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Greens call for urgent Health Dept review to ensure discrimination against disabled people does not persist in vaccine rollout

Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has called for an urgent review into the Health Department to determine why disabled people have been discriminated against in the Morrison government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, phase 1a of the vaccine rollout.

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Motion: Sex education

I, and also on behalf of Senator Waters, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australian school students are crying out for clear and direct education on sex and consent,

(ii) the Federal Government's 'Respect matters' resources for schools were announced in 2015, re-announced twice and launched six years later to the condemnation of experts and survivors for promoting harmful ideas about consent and relationships,

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Speech: India and COVID-19

My heart goes out to the people of India, who are basically experiencing immeasurable suffering at this moment. We are thinking of you. We are trying to do everything we can to support you and are pushing the Australian government to meet its moral obligations. The government's disregard for the lives and the health of people overseas has become striking over the past couple of weeks. The Morrison government's threat of jail time for stranded Australians trying to return home from India is absolutely horrific, it's discriminatory and it is racist.

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Question: COVID-19 and the World Trade Organisation

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:19): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Cash. Globally, thousands are dying from COVID-19 each day because they don't have treatment or vaccines. At the same time, majority-white Western countries like ours are hoarding vaccines and ordering more than they will ever need.

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US patent waiver support leaves Australia isolated

The Greens are calling on the Morrison Government to support the patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

The Greens say that the United States’ announced support for the waiver of intellectual property provisions on COVID-19 vaccines has put further pressure on Australia to back the proposal.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid and Development, said:

“Australia must immediately follow the United States and back the TRIPS waiver. We are one of the hold-outs and it’s morally indefensible.

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Australia must back vaccine patent waiver: Greens

The Greens have reiterated their calls for Australia to support a global vaccine patent waiver, supported by more than 100 countries, ahead of a critical World Trade Organization council meeting on Friday.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, International Aid and Development spokesperson, said:

“This is a matter of global justice and responsibility. It is morally bankrupt for Australia to give anything other than full-throated support for the patent waiver.

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Greens call on WA Government to close high risk quarantine hotels

Rachel Siewert 28 Apr 2021

The Greens say that quarantine will be part of managing the pandemic for the foreseeable future and purpose built facilities should be built now. 
 
“The Western Australian Government needs to urgently close the quarantine hotels that have been identified as high risk and improve other areas of its approach to quarantine. These hotels are not fit for purpose and we cannot go any longer using these sub-par facilities that can result in outbreaks. 
 

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Permanent telehealth must be funded in May Budget 

Rachel Siewert 23 Apr 2021

The Greens are calling on the Federal Government to make telehealth a permanent feature of our Medicare system. 
 
“Telehealth has been lifesaving for Australians, especially for people living in regional and remote areas and for disabled people, people with kids and older Australians. 
 
“We know that people living in regional and remote areas suffer worse health outcomes. Telehealth helps to bridge that gap. 
 
“Patients and health practitioners need certainty about the future of telehealth in Australia. 
 

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Big Pharma and shareholders profit making from global pandemic is appalling 

Rachel Siewert 22 Apr 2021

The Greens say that the People’s Vaccine Alliance calculation that Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson  have paid out $26 billion in dividends and stock buybacks to their shareholders in the past 12 months is appalling. 
 
“Profit making from Covid-19 vaccines is gross and highlights exactly why we need publicly owned, Government run facilities in Australia”, Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Disabled people forgotten again in COVID-19 response

The Australian Greens have called on the Morrison Government to urgently prioritise disabled people, and disability support workers, in the national vaccine roll out after it was revealed that just 6.5% of this cohort have received their first dose.

Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said:

"This is absolutely shameful. It's clear that the Morrison government has once again forgotten to include disabled people, and the people who support us, in their pandemic response.

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