Family, Ageing, Community & Disability Services

We are committed to delivering a guaranteed adequate income to all Australians, so as to assure people have appropriate support. Accessible social services, community resources and income support are essential for ensuring everybody has access to quality health care, housing, employment, education and training. The Greens are committed to increasing Newstart Allowance and raising all income support payments to better reflect the cost of living.

The community and not-for-profit sector plays an important role in our society and Government needs to commit funding and support accordingly.

People who experience disability, and their families and carers deserve access to life-long support and services that meet their individual circumstances. They should have the opportunity to actively participate in planning and delivery of policies, services and supports in areas such as education, health, housing, mobility, employment and social engagement. The Greens are actively working to ensure all Australians have independence, self-determination and choice in their lives.

media-releases

Time for PM to act on homelessness: Greens

24 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens Housing Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam says the Prime Minister must take immediate action on homelessness after failing to deliver during his first twelve months in office.

The Senator issued the call after Australians for Ending Homelessness launched their five point plan in Canberra this morning and the federal government clocked up one year in office.

"Despite making homelessness a high-order priority when he took office a year ago, Mr Rudd hasn't delivered. We're still waiting for an increased investment in preventative measures, funding for support services, and for increased support for public housing. We're still waiting for a united and coordinated response across all areas of government so we can effectively address homelessness," said Senator Ludlam.

The Australian Greens Housing Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam says the Prime Minister must take immediate action on homelessness after failing to deliver during his first twelve months in office.

The Senator issued the call after Australians for Ending Homelessness launched their five point plan in Canberra this morning and the federal government clocked up one year in office.

"Despite making homelessness a high-order priority when he took office a year ago, Mr Rudd hasn't delivered. We're still waiting for an increased investment in preventative measures, funding for support services, and for increased support for public housing. We're still waiting for a united and coordinated response across all areas of government so we can effectively address homelessness," said Senator Ludlam.

speeches-in-parliament

The National Rental Affordability Scheme - Second Reading

23 Nov 2008

I concur with many of the concerns that were raised by Senator Payne around the way the scheme will actually function once it has been operating for a couple of years. We recognise that, as the government has put it, it is quite an adaptive policy and that it is intended to be changed according to the uptake-the rate at which the community sector or the private sector eventually decide to take on the scheme.

We will also be following this with a great deal of interest, as the successive rounds under the NRAS roll out, to assess whether it is actually meeting the demand. The demand has obviously reached appalling proportions.

I concur with many of the concerns that were raised by Senator Payne around the way the scheme will actually function once it has been operating for a couple of years. We recognise that, as the government has put it, it is quite an adaptive policy and that it is intended to be changed according to the uptake-the rate at which the community sector or the private sector eventually decide to take on the scheme.

We will also be following this with a great deal of interest, as the successive rounds under the NRAS roll out, to assess whether it is actually meeting the demand. The demand has obviously reached appalling proportions.

media-releases

Rental affordability bill passes; green opportunity missed

23 Nov 2008

"The Greens welcome the passage of the National Rental Affordability Scheme Bill and hope it will provide some overdue relief to renters, but we're disappointed that the government passed up an opportunity to green it up," Australian Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said.

Senator Ludlam moved to amend the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) this afternoon, but the amendments failed without government support.

"The Greens welcome the passage of the National Rental Affordability Scheme Bill and hope it will provide some overdue relief to renters, but we're disappointed that the government passed up an opportunity to green it up," Australian Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said.

Senator Ludlam moved to amend the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) this afternoon, but the amendments failed without government support.

media-releases

Green agenda for Mayors' Summit

17 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens say infrastructure, broadband and constitutional reform must be on the agenda today, when the first Mayors' Summit kicks off in Canberra.

"Today's summit presents a rare opportunity to develop a shared response to the environmental challenges we face," said the Greens Spokesperson for Local Government, Senator Scott Ludlam.

The Australian Greens say infrastructure, broadband and constitutional reform must be on the agenda today, when the first Mayors' Summit kicks off in Canberra.

"Today's summit presents a rare opportunity to develop a shared response to the environmental challenges we face," said the Greens Spokesperson for Local Government, Senator Scott Ludlam.

media-releases

Greens push for sustainable cost of living relief

13 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens will move to give cost of living relief to renters today, by amending the government's housing affordability plan.

"Housing affordability is about more than just reducing the cost of a rental. It is also about reducing cost of living expenses, like petrol, electricity and water," said the Greens Housing Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

The Australian Greens will move to give cost of living relief to renters today, by amending the government's housing affordability plan.

"Housing affordability is about more than just reducing the cost of a rental. It is also about reducing cost of living expenses, like petrol, electricity and water," said the Greens Housing Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

media-releases

Greens welcome housing affordability deal

12 Nov 2008

 The Australian Greens have welcomed a change of heart from the tax office which will increase access to affordable housing for thousands of Australians, in response to pressure from the community housing sector and the Australian Greens.

