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Community sector stats highlight ongoing policy failures

The Australian Greens say new figures showing a sharp increase to the number of people being turned away from community support services highlights the need for substantive reforms to our social security system.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Community Services said today that the figures released by ACOSS show the impact of a widening gap between income support payments and the cost of living.

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Greens vow to fight for indigenous communities as second report highlights policy failures

The Australian Greens have vowed to continue fighting for Aboriginal communities after an Amnesty International report condemned the Federal Government’s abandonment of remote communities in the NT in favour of ‘growth towns’. 

The Amnesty report comes just one day after another highly critical report revealed the expensive gap between policy intent and implementation.

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Indigenous spending plan flawed from the beginning: Greens

The Australian Greens have called on the government to fundamentally change its approach to funding policies relating to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, to prevent millions more being wasted on ineffective programs.

The call comes in response to news that the programs being funded in Aboriginal communities are not effective, despite the government spending $3.5 billion dollars annually.

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Community Affairs - 25 February

Senator SIEWERT—I want to ask about HOIL. Is it appropriate to ask that here?
Dr Harmer—Yes.

Senator SIEWERT—I wanted to ask about it in relation to the ANAO report. I want to follow up on some of the issues it raised. I want to ask about the unspent funds that have been committed to the program. If I understand it correctly, they have been transferred into the urban Home Ownership Program to address the waiting list there.

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Audit report damns Indigenous home ownership program –Greens

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released a damning report on the ill-conceived Home Ownership on Indigenous Land (HOIL) program.

“The report indicates that the four year, $107.4 million* program (of which $49.2m has been spent to date) resulted in only 15 Indigenous families taking out home loans through the program – significantly less than the 460 loan target of the program,” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues today.

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Indigenous Employment - Motion to take notice speech

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (3.34 pm)—I am going to take note of only one of the answers, and that is about the issue of SIHIP and the Aboriginal employment program. I am very concerned and want to clarify the employment and working conditions for Aboriginal workers employed under SIHIP. We want to know under what conditions participants in CDEP, traineeships or Work for the Dole programs are being employed. We have received some very disturbing reports from communities in Central Australia of inconsistent and in fact exploitative treatment of Aboriginal workers.

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Indigenous Employment

Senator SIEWERT (2.22 pm)—My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Arbib, who also happens to be the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development. I would like to draw the minister’s attention to recent reports of Aboriginal workers renovating houses under SIHIP in Central Australia.

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Empty promises on Aboriginal jobs?

The Australian Greens are extremely concerned about reports suggesting that Aboriginal workers on the flagship housing program (SIHIP) are not being paid properly.

SIHIP was supposed to have an inbuilt Aboriginal employment scheme, yet reports suggest that CDEP and work for the dole programs are being used instead.

It has been reported that some Aboriginal people are working full time under the scheme, but receiving only Centrelink payments- which includes requiring the use of basics cards.

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Northern Territory: Mandatory Leases

(Question No. 2908) Senator Siewert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 24 June 2010:

(1) What criteria are used in the current government valuations of mandatory leases in the Northern Territory.
(2) What opportunity is there for communities to seek independent valuations. (3) Who are these rents being paid to in the communities: the traditional owners or the entire community.

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