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Case against Dan Oakes dropped but media freedom laws must be fixed

The Commonwealth DPP’s decision to rule out charges against ABC journalist Dan Oakes is welcome but the lengthy ordeal should never have arisen in the first place, the Greens say.
Greens spokesperson for Media and Chair of the Senate Inquiry into Press Freedoms, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“This case was designed to have a chilling effect on the media by a secretive government.
“Mr Oakes’ reporting was always in the public interest and the fact it’s taken so long for the AFP and CDPP to reach this conclusion highlights our laws are broken and need fixing.

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Rental Report Reveals Tenants’ Covid Struggle

Mehreen Faruqi 15 Oct 2020

Australian Greens Housing spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that AHURI’s Renting in the time of COVID-19: understanding the impacts report, released today, has shone a light on the struggles of renters during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Renters are doing it very tough. The findings of this report confirm many of the fears we’ve had for renters throughout this crisis. Many are earning less, living precariously, and being refused rent reductions.

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Live entertainment industry on it's knees deserves PM's urgent attention

The Greens are again urging the Morrison Government to do more for the Arts and Entertainment Industry after a report released today shows two out of every three jobs in the live entertainment sector have been lost this year. 
Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“The Arts and Entertainment Industry was completely ignored in last week's budget despite being the hardest hit by Covid19.
"These latest figures confirm the crisis the Industry has been telling the Government it is in for half a year now. 

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Greens call on Liberal and Labor to ditch stage 3 tax cuts entirely

Responding to reports that Stage 3 of the government’s tax cuts, voted into law by Liberal and Labor, may not be fully repealed after the next election, Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, has called on Labor to join the Greens in taking on the government by ending the speculation and confusion around their position on the most radical, regressive tax proposal in Australian history.

“These tax cuts, whether you take the stages separately or as a whole, are a radical ideological flattening of our revenue base,” Bandt said.

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Government must act on companies taking advantage of gamblers during COVID and legislate a national exclusion register 

A study released by the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) today shows that gambling companies are using the pandemic as an opportunity to prey on people who may have more time  on their hands because of lockdown or job loss and are feeling anxious and alone. 
 
“The underhanded and sneaky tactics used by gambling campaigns through this pandemic show exactly why we need proper regulation nationally and in all States and Territories, including a national regulator and a national self-exclusion register”, Greens spokesperson on Gambling Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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World Mental Health Day: Government’s must look beyond budget and election cycles and invest in longterm strategy

Mental illness is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and access to treatments should be universal. People in our community should be able to get easy access to treatments in the same way they would for a broken leg or the flu,” Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health Senator Rachel Siewert said.

Mental ill health is the leading cause of sickness and long term work incapacity in the developed world. 

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Government seeks to entrench racist, punitive and ineffective Cashless Debit Card 

The Government has today introduced legislation that will make the Cashless Debit Card permanent in the current trial sites and introduce it to the Northern Territory and Cape York.
 
“This is a toxic piece of legislation. The Cashless Debit Card is denying people their dignity and quality of life”,  Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 
The Cashless Debit Card is a punitive program that punishes people simply because they are on income support.
 

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Senate votes against delaying liquid assets test for people on Jobseeker 

Yesterday I sought the support of the Senate to disallow the reintroduction of the liquid assets test waiting period for new claims for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Austudy made from 25 September.
 
I am very disappointed that the Senate did not support the Greens disallowance motion to ensure that people who lose their jobs can get access to income support as soon as possible during this crisis. 
 
It is very unfair to make people use up almost all of their savings before they can access income support. It leaves them in a very precarious position. 

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Senate votes against delaying liquid assets test for people on Jobseeker 

Yesterday I sought the support of the Senate to disallow the reintroduction of the liquid assets test waiting period for new claims for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Austudy made from 25 September.
 
I am very disappointed that the Senate did not support the Greens disallowance motion to ensure that people who lose their jobs can get access to income support as soon as possible during this crisis. 
 
It is very unfair to make people use up almost all of their savings before they can access income support. It leaves them in a very precarious position. 

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