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Senate supports motion calling on the Government to act on year-long calls for a Royal Commission into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability

The Senate has supported a motion acknowledging that it has been a year since a report into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability was tabled in the Senate by the Community Affairs References Committee.

 “One whole year. That is how long the Government has ignored a harrowing senate committee report into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability in institutional settings.  

 “All of the recommendations addressing this national shame, including an urgent Royal Commission into the issue are yet to be addressed.

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Greens raise red flags with youth jobs PaTH bill in dissenting report

The Australian Greens have submitted a dissenting report recommending that the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Youth Jobs Path: Prepare, Trial, Hire) bill proposed by the Government not be passed in its current form.

“The Greens cannot support the youth jobs PaTH bill in its current form because of a wide range of concerns that include intern exploitation, intern churn, payments below minimum wage, and limited protections for participants”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Senate urges Government to address accessing the NDIS for blind and vision impaired people

The Senate has supported a motion initiated by Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert that calls on the Government to address barriers for people with vision impairment to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“Recently we saw reports that blind and vision impaired Australians have not been able to access the NDIS because materials and pamphlets are not in braille or large print.

“A National Disability Scheme that is not accessible to people with disability is disastrous and flies in the face of the whole purpose of the NDIS. 

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Greens urge bill that winds back transport funding for people with disability not be passed

The Australian Greens have urged a bill that will wind back transport funding for people with disability who will not access the NDIS not be passed by the Senate.

“The Mobility Allowance bill is insidious in nature and stakeholders have raised concerns about how the changes to the payment are going to make life harder for people with disability accessing the payment who will not access the NDIS. Government is once again trying to save money from people with disability.

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Govt must stop pre-empting cashless welfare card success to spruik broader rollout: Greens

Comments by the Government about rolling out the cashless welfare card more broadly come as no surprise, as that has been their agenda all along, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government needs to stop hinting at an extended rollout of the cashless welfare card until the trials have been independently evaluated following the completion of the full trial period.

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Government misses deadline imposed by the Senate for details of shoddy cashless welfare card report

The Government has failed to comply with an order of the Senate for a production of documents pertaining to the cashless welfare card ‘progress report’.

“The Government was given a week to table the documents and statistics used to prepare the shoddy and premature cashless welfare card report, which was produced in a week and a half. The deadline to produce these documents was COB on Wednesday November 16, it  has now been missed”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Government need to show leadership on out of home care

The Government need to take last night’s harrowing Four Corners report seriously and act to address the flawed out of home care system that often hurts kids rather than helping, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government knows full well about the major systemic problems with the out of home care system around Australia and have done little to address it.

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Senate gives Government a week to table documents and statistics used for shoddy cashless welfare card report

The Australian Greens have secured Senate support for an Order of Production of Documents pertaining to the cashless welfare card progress report, which was produced by the Department of Social Services a week and a half after admitting in Senate estimates that a report didn’t exist.

“Repeatedly over the last few months we have seen the Minister drip feed mostly anecdotal data to media as a means of promoting the cashless welfare card trials.  We have also seen media that mentions a ‘confidential report’.

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Nearly 3500 people with disability off the DSP onto Newstart or Youth Allowance in one year

Estimates has revealed that from June 2015 to June 2016 nearly 3500 people with disability were moved off the Disability Support Pension (DSP) onto Newstart or Youth Allowance. The Department of Social Services could not reveal how many people had sought temporary incapacity or partial capacity exemption from mutual obligations because due to their disability they are unable to complete these obligations.

“Thousands of people with disability across the country are now on the lower Newstart payment or Youth Allowance”, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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DSS unable to provide data on cashless card repeatedly cited by Minister Tudge to media outlets

The Department of Social Services have said in estimates that they have not produced a report with evidence of the cashless welfare card working so far, despite the Minister Tudge repeatedly citing figures to media about the card’s alleged success.

“Repeatedly over the last few months we have seen the Minister drip feed mostly anecdotal data to media as a means of promoting the cashless welfare card trials.  We have also seen media that mentions a ‘confidential report’.

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