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Western Distributor independent assessments

Senator RICE: I will continue my questions about the Western Distributor. Trying to get information about the Western Distributor is like playing a game of correspondence chess. You make one move and three months later you get a bit more information. That is how I feel about the information that we have been able to glean about it. It sounds like Infrastructure Australia is much the same. Are you still actively working on a business case for the Western Distributor, or your assessment of it?

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Dutton must guarantee health services for Manus Island

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton must immediately clarify the status of medical care available to people seeking asylum on Manus Island.

"We are hearing that there are no doctors working today in the detention centres on PNG due to International Health and Medical Service failing to properly register its medical practitioners with the Papua New Guinean government," Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"If this is true, Mr Dutton must take urgent action to ensure proper medical care is available to people who remain Australia's responsibility." 

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Housing boom driving Australian inequality

The Australian Greens have commented on an OECD report warning of a ‘rout’ in Australian house prices.
 
Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, said that the OECD report confirms that “the big-four banks are creaming it.”
 
“CBA, NAB, ANZ and Westpac are all profiting off a housing boom that threatens to undermine the entire economy. And they’re doing it all with the benefit of government guarantees that they don’t have to pay for. This is a scandal.
 
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Greens seek advice from Senate Clerk about potential witnesses feeling intimidated in the lead up to the senate Centrelink inquiry

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is today urging Centrelink recipients to make submissions to the Senate inquiry and not to be deterred by the Government's current behaviour in releasing personal information, explaining that giving evidence to a Senate committee is covered by Parliamentary Privilege.

“In order to reassure people who may be considering making a submission I have sought advice from the Acting Clerk of the Senate on the protections to witness and prospective witness to the senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt recovery system.

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Government turns its back on people with disability and refuses to hold a Royal Commission into disability abuse, violence and neglect

The Government has officially announced it will not hold a Royal Commission into abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability in institutional settings, despite it being recommended in a senate committee report tabled nearly a year and half ago.

“A range of recommendations compiled with extensive consultation to address systemic abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability across the country has been effectively dismissed by the Government, or as they like to put it, ‘noted’.

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DHS trawling social media to find Centrelink complaints only to intimidate recipients is huge concern: Greens

“It is deeply concerning that DHS staff have been trawling through social media to find people complaining about Centrelink to provide to the Minister”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.  

“They’re then taking these complaints and rather than seeking to remedy them, and might release your personal details to ‘correct the record’ to protect the ‘public confidence’ and ‘integrity’ of the social security system.

"The department confirmed they keep an eye on traditional media but to trawl social media is a new development that raises strong concerns.

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28 million busy signals hit in the first seven months of this financial year for those trying to reach Centrelink

“28 million calls hitting a busy signal in the first seven months of this financial year is astronomical and could reflect people trying to get through to fix an incorrect debt”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Last year for the whole financial year was 29 million busy signals, up 22 million from the previous year.

“To see 28 million busy signals in the first seven months shows an extreme trajectory that the Government must work to remedy immediately.

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