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Speech on the Cashless Debit Card Trial Bill

I rise to speak on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018. The Australian Greens oppose this bill. The Greens have opposed the cashless debit card since its inception. The bill before us today intends to establish the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg trial site and, if this bill passes, this new trial site will continue on until 30 June 2020. In this trial, the cashless debit card would only be forced on those under 36 and receiving Newstart allowance, youth allowance or parenting payment.

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Mehreen's First Speech

Good evening. Assalamoalikum. We are gathered here today on stolen land. I acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, and pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging. We must recognise that sovereignty was never ceded. All Australians, whether they were born here or have come from somewhere else, have an obligation to remember: this land always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

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The Greens’ plan to protect takayna/Tarkine

The Greens have a plan to protect takayna/the Tarkine in a National Park that is owned and run by Aboriginal Tasmanians.

Greens candidate for Braddon Jarrod Edwards said takayna is a place of incredible importance to Tasmanian Aboriginal people and indeed all people who visit it.

“As custodians of this land we encourage sustainable and well balanced management and use of our home lands so that future generations can enjoy and learn from them as we continue to do,” Mr Edwards said.

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Continued funding for Indigenous Protected Areas welcome but we must ensure it is properly supported by Departments: Greens

The Australian Greens have welcomed the Government pressing ahead with funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, and have welcomed the renewing of contracts, but will be chasing up the role that the Department of Environment plays in the critically important programme. 

“It is good the Government is getting on with funding for Indigenous Protected Areas but I note funding was announced last year and contracts could have been signed, sealed and delivered a year ago. The stalling has created unnecessary stress and things could have moved quicker. 

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Three days until remote Aboriginal housing funding expires and the Government must act: Greens

The uncertainty about funding for remote Aboriginal housing past 30 June 2018 (three days from now) has become farcical and must urgently be resolved, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“This weekend the ten year agreement on delivering remote Aboriginal housing wraps up and the Government has failed to resolve the current impasse, which will have an impact on Aboriginal communities in remote Western Australia. 

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Disgraceful stat showing 100% of children in NT youth detention are Aboriginal should prompt action

Heartbreaking revelations that 100% of kids in Northern Territory Youth Detention are Aboriginal shows a completely broken justice system that is still not addressing systemic racism that has purveyed for so long. 

“There’s no other way to put it, the fact that there are no non-indigenous kids in NT youth detention at the moment is a result of a broken system that disproportionately incarcerates First Peoples youth. 

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We need real action by the Government this Sorry Day

In the lead up to National Sorry Day and ten years since the National Apology, the Australian Greens are calling for the Turnbull Government to ensure healing and justice for the Stolen Generations, whilst also working to reduce the appalling number of Aboriginal children disproportionately entering out of home care.

“There is a link between failure of Government to ensure healing, justice and reparations for the Stolen Generations and more Aboriginal children in the out of home care system.

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WA police who knocked down Aboriginal man should be stood down and a full independent investigation must take place: Greens

Footage showing WA police knocking down an Aboriginal man is extremely distressing and should trigger a full independent investigation, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today. 

“The second tranche of footage that shows WA police veering into the path of an Aboriginal man and knocking him on to the footpath is extremely distressing. 

“I believe this is indicative of a broader problem within the WA police in regards to some officers' attitude and treatment of our First Peoples and should be taken very seriously. 

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CDP hurting remote Australians, it is time the for the Minister to act

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has called on the Federal Government to urgently overhaul the Community Development Program (CDP) in light of more evidence that the program is hurting vulnerable people in remote communities.

“More and more people in remote communities, most of whom are Aboriginal, are being slugged with fines because the program if failing to meet their needs. This is having a dire impact on individuals, families and the whole community.

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There needs to be truth-telling about January 26 when City of Cockburn consults further

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has urged the City of Cockburn to include important information about the true history of January 26 when consulting with the community about changing the date of Australia Day celebrations. 

“Although the City of Cockburn has consulted with local Aboriginal peoples about the future of Australia Day celebrations who support changing the date, it was decided last night that more broader consultation should occur. 

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