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Government refuses to release critical income management evaluation

The Australian Greens said today the Government was defying the will of the Senate by refusing to comply with an order for the production of documents and table a crucial evaluation of income management.

"The Government is clearly considering an extension of income management through the healthy welfare card, but they are refusing to release the Evaluating new income management in the Northern Territory final report, despite a Senate order for production of documents," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

"In refusing to table this evaluation, the Government has given the weakest of excuses, claiming they are unable to table the report because the minister is yet to receive it.

"This report has been with the Government for two months, and the draft versions for even longer.

"The Government is actively considering the expansion of income management, so it is ludicrous to think the Department have had this report for two months and haven't bothered to give it to the Minister, or that the Minister himself hasn't sought it out.

"Media reports indicate that this evaluation is critical of income management and suggests it has failed to deliver on its objectives. Clearly the Government is unwilling to release a report that shows income management hasn't worked.

"This report should be publicly available so that everybody can see what a farce income management is. The public and community have a right to consider this report.

"It is outrageous that this report is not available and that the Government is defying the will of the Senate. I will continue to pursue this report until it is released," Senator Siewert concluded.

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