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Greens welcome resignation of Rio Tinto bosses but cultural shift is needed across the mining industry

The Greens say that the resignation of Rio CEO Mr Jacques is a good sign that the company is taking some responsibility for the Juukan Gorge disaster but there needs to be a cultural shift in the entire company and across the mining industry.
 
This cannot just be a symbolic gesture, there is still a lot of work to do, Greens Senator for Western Australia Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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National Agreement on Closing the Gap targets are a significant and welcomed improvement but we must see plan for funding

The Greens welcome the steps towards a co-design and community led decision making and control by First Nations organisations in the Closing the Gap Partnerships.
 
“It is long overdue that the peak First Nations organisations had a seat at the table,” Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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Greens welcome greater focus on First Nations Self Determination

“I’m very pleased to see the reports that First Nations peoples will have power, responsibility and funding over health directions and decisions under the new Closing the Gap approach – this has been a long time coming” Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations Issues, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Self-determination is critical to Closing the Gap”.

“I am so glad that the proposed agreement has a greater focus on First Nations self determination. First Nations peoples have been calling for this for a very long time yet the system has continuously failed them.” 

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A Royal Commission will ensure we know the full truth of what happened with robodebt including before 2015 

“I am very disappointed that the Government and Labor combined to vote down my motion in the Senate today calling for a Royal Commission into robodebt”, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
“We need a judicial review so we can find out exactly who knew what and when and for how long. There needs to be a forensic audit of every debt including those before 2015.
 
“We need to know how many debts were raised, exactly how people have been impacted and what those debts were worth as well as the interest the Government has charged people. 
 

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Senate supports motion calling on Prime Minister to withdraw his comments on slavery properly apologise and engage in a genuine process of truth telling about Australia’s history 

I am pleased that the Senate has supported the Greens motion acknowledging the true history of Australia which despite what the Prime Minister might say includes slavery, indentured labour and stolen wages. 
 
“The Prime Minister’s comments last week in regards to slavery were outrageous and I don’t believe he has properly apologised or engaged with the heart of the matter. 
 
“Rather than perpetuating false history of this nation, the Australian Government needs to make a concerted effort of truth telling for all Australians, including new Australians.
 

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Government and Labor combine to block sending Aboriginal Heritage issues to Senate Environment and Communications References Committee

Government and Labor have taken a ‘bipartisan’ approach to send the issues of Aboriginal Heritage and the destruction of First Nations culture and land for mining projects to the Government led Northern Australia Committee when they had the option to support a more comprehensive referral of the issue to the Environment and Communications Committee where the Greens and Labor have the majority.

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If only Minister Cormann was as outraged by deaths in custody as he is by protests

The Australian Greens say that instead of making disparaging statements about the protests over the weekend Minster Cormann should be doing some soul searching on having been part of a Government that has done next to nothing to act on the shameful rates of deaths in custody in Australia and lack of justice for First Nations peoples in this country.

“54 First Nations peoples have died in custody since 2008 in Minister Cormann’s home state of WA and I haven't seen him say anything about that”, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Government must urgently act on Change the Record Report and start by including a First Nations representative on the COVID Coordination Commission

The Change the Record Critical Condition Report released today has shown how existing inequalities and injustices faced by First Nations peoples have been exacerbated and further entrenched by the COVID crisis and highlights the urgent need for a recovery that includes First Nations peoples. 
 
“This report highlights exactly why we need more transparency around the National #COVIDー19 Coordination Commission," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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COVID Senate Committee hears there may be changes to Community Development Program post Covid 

I was pleased to hear at the public hearing of the COVID Senate Select Committee today that there are active discussions about the future of the Community Development Program. 

CDP cannot continue to keep running as it was before its suspension as part of the response to COVID19. It is a punitive and discriminatory program that sees work for the dole participants, who are largely First Nations peoples having to do work hours and have participation requirements that are far higher than those in the Jobactive program.

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