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Speech: Covid-19 Economic Response Bill

I'm speaking from my home in lockdown, as greater Sydney has entered its sixth week of lockdown. Millions of people are under stay-at-home orders as the virus circulates in our community Tragically, people are dying because vaccinations haven't been provided even to essential workers who have to leave home and are expected to stoically put their health and that of their families at risk. It was heartbreaking to hear today of the death of 27-year-old Aude Alaskar, who collapsed in his Warwick Farm unit.

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Greens call for Government to mandate vaccines for home care workers 

 The Greens say that older Australians are at significant risk without mandatory COVID -19 vaccines for all aged care workers, including those working in home care and disability care.
 
“It’s shocking that workers caring for a very vulnerable population in their homes, moving between many households in a day are not a priority for the vaccine rollout", Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Income support recipients continue to be an afterthought

The Greens say that the additional $200 for people on income support who have lost 8 hours of work a week is a step in the right direction but once again it isn’t enough.

It’s very simple: to ensure people stay safe, the Government must ensure everyone can afford to stay home during lockdowns. 

Once again, a confusing, delayed and piecemeal process to access support has exacerbated the mental ill-health of people in our community. 

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Research shows 260,000 Australians at risk of slipping below the poverty line

The Greens have released new research showing up to 260,000 single parents, students and jobseekers in locked-down states of NSW, Victoria and SA who are barred from emergency lockdown payments could lose hundreds of dollars a week and slip below the poverty line.

The Greens are calling on the Morrison government to reinstate JobSeeker at $1,100 a fortnight and reintroduce JobKeeper.

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt:

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New report shows devastating impacts of Morrison's two-class income support response

The Australian Greens say that ACOSS’ Report “Locked out in Lockdown: A report about people with the least trying to survive in lockdown” highlights that the Morrison Government has created a two-class income support response.  
 
“This Government has locked out people with the least. People who have lost paid work because of lockdowns are able to access the $600 per week COVID-19 Disaster Payments, while those on JobSeeker Payment are getting half as much at $315 per week”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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NDIS age cap both arbitrary and discriminatory

Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has backed calls for the NDIS to scrap its age cap and allow disabled people over the age of 65 to access the supports they need to live a good life.

Senator Steele-John said it was both arbitrary and discriminatory to block disabled people over the age of 65 from accessing the NDIS.

"Older Australians with a disability deserve to be able to access the supports and services that they need to live a good life, just like everyone else," Steele-John said.

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Shameful Robodebt chapter is not over

The Greens welcome the Federal Court judgement on the robodebt class action that found the Commonwealth "unlawfully"  raised $1.7 billion in debts against 443,000 people, but say that the Government has still fundamentally failed to be accountable for the illegal robodebt program. 
 
"Citizens shouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail for justice and take their own Government to court to get any measure of accountability", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
As Justice Murphy said, this is a shameful chapter. 

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DobSeeker line is a farce

The Greens say Minister Robert’s latest release on the DobSeeker hotline confirms that it is just more Government funded intimidation of people on income support. 

 

This attempt to once again demonise people looking for work is despicable. There are 1.14 million people looking for work and the Minister is making a big deal of a few hundred calls that are still being ‘investigated’. This demonising has to stop.

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