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Govt must do more for Australian artists and creatives

The Treasurer is in the box seat to fix the problems with the JobKeeper program that has locked workers in the arts, entertainment and events industries out of the $130bn package, the Greens say.
The Greens moved in the Senate last night to amend the Coronavirus legislation to ensure casuals employed less than 12 months, freelancers and other businesses with work structures unique to the arts industry were covered but the Government and One Nation voted it down.

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Government Must Extract Housing From The Too-Hard Basket

Mehreen Faruqi 8 Apr 2020

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Housing spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the National Cabinet has manifestly failed to provide any leadership or direction on national housing policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Housing must be put back on the agenda for a national response.

Senator Faruqi said:

“After weeks of promising more information and direction, the National Cabinet has completely dropped the ball on housing. It must be put back on the agenda and dealt with urgently.

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Greens to back international students in the Senate

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said the Greens would back 565,000 international students by today introducing amendments to make temporary visa holders eligible for the JobKeeper scheme.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Over the last two weeks, I have received hundreds of messages from international students who have lost their jobs and now face an incredibly uncertain future.

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Greens to move to protect arts, entertainment and event industry in Senate

With workers in the arts, entertainment and event industry largely left out of the JobKeeper program despite being one of the hardest hit by the Coronavirus crisis, the Greens will move an amendment to the legislation when it comes before the Senate today to plug these gaps and call for a tailored package for the sector.

“Australia’s arts, creative and entertainment sector has been smashed by COVID-19, with events cancelled, productions closed and projects shut down,” Greens Spokesperson for the Arts and Tourism Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Arts, entertainment and creative industry left behind without changes to JobKeeper

The Morrison Government’s refusal to change the JobKeeper program to include more casuals will leave workers in the arts, entertainment and creative industry behind and jeopardise the recovery of the sector after COVID-19, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the Government was being wilfully ignorant to how the sector operates and its work structures.

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More funds and big tech regulation needed to save public interest journalism

The release of funding for regional media outlets is welcome but much more than $5million is needed and big tech must be forced to pay for content if public interest journalism is going to survive, the Greens say.
The Greens have been calling on Communications Minister Paul Fletcher to use the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund to support struggling regional media outlets who’ve been pushed to the brink with COVID-19.
Greens Spokesperson for Media Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

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International Students Abandoned In Heartless Visa Announcement

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the federal government has abandoned international students to the risk of poverty and homelessness. Today the government confirmed it would provide no financial support for international student visa holders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Faruqi has called for income support for international students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Senator Faruqi said:

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Temporary Visa Holders need genuine income support

The government's response to temporary visa holders in Australia is cruel and callous, Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Temporary visa holders are guests in our country and many have lost jobs and income. They need genuine income support right now," Senator McKim said.

"The government is turning its back on people in their hour of need, just as it has done to people seeking asylum for years."

"Not all temporary visa holders have the financial capacity to simply leave. For them this is a sentence to poverty and hunger." 

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