"An adverse ruling from the ATO would have meant that community organisations participating in the National Rental Affordability Scheme would have lost their tax exempt status, jeopardising the viability of the whole scheme."


 The Australian Greens have welcomed a change of heart from the tax office which will increase access to affordable housing for thousands of Australians, in response to pressure from the community housing sector and the Australian Greens.

"An adverse ruling from the ATO would have meant that community organisations participating in the National Rental Affordability Scheme would have lost their tax exempt status, jeopardising the viability of the whole scheme."

estimates

NRAS, Community Housing and Sustainable housing design

29 Oct 2008

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Thursday, 23 October 2008

Senator LUDLAM-I just have a couple of more questions to ask along the line of where Senator Payne was heading. Can you just remind me-I believe you covered this before-of the rough make-up of not-forprofit or community housing organisations who have applied under round 1 as compared to commercial developers?

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Thursday, 23 October 2008

Senator LUDLAM-I just have a couple of more questions to ask along the line of where Senator Payne was heading. Can you just remind me-I believe you covered this before-of the rough make-up of not-forprofit or community housing organisations who have applied under round 1 as compared to commercial developers?

estimates

Taxation implications for Community Housing and NRAS

28 Oct 2008

Economics Committee Wednesday 22 October
Australian Taxation Office
Mr Michael D'Ascenzo, Commissioner
Mr Mark Konza, Acting Second Commissioner
Ms Sue Vroombout, Acting General Manager, Personal and Retirement Income Division

Senator LUDLAM-Have you been contacted by community housing organisations raising concerns that they would potentially be excluded from participation in the NRAS?

Ms Vroombout-Not that they would be excluded from it, but we have had discussions with them around the impact of their involvement in the scheme on their charitable status.

Senator LUDLAM-And raising concerns that potentially the way that the department and/or the tax
office are reading the definition of ‘community housing' or ‘charitable status', that they might not be able to participate in the scheme?

Economics Committee Wednesday 22 October
Australian Taxation Office
Mr Michael D'Ascenzo, Commissioner
Mr Mark Konza, Acting Second Commissioner
Ms Sue Vroombout, Acting General Manager, Personal and Retirement Income Division

Senator LUDLAM-Have you been contacted by community housing organisations raising concerns that they would potentially be excluded from participation in the NRAS?

Ms Vroombout-Not that they would be excluded from it, but we have had discussions with them around the impact of their involvement in the scheme on their charitable status.

Senator LUDLAM-And raising concerns that potentially the way that the department and/or the tax
office are reading the definition of ‘community housing' or ‘charitable status', that they might not be able to participate in the scheme?

news-stories

Housing in Crisis

23 Sep 2008

The Australian Greens believe that affordable, safe and secure housing is a basic human right.

Yet in these times of plenty in Australia, there is a housing crisis, particularly for low income people, with increased need for public and community housing and emergency housing for the homeless.

The Australian Greens believe that affordable, safe and secure housing is a basic human right.

Yet in these times of plenty in Australia, there is a housing crisis, particularly for low income people, with increased need for public and community housing and emergency housing for the homeless.

media-releases

Greens ‘New Century’ Australia Senate Agenda

25 Aug 2008

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

"The Greens' role, beginning with this new Parliament, is to begin delivering an Australia that was cleaner, fairer and saner."

In the new Senate, the Rudd government will need seven extra votes from either the Greens, the two independent Senators, or the Coalition, for legislation to pass.

Senator Brown said the immediate priority for the Greens was to put discussion of human values that respected the environment at the centre of Australian politics - especially policies that would deliver immediate planet-saving action on reversing climate change and protecting forests, and those which created a more caring, giving, peaceful and dignified Australian society.

"The Greens are about re-creating Australia for the new century, street by street, community by community, city by city."

Overview of Greens' policy Agenda for New Senate

A sustainable Australian economy, based on building zero-emissions infrastructure - The Greens will continue to champion a meaningful Emissions Trading Scheme, as one tool of many, for tackling Climate Change.

Save the Coorong Senate Inquiry - Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and the Greens will move for an immediate Senate inquiry to save the Coorong and lower Murray River, as part of action for a thorough legislative overhaul of the governance and management of the entire Murray-Darling system.

Protecting native forests by ending wood-chipping of old-growth forests - this measure alone could reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by more than ten per cent, according to Australian Greenhouse Office data.

Senator Christine Milne's New renewable energy gross Feed-in laws - Householders, farmers and industry will be encouraged to convert to renewable energy and also make money from the energy they sell to the electricity grid. Thousands of jobs can be created by rolling out roof-top solar panels, solar thermal power stations, wind turbines as well as other measures.

Senator Rachel Siewert's amendment to restore the Racial Discrimination Act - removing the exemption the Howard Government gave itself when it intervened in the Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

Promote a discrimination-free Australian society, including removal of discrimination on the basis of sexuality from all statutes, including the Australian Marriage Act.

