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Sunday Rally: JET child care changes unfair

From 1 July last year, child-care fee assistance under the Jobs Education and Training program (JET) was cut back to only include courses of study or training of up to 12 months for new participants.

"Through this system, the Government is disadvantaging single parents (most of whom are women) who are trying to get a better education so they can provide a better future for their children," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens : Caring for Parents and Kids

Paid parental leave, affordable childcare and measures to balance work and family commitments are the cornerstones of building a brighter and more prosperous future, the Greens said today.

Launching the Greens' Caring for Parents and Kids initiative in Adelaide today, Senator Rachel Siewert said, "Australians are increasingly expressing concern with the impacts that working longer hours are having on the wellbeing of their families."

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Studying single mums forced into child care debt

"Many single mums are being forced to drop out of degrees and take on huge debts since the Government changed its eligibility criteria for childcare assistance while studying," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Prior to July 2006 the "Jobs, Education and Training (JET) program" helped eligible single parents studying at University or TAFE to cover the costs of childcare. New changes to the system now only recognise courses up to 12 months long. This is leaving single parents without any hope of obtaining a higher education.

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Greens: Apply new baby bonus rules to all

The Greens want all parents to receive the Baby Bonus in fortnightly payments, not just those under the age of 18.

The Greens will today seek to amend the Government's baby bonus legislation to extend fortnightly payments to all recipients unless a lump sum is specifically approved.

The reasons the Government put forward for limiting payments to those under 18 apply to all parents, and in fact many of those reasons apply more to those over 18.

"Young mothers have been unduly discriminated against in this legislative change."

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The statistics Hockey didn't mention - women

"The ABS statistics released today on working hours show women are losing out in our workplaces," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"More women than men are working multiple jobs. 58% of employees who work more than one job are women. This startling statistic is a consequence of government policies that have reduced many women to needing to take more than one part-time job to make ends meet," she said.

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RU486 - who decides?

Rachel Siewert 8 Feb 2006

In rising to address the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Repeal of Ministerial responsibility for approval of RU486) Bill 2005, I would like to clarify what exactly is the question that we senators are being asked to address and ultimately decide on tomorrow. Before I do that, I would like to congratulate the proponents of this bill on having the guts to put it up in the face of a lot of opposition from what I believe is a minority-but a noisy minority-in the community.

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Women, Work and Family

I am deeply disappointed that the government firstly refused the extension and secondly will no doubt object to this motion as well. Don't they want scrutiny of the impacts of their proposals? As a community, we need to know the full ramifications of the legislation that is going to come before this place. We need to know what has happened in the past with various industrial agreements.

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