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Government failure on global vaccine action shocking: Greens

Adam Bandt 14 Aug 2020

Greens questioning in the Senate COVID Committee today has confirmed the Morrison government has failed to join the COVAX global vaccine initiative despite the Prime Minister saying the world needs to share the vaccine.

Under questioning by Senator Richard Di Natale the Secretary of Health confirmed the government had not signed up to the main international effort to secure vaccine access globally, nor contributed a single dollar.

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt:

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Prime Minister and Cabinet must show leadership and urgently ensure that aged care around Australia is prepared

Questions to Prime Minster and Cabinet today at the COVID hearing have shown that despite the aged care crisis the Government is not doing enough to ensure that all aged care providers around Australia are completely prepared. 
 
"It’s pretty obvious that prevention is better than cure and after speaking to the Department today I have very little confidence that they are taking an appropriate leadership role. 
 
"We cannot just wait around, rely on self-assessment by providers on their readiness for an outbreak, there needs to be action around the country. 
 

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Arts and entertainment industry funds won’t flow till restrictions lifted

The Secretary to the Prime Minister has today told the Senate’s Covid Committee that money previously promised to help the arts & entertainment industry won’t flow until after restrictions are lifted.
Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young pressed the Secretary on when money will actually flow to the arts and entertainment industry given $250m in funding was announced almost seven weeks ago, after a three month wait for an industry-specific package.

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Morrison & Andrews are failing to protect disabled people

Friday 7th August 2020

Australian Greens Disability Rights and Services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said a failure to learn from the mistakes made during the first wave of COVID-19 and take action to protect disabled people is putting lives at risk in Victoria.

Senator Steele-John said both the Morrison and Andrews governments had failed to listen to disabled people, our families, advocates and organisations since the very beginning of the pandemic and that inaction had led to a surge in cases linked to residential disability services.

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Federal Government must lift VIC childcare support & move to free childcare

Adam Bandt 6 Aug 2020

Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, says a return to free childcare is needed in Victoria immediately and that the success of the initial COVID-19 childcare package has shown Australian families that it is possible and desirable to pursue free childcare for good.

“Even though the restrictions in Victoria are now harsher, the childcare support from the Federal government is now weaker,” Bandt said.

“In the middle of a pandemic, the government has tried to reinvent the wheel and thrown parents, workers and the industry into unnecessary confusion.”

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Pandemic Leave desperately needed with a quarter of South Aussie workers having no leave entitlement

Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young has called for South Australia to be included in the Federal Government’s Paid Pandemic Leave scheme, with ABS data revealing 186,000 South Australian workers have no leave entitlements.
Senator Hanson-Young has written to SA Premier Steven Marshall asking him to make the request to the PM to add the tool of paid pandemic leave to SA’s arsenal in the fight against Covid19.

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Govt claims $10m for Fox Sports is a Covid Response Measure but no extra funding for ABC

The Morrison Government’s $10million for Fox Sports to broadcast women’s and niche sports is part of its Covid Response Package, yet no extra funding has been given to the ABC or SBS during the pandemic, the Senate’s Covid Select Committee has heard today.
Under questioning from Greens Spokesperson for Media and Communications, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, the Department of Communications told the Committee the program which has already seen $30m given to Murdoch, was extended to help get women’s and niche sports broadcast once they’re back up and running.

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No More Band-Aids: Reinstate Free Childcare and Fund ECEC Properly

The Greens have responded to the government’s package for childcare in Victoria, saying that it is unnecessarily complicated and austere. The government should guarantee free childcare permanently and extend JobKeeper for all early learning workers.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Education spokesperson, said:

“This package doesn’t work for families, who may still have to pay gap fees. It doesn’t work for educators, who don’t have a wage guarantee. And it doesn’t work for centres, who won’t get the funding they need.

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