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Jobseeker increase welcomed but untenable to drop people back to old rate in 6 months

"The Government has finally listened to the community and all those living in poverty who have been crying out for an increase to Newstart for years and years now.

"It shouldn’t have taken a crisis like this to show compassion and increase the Jobseeker payment.

"An increase to the jobseeker payment must be long term and permanent. It is absolutely untenable to drop people back onto $40 a day once this crisis period has passed.

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Changes to mutual obligations make no sense and are cruel and mean spirited

The Greens say the Government’s proposed changes to mutual obligations miss the point. Many people on Newstart don’t have or are unable to afford the infrastructure to just “go online”.

"The changes to mutual obligations are not good enough, people can request online interviews and meetings but that doesn’t account for people who don’t have or just can’t afford the infrastructure to enable this.

"People on Newstart (now Jobseeker payment) are living on $40 a day. How can the government be sure they have access to a home computer and the internet at home?

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Steele-John: Statement regarding travel to Canberra for Parliament

Friday 20th March, 2020

After seeking advice from medical professionals, my colleagues and my family, I have made the decision to stay in Western Australia - I won't be travelling to Canberra for Parliament next week. 

We're all in this together and all of our lives have been disrupted. For at risk people, including disabled people, we're having to re-evaluate and adapt, balancing our usual routines with minimising the risk to ourselves and those we love. 

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BANDT, FARUQI: Big banks failing homeowners who deserve mortgage holiday too

This morning’s decision by the big four banks to do nothing for homeowners risks putting families out on the streets, Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP, and Housing spokesperson, Mehreen Faruqi, said today, calling for the government to get big banks to give vulnerable homeowners a residential ‘mortgage holiday’ to make sure families don’t lose their homes.

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COVID-19 response from Disability Reform Council "appalling": Greens

Thursday 19 March, 2020

Australian Greens disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has described the COAG Disability Reform Council's (DRC) response to COVID-19 as appalling

Senator Steele-John has called on the DRC to act with more urgency, and provide more clarity about the impacts COVID-19 will have on disabled people, our families and our support networks.

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Close the Gap Day and COVID-19

COVID-19 has the potential to cause severe harm to First Nations communities particularly in regional and remote areas, older Australians, disabled people and people with mental health issues.

“Preventing and slowing the spread of the virus to First Nations communities must be a priority given that First Nations communities already suffer higher rates of chronic and respiratory illness than the general population,” Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on First Nations issues said.

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Greens repeat calls for Newstart changes to be delayed until Centrelink is fit for purpose

The Greens have repeated their calls for the Government to delay changes to Newstart and the Sickness Allowance in the face of the COVID-19 crisis saying that Centrelink lacks the resources to adequately deal with the changes and the increased workload resulting from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
 
From tomorrow, Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Wife Pension, Bereavement Allowance and Widow B Pension are set to cease and most recipients of these payments will transition to Jobseeker Payment, Age Pension or Carer Payment.

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COVID-19: Greens call for child care subsidy ‘activity test’ to be scrapped

Australian Greens Senator and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has called on the federal government to scrap the Activity Test for the Child Care Subsidy immediately. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, it is critical that families continue to receive subsidised child care.

Senator Faruqi said:

“As workplaces suspend operations and cut shifts, families become unable to meet the Activity Test and may lose access to subsidised child care. We must not let this happen.

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Greens announce plan to Save Creative Australia

Adam Bandt 19 Mar 2020

As the unfolding COVID-19 crisis continues to impact the Australia arts and creative industries, the Australian Greens have called for urgent government investment to save the industry from collapse and ensure artists keep a roof over their head.

The Greens are demanding an urgent injection of $1 billion to protect the industry from collapse and future-proof the arts, alongside restoring and increasing Australia Council funding to expand access for individuals and organisations to access grants.

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