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PM fails as National Cabinet dodges deaths in custody

Scott Morrison’s refusal to make First Nations deaths in custody a standing agenda item at National Cabinet shows his words to be hollow, the Greens have said, pushing for it to become a standing agenda item for state and federal leaders with strict timeframes to reform the country’s criminal laws. 
“The Prime Minister can give a million passionate speeches in parliament about deaths in custody, but while he refuses to take action they’re nothing more than crocodile tears," Australian Greens Leader, Adam Bandt said today.

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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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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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