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First Nations Peoples’ Issues

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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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Close the Gap Day and COVID-19

COVID-19 has the potential to cause severe harm to First Nations communities particularly in regional and remote areas, older Australians, disabled people and people with mental health issues.

“Preventing and slowing the spread of the virus to First Nations communities must be a priority given that First Nations communities already suffer higher rates of chronic and respiratory illness than the general population,” Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on First Nations issues said.

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Greens appalled by RSL WA decision to ban Welcome to Country 

The Greens have labelled the RSL WA’s decision to ban the performance of Welcome to Country ceremonies and the flying of the Aboriginal flag at all of its ANZAC and Remembrance Day services as offensive and hurtful.

“This is First Nations land and many First Nations peoples served this nation. The RSL should be part of leading our nation as an inclusive and welcoming organisation,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues said. 

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Patronising platitudes and denial will not close the gap 

The Greens have said that Mr Morrison will continue to fail First Nations peoples until his Government makes a genuine commitment to self-determination and co-design and stops with patronising platitudes.

“Mr Morrison will keep failing First Nations peoples and this country until a genuine commitment to self-determination is at the heart of closing the gap,” Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations peoples issues Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Greens say Government is undermining co-design process by limiting options from the outset

The Australian Greens have expressed deep concern about the Government’s approach to a Voice to Parliament and co-design and are calling for the Government to put all options back on the table including Treaty and Truth Telling.

“Co-design means listening and working with First Nations peoples, ruling out an option before you have even sat at the table is not co-design and it is not proper consultation,” Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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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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Attempts to broaden failed, discriminatory Intervention through Cashless Debit Card Expansion in the NT must be rejected

The Greens are calling on the Parliament to reject the Government’s attempt to introduce the Cashless Debit Card to the Northern Territory with legislation introduced into the House today.
 
“The Intervention and income management was a failure that caused harm to communities in the NT, and did not meet its objectives”, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
 

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Greens “puzzled” as to why Mr Morrison keeps flogging a dead horse

The Greens are totally “puzzled” that Mr Morrison is pursing drug testing measures despite overwhelming evidence to two senate inquiries by drug and alcohol experts that the measure would not meet any desired objectives and could have adverse impacts.
 
“The drug testing legislation was sent to committee twice during the last Parliament and the evidence from experts was clear, this approach does not work, that drug addiction is a health issue and should be treated as such”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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Cashless Debit Card expansion ideological, punitive and discriminatory  

The Greens have called Mr Morrison’s plans to expand the Cashless Debit Card ideologically motivated and discriminatory.
 
“There is no evidence to support the expansion of the Cashless Debit Card so the Government relies on spin and fudged figures to tell us about how great the card is”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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