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COVID-19 (coronavirus)

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Set up a COVID response committee to keep democracy healthy: Greens

Adam Bandt 2 Apr 2020

The Australian Parliament should set up a cross-parliamentary committee to oversee the government’s pandemic and ensure democratic checks and balances are maintained, Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said today.

The Greens Leader has written to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, as well as crossbench MPs and Senators, to request the formation of a Joint Select Committee at next week’s sitting of Parliament.

“We need more democracy during this crisis, not less,” said Mr Bandt.

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Govt must rein in tech giants before it’s too late for Australian media

The Federal Government dropped the ball in its response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry and must implement urgent reforms if Australian media is to play on after the COVID-19 crisis, the Greens say.

Greens Spokesperson for Media Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said media reform was long overdue before the Coronavirus crisis which has now pushed regional and community media outlets to the brink, with some already shutting their doors.

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Pause health insurance payments & abolish PHI rebate: Greens

The Australian Greens have called for a pause on health insurance premiums during the COVID-19 crisis, and for the government to redirect the private health insurance rebate into the public system to assist in delivering critical care.
 
“Australians should not be paying premiums for a product that can’t be used for its primary purpose, especially when millions of households are facing challenging financial circumstances,” Dr Richard Di Natale, Greens health spokesperson said today.
 

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Make Like Tassie & Stop Racing Nationally, Scott

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Animal Welfare spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said the rest of the country must follow Tasmania and stop greyhound and horse racing immediately.

Senator Faruqi said:

“It’s absolutely crazy that greyhound and horse racing is continuing in the middle of a global pandemic.

“It’s clear the only reason racing has been allowed to continue is because of the remarkable power and influence of the gambling and racing industries.

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Greens call on Govt to save regional papers and reverse ABC cuts

The Federal Government must urgently unlock the Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package to save regional and community newspapers during the COVID-19 crisis and reverse funding cuts to the ABC which is now more important than ever, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for Media Senator Sarah Hanson-Young wrote to the Minister for Communications a week ago asking him to intervene to help prevent the closure of regional media outlets but is yet to see or hear anything from him.

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Govt’s Job Keeper payment fails many in arts, entertainment and creative industry

The Federal Government’s Job Keeper payment rules fail many in the arts, entertainment and creative industry which employs many casuals and seasonal workers, the Greens say.

Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said while the payment is welcome, she is extremely worried for casual employees who won’t meet the threshold 12-months employed to qualify for the Job Keeper payment.

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Disabled People & Carers left out of $130 billion stimulus

Tuesday 31st March, 2020

Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said the Government's failure to extend the $550 COVID-19 supplement to people receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and Carer Payment in Yesterday's $130 billion stimulus package was an indictment on their attitude to disabled people and carers.

"It's clear that this government is still not taking the needs of disabled people and their families seriously enough in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Steele-John said.

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Flu vaccine should be free for all Australians: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale has written to the federal health minister calling for the influenza vaccine to be made available free of charge to all Australians as part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“Ensuring everyone can access the flu vaccine for free is a clear step that will provide multiple benefits to the public and to our health system,” Dr Di Natale said today.
 

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