The Australian Greens said today that the Government must release the Evaluation of New Income Management in the Northern Territory final report as opposition to the so-called healthy welfare card continues to grow.
"A large number of the nation's leading community groups have signed a joint statement opposing the healthy welfare card and raising serious concerns about its impact. The Government must know from the Evaluation report that income management is a flawed approach and they cannot ignore the impacts a healthy welfare care would have," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.
"The healthy welfare card represents a dramatic expansion of income management, a flawed and wasteful regime that has failed to deliver positive outcomes.
"The Government has had the final Evaluation of New Income Management in the Northern Territory report since September 30th, and despite their ongoing commitment to the healthy welfare card they're refusing to release this key document, probably because of concerns that it pans this punitive approach.
"They failed to comply with a Senate order for the production of documents that I moved during the last sitting week.
"The Government's ideological campaign against our social security system is leading them to ignore the serious impacts their policies will have, impacts which have been clearly spelled out by the community sector in their joint statement.
"The Government needs to release the income management evaluation as a matter of urgency so that the community has access to its findings.
"It's time the Prime Minister started working cooperatively with communities and with those organisations providing front line services," Senator Siewert concluded.