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Senate calls on Government to come good on funding for neurodegenerative disease in East Arnhem Land

The Greens and Labor have secured Senate support calling on the Federal Government to make good on a $10 million grant that they have refused to give to the Machado-Joseph Disease Foundation.

“Machado-Joseph disease is a very rare genetic neurodegenerative disease that has devastating impacts on those it effects. Symptoms generally do not appear until later in life then sufferers rapidly deteriorate.

“East Arnhem land is the number one hotspot for this disease in the world and funding is needed for supports, therapists, equipment and research.

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Aboriginal Legal Services should not have been excluded from race-hate inquiry: Greens

It is atrocious that the Government excluded Aboriginal Legal Services from giving evidence at a senate inquiry into race-hate laws, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“When committee chair LNP Senator Ian MacDonald excluded Aboriginal Legal Services from giving evidence at the inquiry, he excluded a voice for our First peoples. The committee should have heard from these important services.

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Greens and Labor secure support for senate inquiry into broken Community Development Program

The Greens and Labor have secured Senate support for a senate inquiry into the failing Community Development Program that is being rolled out in remote communities.

“The Community Development Program imposes harder so called mutual obligations for income support recipients in remote communities compared to their metropolitan counterparts”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“People in remote communities have to do much longer hours for work for the dole, and for basically a full year rather than 6 months.

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Senate calls for action on Aboriginal hearing health

The Greens have secured Senate support for a motion calling on Australian Governments to urgently address hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The recent Close the Gap report called for a reset on addressing health inequality this needs to include hearing health.

“Governments around Australia have failed to adequately address hearing health which affects our ability to close the gap.

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Australian Greens respond to Native Title Amendment Bill 2017

Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues Senator Rachel Siewert says:  

“The proposed amendments to the Native Title Act have raised many issues that could have significant ramifications for Native Title holders. 

“There has been limited consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as significant doubt of the operation of some of the measures.

“Due to these issues, the Australian Greens cannot support the Native Title Amendment legislation in its current form at this time.

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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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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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What Did The Greens Get Up To In The First Two Weeks Of Parliament In 2017

As the Australian Greens Whip I give a regular insight into what’s happening in Parliament with the top pieces of legislation, amendments, motions, questions, and matters of public importance that the Australian Greens work on each sitting week/fortnight. In a tough 24 hour media cycle, often work done in the run of a sitting fortnight doesn’t make it to the media. The intention of this summary is to keep you informed on the work we do. The first two weeks were packed with exciting work that spans across campaigns and issues.

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Senate calls on Government to engage with Redfern Statement

The Senate has supported a Greens motion calling on the Government to act on the Redfern Statement by committing to the Engagement Approach.

“We are not meeting our closing the gap targets but an alliance of Aboriginal leaders and organisations have the solutions on how to reduce Aboriginal disadvantage and progressing Reconciliation.

“The PM was directly handed the Redfern Statement on Tuesday that contains the solutions. I urge him to act on the will of the Senate and our First Peoples and commit to the approach.

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