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Senator Brandis, pick up the phone and call Centrelink

“Senator Brandis: step out of your ivory tower, and attempt to call Centrelink. Be prepared for a wake-up call”,  Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“This is the struggle being experienced by constituents that you are meant to represent.

“I have personally witnessed my constituents wait for hours trying to get through to Centrelink. People dealing with Centrelink are exasperated and stressed.

“Hundreds of people have emailed and called my office to detail their experiences. I can assure you that the system is almost impossible to navigate.

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert responds to news that Brandis will change the Native Title Act

“The news that Attorney General Brandis will hurriedly push through changes to the Native Title Act smacks of knee jerk reaction to a significant situation because they want to protect the Adani coal mine project”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“This could have profound implications for native title and native title holders that will need careful consideration and consultation.  People need the opportunity to look at the native title legislation very carefully.

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert responds to news that the Government is tying social safety net cuts to the NDIS:

“Treasurer Morrison, stop robbing Peter to pay Paul. We should not be hacking billions from the social safety net to pay for the NDIS and you know it.

“The Treasurer is trying to pressure the Senate to support their cuts - this is a cheap trick".

“People with disability would no doubt be outraged that a young person had to wait five weeks in poverty to pay for the NDIS. 

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Details of NDIS secret deal must be revealed: Greens

The Greens have called for the details of a secret deal signed between the WA and Federal Governments on the National Disability Insurance Scheme to be released, saying it was rushed through before the looming State election and people with disability had not been consulted.

Greens spokesperson on disabilities Senator Rachel Siewert said she was deeply concerned that the deal was rushed through on the day WA goes into caretaker mode before the election.

“I’m really concerned it’s been rushed before we see the outcome of the process,” she said.

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Brandis to face Senate inquiry over WA deal

The Senate has voted to establish an inquiry that will investigate the deal between the Western Australian government and the Commonwealth regarding the Bell Act, and the involvement of Attorney-General George Brandis and former Treasurer Joe Hockey.

"This motion passed today compels Senator Brandis and Senator Mathias Cormann to appear before the inquiry to answer questions about their involvement in this deal," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"The Greens believe that former Treasurer Joe Hockey should also be called to give evidence."

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Greens to push for Senate inquiry into Brandis' deal

The Greens will tomorrow move to refer matters associated with the Bell Group Companies Act (WA) to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

"The allegation that Senator Brandis instructed the Solicitor General to effectively run dead in the High Court are the most serious he has faced in a career that is strewn with misconduct," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"We need to get Senator Brandis out of witness protection and into an inquiry where he can be questioned about these extraordinary allegations."

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George Brandis must resign or be sacked

If reports of George Brandis instructing the former Solicitor-General to act in a political way and ignore the rule of law are true, he should immediately resign or be sacked as Attorney-General.

"It appears Senator Brandis was trying to interfere with the Solicitor-General to stitch up a politically cosy deal for the Western Australian Liberal Government," Australian Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"If it looks like corruption and smells like corruption, then it probably is corruption."

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Senate urges Government to address accessing the NDIS for blind and vision impaired people

The Senate has supported a motion initiated by Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert that calls on the Government to address barriers for people with vision impairment to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“Recently we saw reports that blind and vision impaired Australians have not been able to access the NDIS because materials and pamphlets are not in braille or large print.

“A National Disability Scheme that is not accessible to people with disability is disastrous and flies in the face of the whole purpose of the NDIS. 

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George Brandis' position looking more untenable by the day

Attorney-General George Brandis' disregard for the rule of law and abuse of process calls into question his suitability for the role, Australian Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Senator Brandis has basically been caught out shopping around for politically convenient legal advice on some of the most contentious issues facing the government," Senator McKim said.

"For the Attorney General to have sidelined the Solicitor General when considering the constitutionality of contentious legislation is an extraordinary development."

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