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Face scanning income support recipients another punitive approach: Greens

Plans to face scan people who are accessing the social safety net shows yet another punitive barrier for people needing support. 

“This is the Government once again making life harder for people accessing the social safety net”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“This adds another layer to accessing the social safety net and is unnecessary. It will be seen by many accessing support as punitive and adding to the regulatory burden.

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Students going hungry waiting for student payments to be approved should call their local MP or Senate office for help: Greens

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is urging students to call their local MP or Senator office if Centrelink is not approving student support payments in a reasonable time frame and they are finding themselves unable to pay for basic necessities.   

MP and Senate offices have a Centrelink liaison who assist them with constituent enquiries and payment approvals if students have been waiting beyond the estimated completion date. 

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Senate supports principles that strike balance between preventing foreign influence whilst allowing charities to do important work

The Australian Senate has supported an Australian Greens motion backing the Red Line Principles drawn up by the ‘Hands Off Our Charities’ alliance.

“These principles provide guidance on how to strike a balance with government proposals around foreign involvement in Australian politics. The Australian Greens have already clearly expressed concerns about the entirety of the Government’s foreign influence legislative agenda.

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Anglicare report shows automation of Centrelink still hurting Australians

A report by Anglicare Australia that shows the automation in Centrelink is ‘deliberately designed to make it hard for people’ comes as no surprise and will result in more people struggling to get by, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“Automation of Centrelink services makes it more difficult for some people who are accessing the social safety net. Making the social safety net as inaccessible as possible seems to be the modus operandi of the Turnbull Government who would rather a have a smaller safety net. 

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Australians Greens welcome local councils supporting an increase to Newstart

The Australian Greens congratulate local councils around Australia for supporting a motion to increase Newstart at their recent national conference. 

“Local councils are the closest level of Government to the community and they are seeing firsthand the devastating impacts that the current rate of Newstart is having on people trying to find work. 

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Australian Greens support passing of national redress for survivors of child sexual abuse but will continue to campaign for best possible Scheme

The Greens are pleased national redress legislation has passed, meaning survivors of institutional child sexual abuse can finally begin to access redress, but will advocate for further reforms so the scheme can be the best possible scheme.

“The Greens welcome with a heavy heart the passing of the national redress legislation and look forward to seeing the Scheme operating from the nominated date of 1 July 2018. 

“We share concerns with survivors that the Scheme is not the best it can be given there are some issues that remain unresolved.

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Australian Greens urge crossbench to oppose trial to drug test income support recipients

The Australian Greens have urged the crossbench not to cave in and wave through drug testing trials of income support recipients that would hurt vulnerable people in Canterbury-Bankstown, Logan and Mandurah. 

“When drug testing income support recipients was folded into the broader welfare reform bill, it was rejected by the Senate for good reason.

“Health and addiction experts have overwhelmingly rejected this proposal. 

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Australian Greens support national redress for survivors of child sexual abuse but will continue to campaign for best possible scheme

The Australian Greens have outlined in additional comments to the senate committee report into National Redress legislation that they will advocate for further reforms so the scheme can be the best possible scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

“The Greens want to see the Scheme operating from the nominated date of 1 July 2018. At the same time we are concerned that the Scheme will not be the best it can be given there are some issues that remain unresolved.

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Greens welcome WA finally committing to national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and WA Greens MLC Alison Xamon have welcomed Western Australia finally committing to the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse. 

Alison Xamon MLC said: 

“WA was the last state to fully commit to the scheme but I’m glad they’ve finally got on board. This will be a huge relief for survivors in WA - many of whom are vulnerable, ageing and ill – and have been waiting for a long time. 

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Labor ACT Chief Minister’s call for Newstart increase is encouraging, Shorten must do the same: Greens

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr breaking ranks with federal Labor to call for an increase to Newstart is encouraging. 

“Mr Barr can see like most that Newstart is far too low to survive off and it needs to be increased if unemployed Australians are genuinely going to be supported into finding work. 

“Bill Shorten and the Federal Labor party need to show some courage and admit what we all know, that the payment has to increase so people can survive on it with some dignity. 

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