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United approach needed to tackle effects of alcohol abuse

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, says investment in holistic, community driven programs is needed to address the alarming impacts of foteal alcohol spectrum disorder throughout Aboriginal communities.

"Foteal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) has been long identified as a serious health concern amongst Aboriginal children, but reports of its prevalence in the Kimberley make for very hard reading," Senator Siewert said today.

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Greens in Senate oppose Stronger Futures, vote against Bankstown income management trial

Commenting on the Stronger Futures legislation that passed the Senate last night on the combined vote of Labor and the Coalition, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said there was insufficient evidence to support extending the government’s controversial income management trial to Bankstown. 

The Greens tried to vote down the legislation, then tried to remove income management from the bill, but did not receive the support of the other parties. 

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Greens to oppose NT Intervention expansion


The Australian Greens will move to oppose Stronger Futures legislation expanding the Northern Territory Intervention in the Senate today.

“It has been made clear to me by so many people that they simply don’t want the Intervention,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“It is poor judgement from the Government to bring this on for debate with such little time remaining before the winter recess.

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Human rights examination of parenting and intervention laws is an important step

The Australian Greens have welcomed the Joint Committee on Human Rights examination of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Families and Community Services said the referral is an important step, given the dramatic effect of the legislation.

“One of the effects of this legislation will be to force around 100,000 single parents from parenting payments to Newstart Allowance,” Senator Siewert said today.

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Housing comments overlook the needs of homelands

The Australian Greens say Government claims that Aboriginal housing issues have ‘turned a corner’ downplays continuing overcrowding and a significant and ongoing lack of funding to support people on homelands.

“Rather than turning a corner, the Government are turning their back on some significant issues around housing,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Despite the investments made, overcrowding would remain at levels well beyond those in the rest of the country.

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Amnesty report emphasises need for homelands investment

Amnesty International’s State of the World's Human Rights report underlines the detrimental impact of the NT Intervention on homelands and the long term health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Australian Greens said today.

“It is little surprise that Amnesty, like other international organisations, has found continued violations of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Greens seek further scrutiny for NT Intervention

The Australian Greens will ask Attorney General Nicola Roxon to refer the Stronger Futures legislation package to the newly established Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.

“Stronger Futures, the legislation being used to extend the NT Intervention, was introduced before the joint committee was finalised, meaning the legislation will not be automatically scrutinised and does not need to include a human rights statement,” Senator Siewert said today.

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