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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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NDIS too important to undermine: Greens

Recent speculation about aspects of the NDIS are understandably making people nervous about the future of the scheme, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“With reports that the Federal Government is attempting to take control of the scheme, that the WA Government is walking away from a national approach and the business sector talking about the cost of the scheme, the Federal Government needs to be showing some leadership.  

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Senate calls on the Treasurer to abandon suggestions that income support cuts are needed to pay for the NDIS

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed senate support for her motion calling on the Government to deliver the NDIS but not at the expense of people on income support.

“Just recently Treasurer Scott Morrison suggested that cuts may have to be make in the welfare system to pay for the NDIS.

“The Government needs to stop marrying Federal funding to cuts to support of our most vulnerable.

“The Senate noted that those on income support have been disproportionately targeted over the last two cruel budgets.

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert comments on Scott Morrison foreshadowing more cuts to social safety net to fund NDIS

"We do not need to take from our most vulnerable to pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“Australians doing it tough must be growing really tired of the Coalition Government using them as a source of savings for the Federal Budget. The Government is once again sinking so low as to pitch one group needing the community’s support against another.

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