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Greens: Healthy welfare card in Ceduna is the wrong way to go

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has said today that emerging details of the healthy welfare card trial rollout further demonstrate that the punitive measure should be abandoned.

“To learn that 80% of someone’s income support will be forcibly quarantined to a card will make life remarkably harder for this already struggling group.

“Taking a punitive, top down approach that removes peoples’ decision making capacity doesn’t work. We know from evaluations that income management hasn’t delivered results, the healthy welfare card is a continuation of this approach.

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Government must learn from the past and abandon top-down healthy welfare card

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today that it is disappointing the Federal Government is pressing on with the healthy welfare card despite overwhelming evidence that income management is ineffective and that this measure is just as likely to be ineffective.

"Late last year the Government released the Evaluation of New Income Management in the Northern Territory final report, which showed that this wasteful and expensive regime had failed to deliver on its objectives.

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Cashless welfare card another sign of the Government’s policy recklessness

The Australian Greens said today that plans for a cashless welfare card are essentially a pumped up BasicsCard, continuing and expanding income management.

"Income management is a punitive, discriminatory measure that does not work, and the introduction of a welfare card will have adverse impacts on the people affected," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.

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Greens to call for split vote on Social Security omnibus Bill

The Australian Greens will move to facilitate a separate vote on each schedule of the wide-ranging Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 when it comes on for debate in the Senate today.

This will allow an individual vote on each of the measures contained in the omnibus legislation.

"It is a bad sign that in the lead up to Christmas, the Government has tried to rush this complex patchwork of legislation through the Parliament without proper scrutiny," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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Greens ensure proper scrutiny of Government legislation

The Australian Greens have today ensured that the measures contained in the wide-ranging omnibus Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 will be scrutinised by the Senate.

"The Government wanted to push these significant changes through the Senate without any scrutiny. This Bill contains a range of measures on income support, income management, gambling, student loans, and the child care rebate that need to be carefully reviewed," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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Salvos report emphasises need for social security overhaul

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says a study released today by the Salvation Army emphasises the need for a review of our social security system.
 
The Salvation Army’s study, ‘Economic and social impact of cost of living pressures on people accessing emergency relief’ shows the significant and far-reaching impacts of financial hardship.
 
“A very high percentage of people needing emergency relief are doing without the essentials,” Senator Siewert said today.
 

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Income Management

Community Affairs - 1/6/2011
Senator SIEWERT:  Can we deal with income management here?

Ms Carroll:  Yes. The plan under this outcome is to deal with income management, and also to deal with problem gambling. I know there were some questions earlier about when we would get to problem gambling.

CHAIR:  We will start with income management and we will go with the flow. 

Senator SIEWERT:  Can I also clarify, will we deal with DSP changes in disabilities and carers tomorrow?
Ms Carroll:  Yes.

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Gambling

Rachel Siewert 23 Mar 2011

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (4.07 pm)—I, and also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, move: That the Senate—
(a)    welcomes the launch of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce on Tuesday, 22 March 2011;

(b)    raises concern at the significant impacts of problem gambling on our community, including relationship breakdown, mental health issues, unemployment, debt and financial hardship, theft and social isolation, with an estimated cost to our community of $4.7 billion a year;

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Senate concerned over impact of problem gambling

Rachel Siewert 23 Mar 2011

The Senate has backed a jointly-proposed motion from Senator Rachel Siewert and Senator Nick Xenophon raising concern at the ongoing impact of problem gambling and welcoming the launch of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce.

“Each year we see relationship breakdown, mental health issues, unemployment, debt and financial hardship, theft and social isolation attributed to problem gambling,” Senator Siewert said today.

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Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(8.34 pm)—The Greens oppose the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009. We opposed the Northern Territory Emergency Response. We opposed that process and we oppose this flawed bill. There is no proof that income management works. There is no hard evidence at all. To claim that this is implementing successful policy is absolute nonsense. The only hard evidence that is there is that income management does not work.

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