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Thursday, 28 June 2012
Page: 4934

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (22:23): I understand that the department is attempting to interact with the local communities so that this can work effectively. But when opposition develops, how do you gauge that?

I would like to share with you the widespread opposition that there is in Bankstown. I will read out a list of 57 organisations who have raised their opposition to income management in Bankstown. It includes: Catholic Care; the Maritime Union of Australia; the New South Wales Nurses Association; Unions New South Wales, the Arab Council Australia Inc.; the Association of Bahrain Al Amin; the Australian Arab Business Network; the Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Alliance; the Australian Services Union; the Bankstown Area Multicultural Network; the Bankstown Community Resource Group; the Bankstown Women's Health Centre; the Cabramatta Community Centre; the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants of New South Wales; the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union New South Wales; the New South Wales Council of Social Services; the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation; the Ethnic Child Care, Family and Community Services Coop; the Ethnic Communities Council of New South Wales; the Finance Sector Union, New South Wales/ACT Branch; the Fairfield Local Aboriginal Access Group; the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia; the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council; the Granville Multicultural Community Centre; the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales; the Greenacre Area Neighbourhood Centre Inc.; the Green Left Weekly; the Immigration Advocacy and Services Network; the Inner South-West Community Development Organisation Ltd; the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, Research Unit, UTS; the Lebanese Community Council of New South Wales; the Lebanese Muslim Association; the Metro Migrant Resource Centre; the National Association of Community Legal Centres Inc; the National Tertiary Education Union New South Wales; the Network of Immigrant and Refugee Women of Australia Inc.; the Olive Tree Women's Network; the Pacific Island Women Advocate Support Service; the Presentation Sisters Queensland; the Public Service Association New South Wales; Reconciliation for Western Sydney; the St Vincent de Paul National Council of Australia; the Sisters of St Joseph South Australia Reconciliation Circle; the Society of Australian Presentation Sisters Justice Group; the South West Community Legal Centre; the Stop the Intervention Collective—

The CHAIRMAN: Senator Rhiannon—

Senator RHIANNON: There are only about 10 to go.

Senator Heffernan: I rise on a point of order. Who are this mob?

The CHAIRMAN: That is not a point of order, Senator Heffernan.

Senator Heffernan: There has been no explanation. I appreciate the long list, but—

The CHAIRMAN: Senator Heffernan, resume your seat. There is no point of order.

Senator RHIANNON: Senator Heffernan, these are organisations that have taken up the issue of income management in Bankstown and are raising their concerns about and their opposition to it occurring. I was reading them in the lead-up to a question to the minister. To continue, the list includes: the Tenants Union of New South Wales; the TRI Community Exchange; the United Muslim Women Association; United Voice; UnitingCare New South Wales and ACT; the Welfare Rights Centre, Sydney; the Western Sydney Community Forum; the Western Sydney Regional Information and Research Service; Woodville Community Services; the Women's Electoral Lobby, New South Wales; and the Working Group for Aboriginal Rights in Canberra.

Minister, you can see that that is a very impressive list. These organisations have come together to raise concerns about income management in Bankstown. It takes a lot of organisation for those groups to become informed about what is happening and for them to come together around a common position. Considering that it is so extensive, how is the government interacting with this opposition? Have there been meetings? Have there been explanations? Have you learnt anything from this level of opposition? Have you made any changes to how you are proceeding with income management?