attitudes to Reconciliation particularly in regards to telling the truth about our shared history with 80% of people surveyed considering truth telling important.  

"This is what we saw on January 26, across Australia. People not wanting to celebrate a day of mourning, Australians marched on Invasion Day because they want to tell the truth about our history," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

"The report has found that overwhelmingly Australians want justice and healing for First Nations peoples. 

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