Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Labor and Coalition band together to entrench disadvantage for vulnerable and older Australians

Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Release

Senator Rachel Siewert - Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services

7 September 2015

Labor and Coalition band together to entrench disadvantage for vulnerable and older Australians

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (No. 2) Bill 2015 has been passed by the Senate this evening.

Extended income management:

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has today said ‘the passing of legislation that extends income management for a further two years demonstrates a complete disregard for the evidence including from the Government funded reports that showed the measure had failed’.

“When the Government rolled out income management in the Northern Territory it was assessed for its effectiveness. Despite the Government’s reluctance, the eventual release of the report showed the measure had largely failed in its objectives and was deemed ineffective.

“The report showed that income management does not deliver on key objectives and in fact entrenches dependence on income support.

"Communities, experts and service providers have been clear in saying that the top-down, punitive approach doesn't work, and yet successive governments have wasted millions of dollars on income management rather than working with communities to deliver effective programs.

“Alongside the recent rollout of healthy welfare card, it beggars belief that the Government so relentlessly pursues paternalistic top-down approaches that the evidence shows will not work. It is a shame that Labor has joined with the Coalition to extend a measure that will make life hard for vulnerable Australians.

Unfair cuts that will hurt older Australians:

“It is also disappointing that the Government and Labor supported a short-sighted budgetary measure that will make life harder for aged care providers and older Australians moving into aged care facilities.

“These changes also come as part of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (No. 2) Bill 2015 and are disproportionally unfair for the sake of cheap budget savings.

“When applying to stay in an aged care facility older Australians often join a wait list, once a space becomes available, applicants can request for a seven day hold on that spot whilst they finalise arrangements to move into aged care and pack up their life.

“This seven day holding was subsidised by the Government as the aged care provider still had to pay costs and staffing but has now been removed with Labor’s support.

“Forcing an unreasonable timeframe onto transitioning older Australians into care will add unnecessary stress and trauma whilst they attempt to move from their family homes into a care facility.

“We are a caring society and can do better”.

Nadine Walker

Media Adviser Office of Rachel Siewert | Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

1/151 Brisbane St, Northbridge WA 6003 |P: 08 9228 3277 |F: 08 9228 4055 SG-113 Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600|P: 02 6277 3587 |F: 02 6277 5762 |M: 0418 401 180