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First Nations Peoples’ Issues

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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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Government’s own Community Development Program (CDP) evaluation indicates poor outcomes  

The Government’s evaluation of the CDP program reveals no secrets: people’s lives are worse, First Nations peoples are more likely to be penalised and are penalised more often which is what communities and researchers have been saying for a long time.

“This CDP evaluation still doesn’t get to the heart of the issue –why people in remote regions, 83% of whom are First Nations peoples have to be subjected to a work for the dole scheme that is far harsher and more punitive than their city counterparts,"Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Industry that has preyed on vulnerable people must pay up

The financial services industry has a record of preying on vulnerable people and the deliberate targeting of people in remote First Nations communities is particulararly egregious.

"During the Royal Commission we heard sickening evidence of companies targeting regional and remote areas for funeral insurance often signing people up who had little understanding of what the policies meant, language barriers and the use of Aboriginal “branding” to trick people into thinking they were signing up with an Aboriginal organisation, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Greens commend Triple j and councils around Australia for acknowledgement that January 26 excludes First Nations peoples and denies our shared history

The Australian Greens commend organisations and councils around the country who decided not to hold celebrations or official ceremonies on January 26.

“While Mr Morrison believes he can force Australians to celebrate a date that marks dispossession and violence, a growing number of Australians, councils and organisations around the country know that January 26 is a painful day for First Nations peoples and choose not to celebrate, Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Minster Price must extend consultation for WA Woodside project

The Australian Greens are calling on the federal Minister for the Environment, Melissa Price to extend the notification period for Woodside’s dredging and pipeline proposal near WA’s Dampier Archipelago marine reserves.

“Releasing unpopular information and in particular environmental assessment documentation just before Christmas and other public holidays is one of the oldest tricks in the book. This is a very important area and oil and gas activity needs careful assessment, Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for WA said. 

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Australian Greens welcome Triple j holding firm on moving Hottest 100 countdown

The Australian Greens have welcomed Triple j holding firm on their commitment to move their Hottest 100 countdown from January 26.

“More and more people in our community, as well as organisations and institutions around the country are joining the movement for justice, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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