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Indigenous Health

Senator SIEWERT (2.32 pm)—My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Arbib. I ask today about alcohol related harm and abuse in Alice Springs. Firstly, is it true that there has in fact been a decrease in the incidence of violent crime in Alice Springs since the introduction of alcohol supply reduction measures in 2006? Secondly, what changes have there been in alcohol related hospital admissions since the introduction of those initial alco-hol supply reduction measures?

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Alcohol Issues in Alice Springs

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (3.29 pm)—I move:

That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Develop-ment, Minister for Sport and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness (Senator Arbib) to a question without notice asked by me today, relating to alcohol related issues in Alice Springs.

I note that Senator Arbib did not answer my question about the issue of a floor price or minimum price for alcohol in Alice Springs or in fact answer my questions about reducing access to takeaway alcohol.

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Future Fund tobacco investment unethical: Greens

Rachel Siewert 12 Mar 2011

The Australian Greens believe the Federal Government's Future Fund should be subject to revised investment criteria after it was revealed that the Fund holds over $100 million of shares in overseas tobacco companies.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Health Spokesperson said today that the investments were ethically and financially flawed.

"We're trying to break the hold of tobacco on our society and yet for every packet of cigarettes sold, the Futures Fund is better off," Senator Siewert said today.

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Greens secure amendments to Health and Hospitals Bill

Rachel Siewert 3 Mar 2011

The Australian Greens have successfully amended the National Health and Hospitals Network Bill 2010, significantly strengthening the legislation in a number of areas and improving the operation of the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Health Spokesperson said today the amendments will ensure the involvement of consumers and carers in the development of a better health and hospital system.

“The ultimate result of this will be better health care and better health outcomes,” Senator Siewert said today.

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UN Universal Periodic Review

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (3.38 pm)—by leave—I move: That the Senate take note of the statement. I must admit I was disappointed to see the government’s response to the UN Universal Periodic Review where they did not respond in a comprehensive manner at the time of the review at the committee.

A lot of what was contained in that Universal Periodic Review report, 145 recommendations, was in fact hardly a surprise to the government that these recommendations were made.

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Junk Food Advertising

Rachel Siewert 3 Mar 2011

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (10.03 am)—One would wonder why advertisers bother spending millions of dollars on advertising. Given the two speeches I have just heard in this place, it is obvious that advertising has an impact; otherwise, advertisers would not be spending millions on it.

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Mining tax ideal funding for disability insurance scheme: Greens


The Australian Greens say funds from the mining tax could be used to pay for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, providing long term security to Australia’s disability support services and ensuring budget cuts won’t be needed to fund the scheme.

Speaking after the release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report into Disability Care and Support, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Community Services said a NDIS would build Australia’s capacity to provide better support and care services for people living with a disability and for carers.

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