Increase the quality of life for Australia's 1.2m. pensioners by immediately increasing pensions by at least $30 per week.

Fair parental leave - promote a more family-friendly Australia by encouraging the adoption of a minimum 16 months' maternity and paternity leave.

No radioactive dump in remote Aboriginal communities - Senator Scott Ludlam and the Greens will help Labor keep its election promise of repealing the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005.

More overseas aid to alleviate poverty and injustice - the Greens will argue for a significant increase in Australia's overseas aid, above the current 0.32% of GDP (2008/09 Budget).

Dignified life and death - Senator Bob Brown's Death with Dignity legislation will return the right of the elected territory assemblies in Darwin and Canberra to legislate for death with dignity for those suffering from terminal illness.

Global political, religious and human rights guaranteed - The Greens will argue at every turn for a stronger international stance by Australia to promote improvements in human rights, including support for the democracy movement in China.

Clear food labelling - The Greens will campaign for excellence in food labelling. The current laws allow confusing and too often misleading labelling. Food sold in Australia should be clearly labelled for its country of origin, its genetically modified status, its nano-particle content and its allergen content.

Sustainable communities - Shifting a portion of infrastructure funding to support sustainable communities including fast, efficient mass transit and affordable housing.

Addressing unfinished business for Indigenous Australians - Amending and re-introducing the Australian Democrat's Stolen Generation Compensation Bill.

Re-introduce fairness into Australia's building sites - introducing a Bill to
Abolish the Australia Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act

For more information: Russell Kelly 0438376082

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

"The Greens' role, beginning with this new Parliament, is to begin delivering an Australia that was cleaner, fairer and saner."

In the new Senate, the Rudd government will need seven extra votes from either the Greens, the two independent Senators, or the Coalition, for legislation to pass.

Senator Brown said the immediate priority for the Greens was to put discussion of human values that respected the environment at the centre of Australian politics - especially policies that would deliver immediate planet-saving action on reversing climate change and protecting forests, and those which created a more caring, giving, peaceful and dignified Australian society.

"The Greens are about re-creating Australia for the new century, street by street, community by community, city by city."

Overview of Greens' policy Agenda for New Senate

A sustainable Australian economy, based on building zero-emissions infrastructure - The Greens will continue to champion a meaningful Emissions Trading Scheme, as one tool of many, for tackling Climate Change.

Save the Coorong Senate Inquiry - Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and the Greens will move for an immediate Senate inquiry to save the Coorong and lower Murray River, as part of action for a thorough legislative overhaul of the governance and management of the entire Murray-Darling system.

Protecting native forests by ending wood-chipping of old-growth forests - this measure alone could reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by more than ten per cent, according to Australian Greenhouse Office data.

Senator Christine Milne's New renewable energy gross Feed-in laws - Householders, farmers and industry will be encouraged to convert to renewable energy and also make money from the energy they sell to the electricity grid. Thousands of jobs can be created by rolling out roof-top solar panels, solar thermal power stations, wind turbines as well as other measures.

Senator Rachel Siewert's amendment to restore the Racial Discrimination Act - removing the exemption the Howard Government gave itself when it intervened in the Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

Promote a discrimination-free Australian society, including removal of discrimination on the basis of sexuality from all statutes, including the Australian Marriage Act.

Increase the quality of life for Australia's 1.2m. pensioners by immediately increasing pensions by at least $30 per week.

Fair parental leave - promote a more family-friendly Australia by encouraging the adoption of a minimum 16 months' maternity and paternity leave.

No radioactive dump in remote Aboriginal communities - Senator Scott Ludlam and the Greens will help Labor keep its election promise of repealing the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005.

More overseas aid to alleviate poverty and injustice - the Greens will argue for a significant increase in Australia's overseas aid, above the current 0.32% of GDP (2008/09 Budget).

Dignified life and death - Senator Bob Brown's Death with Dignity legislation will return the right of the elected territory assemblies in Darwin and Canberra to legislate for death with dignity for those suffering from terminal illness.

Global political, religious and human rights guaranteed - The Greens will argue at every turn for a stronger international stance by Australia to promote improvements in human rights, including support for the democracy movement in China.

Clear food labelling - The Greens will campaign for excellence in food labelling. The current laws allow confusing and too often misleading labelling. Food sold in Australia should be clearly labelled for its country of origin, its genetically modified status, its nano-particle content and its allergen content.

Sustainable communities - Shifting a portion of infrastructure funding to support sustainable communities including fast, efficient mass transit and affordable housing.

Addressing unfinished business for Indigenous Australians - Amending and re-introducing the Australian Democrat's Stolen Generation Compensation Bill.

Re-introduce fairness into Australia's building sites - introducing a Bill to
Abolish the Australia Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act

For more information: Russell Kelly 0438376082

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