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Massive expansion to Coronavirus Supplement after Greens pressure causes Government backflip

More than 250,000 Australians will have an extra $550 a fortnight to get through the Coronavirus crisis, after the Greens pushed the government to extend a crucial supplementary payment that had omitted Australia’s students.

Following questioning from Senator Rachel Siewert and Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Matthias Cormann said the government would now immediately regulate to make Abstudy, Austudy, and Youth Allowance (Student) eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement.

Lines from Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:

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Reducing family violence during the coronavirus crisis: Greens

Larissa Waters 23 Mar 2020

The Greens have called on the Morrison Government to urgently fund services needed to respond to the increased risk of family violence during the Coronavirus crisis.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters urged the government to recognise the risks presented by quarantining at home.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe at home. But experience overseas shows that being at home during the COVID-19 crisis can put some women and children at higher risk of abuse from violent or controlling partners,” she said today.

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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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