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Australian Greens introduce bill to urgently tackle inequality with an increase to income support payments

The Australian Greens have introduced a bill in the Senate that would increase woefully low Newstart and Youth Allowance payments by $110 a fortnight.

“It is well known that income support payments have failed to increase overtime to reflect modern day cost-of-living. Now anyone accessing Newstart is receiving a grossly low payment that keeps them struggling below the poverty line.

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Centrelink continues to intimidate vulnerable Australians with threatening texts

The Government continues its agenda of intimidation of Centrelink recipients with threatening text messages to people following the letters recently sent from Centrelink with the Australian Federal Police’s logo. 

“The Government is deliberately targeting vulnerable people and trying to intimidate them, even though they have done nothing wrong.” Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“To follow up the threatening AFP letters that were sent out last week, Centrelink is now sending out text messages which are frightening and intimidating people. 

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Greens welcome union for remote and regional Australians forced onto CDP

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed the ACTU establishing the First Nations Workers Alliance, a new union to protect people struggling to find work who are forced into the Community Development Programme (CDP) in regional and remote Australia.

“The CDP imposes unreasonable mutual obligations that are not imposed on job seekers in the metropolitan area. I have long said it is discriminatory to Aboriginal people out bush and has done more harm than good.

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UN joins growing calls for a Royal Commission into the abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Committee calling for a Royal Commission into the abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability.

Senator Rachel Siewert initiated and chaired the senate inquiry that recommended a Royal Commission, and said:

“The United Nations has joined the growing chorus for a Royal Commission into this issue that continues to happen around this country. 

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Retail jobs deal for young people opens up questions about churn and exploitation: Greens

 The Australian Greens have reservations about job internships being negotiated between the Government and the Australian Retailers Association for young people struggling to find meaningful employment. 

“Although I’m sure the Australian Retailers Association was well-intentioned in brokering this deal with the Government, I do have questions about why these young people can’t just be offered work under the usual conditions rather than internships where they can be potentially exploited”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Senator Hanson, please stop your damaging remarks towards kids with autism in schools

Senator Pauline Hanson doubling down on her comments that children with autism should be segregated in schools shows sheer stubbornness and an inability to comprehend the damage she is causing, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Senator Hanson needs to stop commenting on issues she hasn’t got a clue about. She has already done enough damage.

“She needs to apologise for her archaic and damaging remarks that stigmatise children with autism and undermines inclusiveness.

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Government is seeking exemptions from the Disability Discrimination Act so that they can drug test income support recipients

A social services bill introduced into the House of Representatives this morning includes a much broader exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act, meaning people accessing the social safety net with disability can be discriminated against by the Government.

“The damaging proposal to drug test income support recipients is included in the Bill so of course they need to broaden out the exemption which would allow them to do this. It was hinted in Senate estimates but has been confirmed today, and it is broader and more far-reaching than just drug testing.

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Senate committee recommends robo-debt be put on hold and drastically overhauled

A Senate Committee report into the Government’s Centrelink Online Compliance Intervention (robo-debt) program has called for it to be put on hold until of the procedural fairness flaws in the program are addressed. The Committee a says the Government should re-assess all debts determined through the use of income averaging and that a redesigned system should include a robust risk assessment process.

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Victorians issued over 33,000 robo-debt notices in less than a year

A breakdown provided by the Department of Human Services to the Centrelink senate inquiry shows that over 33,000 Victorians have been issued with a Centrelink robo-debt between 1 July 2016 and 28 February 2017.


“In less than a year we have 33,000 Victorians sent letters for alleged debts that may or may not exist. This sort of approach is unfair and fundamentally flawed and targets people who are already struggling to get by,” Greens Senator for Victoria Janet Rice said today.


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