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Cashless welfare card trial begins in Goldfields WA today

It is a sad day for the WA Goldfields region, with the start today of the rollout of the cashless welfare card, said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

“Thanks to the Government and the Nick Xenophon Team, today letters are being sent in the Goldfields region informing residents that they will be put onto the paternalistic cashless welfare card. 

“We Greens fought hard to stop the cashless welfare card trials being expanded, and although we managed to stave off a site in Queensland, my home state of WA has become the home of another trial site. 

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Commonwealth urged to work as a matter of urgency to achieve redress in WA

WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and Alison Xamon MLC welcome the Victorian and NSW Governments agreeing to sign up to a national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse, but urge the Commonwealth to work closely with the McGowan Government to ensure that the scheme is rolled out in WA. 

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today: 

“It is great to see progress with Eastern states signing up to the national redress scheme - this means survivors will finally begin to receive the redress they have waited so long for. 

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The Turnbull Government didn't consult its own advisory panel about drug testing plan: Greens

The Coalition Government has not consulted its own Drug and Alcohol Advisory Committee – The Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs (ANACAD) - about its latest plans to drug test income support recipients, it was revealed at estimates today. Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale said It was clear that the Coalition didn't ask their own experts because they didn't want the truth: that this plan is cruel, wasteful and will make the problem worse.

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Drug testing income support recipients will still be a harmful waste of time: Greens

It is a disappointing development that the Coalition Party Room is continuing its ideological approach to policy with its support for another attempt to legislate drug testing trials for income support recipients, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“Despite overwhelming evidence to the committee inquiry by drug and alcohol experts that the measure would not meet any desired objectives and could have adverse impacts, the Turnbull Government is trying to bring it back. 

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Government continues to ignore local communities with renewed push for cashless welfare card in regional QLD

News today that the Federal Government plans to renew its push for the cashless welfare card in the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region shows their fixation with this flawed policy approach and a disregard for the local community, the Australian Greens say today.

“Just earlier this month the Parliament did not support the expansion of the card to regional QLD, instead supporting legislation that only allowed for a third trial site in my home state of WA”, said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Automating Centrelink debt recovery still a disaster: Greens

One in six robo-debts being wiped or changed in the first year shows that the program continues to be a disaster, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“This time last year the Government was under immense media scrutiny for the rollout of their Centrelink robo-debt program, which was causing a lot of harm and distress to vulnerable members of the community. Although the lime-light is no longer on the program, Australians continue to be issued false debts. 

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Old parties vote down $75 increase to Newstart in the Senate

The Turnbull Government and the Labor party have together voted down a Senate motion calling for an increase of the single rate of Newstart and other allowances by $75 a week.

“The rate of the crucial income support payment Newstart is so abysmally low that those trying to find work are living below the poverty line”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Disappointing that Senate voted down disallowance to stop cashless welfare card trials: Greens

It is disappointing that the Senate has voted down the Greens disallowance motion to immediately stop the cashless welfare card trials in the East Kimberley and Ceduna.

 “The evaluation has been done and the result do not justify further rollout with many worrying negative trends, we need to put this awful social experiment to bed”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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