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Greens will fight cruel higher education reforms

The Australian Greens will fight against the Government’s cruel higher education reform package, which will be introduced in the House of Representatives today.

“This Bill cuts willy-nilly from the University sector with zero regard for how it will affect staff, students and learning. The Greens will continue to fight against this Government’s archaic policy of forcing universities to do more with less every year,” Greens education spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Estimates reveals that under demerit point system for job seekers you could lose more than one point or all seven in one go

Estimates has revealed that job seekers accessing income support could lose more than one demerit point at a time depending on their perceived level of compliance. 

“The Government tried to make out that the demerit point system gave people more chances, but you can lose more than one demerit point at a time or all seven points in one go depending on what a staff member decides.  

“This punitive job-at-any-cost approach could hurt people struggling to get by and struggling with many barriers to employment.

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Renewed push to dump energy supplement another cut for struggling Australians: Greens

The renewed push to remove the energy supplement for income support recipients is another assault on people who will be struggling to get by on extremely low income support payments, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government is unrelenting in its attempts to erode and weaken the social safety net as a way to balance the books. People accessing the social safety net can’t afford to lose any more money.

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Research shows drug testing income support recipients in the US has been costly and ineffective

Information obtained by the Australian Greens has shown that drug testing in the United States has been costly whilst returning a miniscule number of positive test results.

“In America the results that came back positive for drugs was farcical. From 2011 to 2014, just TWO people out of 108,408 came back as positive in Arizona. Over in Missouri, just 0.1% came back positive from 2013 to 2014. What a monumental waste of time and public funds.

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Greens condemn Government failure to meet its own deadline for sex and gender inclusion on documents

Janet Rice 30 May 2017

The Department of the Attorney General has revealed in Senate Estimate that they do not know whether Departments have implemented guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender which were introduced in 2013 and which should have been rolled out by 2016.

Questioned by Senator Janet Rice, Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson, the Department admitted that ten months after the guidelines should have been implemented, they didn’t know whether the Department of Human Services’ failure to do so was an isolated incident, or indicative of more widespread lack of compliance.

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Greens caution Government on locking in bank levy rate

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on reports that the Government plans to lock in a six basis point levy into legislation.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Locking the levy in at six basis points means potentially locking in a revenue shortfall, money much needed for schools and hospitals in this country.

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20 years later and we are facing another Stolen Generation: Greens

On the 20 year anniversary of the Bringing them Home report, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is warning that another Stolen Generation is underway, and is urging the Government to act on recommendations made by a senate inquiry into Out of Home Care.

“Nearly two years ago, I tabled a senate inquiry report into out-of-home care that made 39 recommendations on how to improve the system. This has been totally ignored by the Turnbull Government.

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Estimates raises human rights concern and lack of consultation on drug testing income support recipients

Questioning in estimates has revealed that the Disability Discrimination Commissioner has some concerns for the potential for human rights in relation to drug testing of income support applicants, and that the Government did not seek any advice from the Australian Human Rights Commission on the matter. 

“A lot of people in the community share the concerns of the Commissioner”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“He has taken on notice the question about more details of his concerns. I have deep concerns that this measure is discriminatory.

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