What can I do?
A quick way to assist
Would you please kindly consider downloading and printing the two documents below. The idea is to print out back to back and send by postal mail to the Senators of one's choice. Only need to sign, date on inside and write name and address on outside seal with sticky tape and post
To download and print the inside of the letter: please click here
To download and print the outside of the letter on the back: please click here
For a list of Senators and their contact details: Please click here
from the Australian Greens
15 June 2010
The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009 is listed to go through the Senate this week. So it's the last chance to voice our opposition and express our specific concerns about it.
These new laws give the Rudd Government the power to extend income management across Australia. The Australian Greens are the only party opposing these laws.
Call your Senators now at Parliament House (phone numbers are listed below) or email them at senator.(senator's surname)@aph.gov.au and ask them questions, such as:
1. Why is it that people like me - who are doing the right thing, are good at managing their money and take good care of their children will get caught up in this scheme and treated like we've done something wrong?
2. On what basis will the government select the areas in which these new laws will apply?
3. When will I be affected? What guarantee is there that this won't affect my family in the next year or so if there is a change of government or the government changes its mind?
4. If I am placed on income management what can I do to get off it?
5. Why is the Rudd government introducing laws that extend Income Management across all of the Northern Territory and across Australia when there is no hard evidence that they have made a difference to children's health and well being?
6. Income management in the Northern Territory has cost hundreds of millions of dollars - but there is very little new money in the budget for social services - what other community programs will you be cutting to pay for it?
7. How is a scheme like income quarantining - that demonises and humiliates people and takes away their control of their money - meant to be consistent with the Government's commitment to 'social inclusion'?
For further information about this bill go to: http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/income-management or http://greensmps.org.au/im
SENATOR PARTY PHONE NUMBER
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Gary Humphries Liberal 02 6277 3446
Kate Lundy ALP 02 6277 3334
NEW SOUTH WALES
Mark Arbib Liberal 02 6277 3446
Doug Cameron ALP 02 6277 3367
Helen Coonan Liberal 02 6277 3204
John Faulkner ALP 02 6277 7800
Concetta Fierravanti- Wells Liberal 02 6277 3345
Michael Forshaw ALP 02 6277 3805
Bill Heffernan Liberal 02 6277 3610
Steve Hutchins ALP 02 6277 3095
Fiona Nash National 02 6277 3075
Marise Payne Liberal 02 6277 3810
Ursula Stephens ALP 02 6277 3333
John Williams National 02 6277 3547
Trish Crossin ALP 02 6277 3777
Nigel Scullion National 02 6277 3867
Ronald Boswell National 02 6277 3046
Sue Boyce Liberal 02 6277 3818
George Brandis Liberal 02 6277 3163
Mark Furner ALP 02 6277 3423
John Hogg ALP 02 6277 3300
Barnaby Joyce National 02 6277 3244
Joe Ludwig ALP 02 6277 7600
Ian Macdonald Liberal 02 6277 3722
Jan McLucas ALP 02 6277 3680
Brett Mason Liberal 02 6277 3756
Claire Moore ALP 02 6277 3447
Russell Trood Liberal 02 6277 3637
Cory Bernadi Liberal 02 6277 3278
Simon Birmingham Liberal 02 6277 3198
Don Farrell ALP 02 6277 3400
Alan Ferguson Liberal 02 6277 3658
Mary Jo Fisher Liberal 02 6277 3561
Sarah Hanson-Young Greens 02 6277 3430
Annette Hurley ALP 371502 6277
Anne McEwen ALP 02 6277 3388
Nick Minchin Liberal 02 6277 3004
Penny Wong ALP 02 6277 7920
Dana Wortley ALP 02 6277 3690
Nick Xenophon Independent 02 6277 3552
Eric Abetz Liberal 02 6277 3019
Guy Barnett Liberal 02 6277 1755
Catryna Bilyk ALP 02 6277 3349
Bob Brown Greens 02 6277 3170
Carol Brown ALP 02 6277 3336
David Bushby Liberal 02 6277 3281
Richard Colbeck Liberal 02 6277 5814
Christine Milne Greens 02 6277 3063
Kerry O'Brien ALP 02 6277 3434
Stephen Parry Liberal 02 6277 3404
Helen Polley ALP 02 6277 3129
Nick Sherry ALP 02 6277 7360
Kim Carr ALP 02 6277 7580
Jacinta Collins ALP 02 6277 3115
Stephen Conroy ALP 02 6277 7480
David Feeney ALP 02 6277 3415
Steve Fielding Family First 02 6277 3711
Mitch Fifield Liberal 02 6277 3666
Helen Kroger Liberal 02 6277 3454
Julian McGauran Liberal 366402 6277
Gavin Marshall ALP 02 6277 3825
Michael Ronaldson Liberal 02 6277 3582
Scott Ryan Liberal 02 6277 3483
Judith Troeth Liberal 02 6277 3785
Judith Adams Liberal 02 6277 3646
Chris Back Liberal 02 6277 3733
Mark Bishop ALP 02 6277 3101
Michaelia Cash Liberal 02 6277 3387
Mathias Cormann Liberal 02 6277 3457
Alan Eggelston Liberal 02 6277 3407
Christopher Evans ALP 02 6277 7860
David Johnston Liberal 02 6277 3222
Scott Ludlam Greens 02 6277 3467
Louise Pratt ALP 02 6277 3127
Rachel Siewert Greens 02 6277 3587
Glenn Sterle ALP 02 6277 3615
The Greens latest media release...
Rudd should drop income management laws - Greens
Media Release | Spokesperson Rachel Siewert
Wednesday 9th June 2010, 9:26am
The Australian Greens have renewed calls for the Federal Government to abandon legislation to extend punitive income management provisions, saying most Australians are unaware that the measures have been introduced to Parliament.
"The Minister, Jenny Macklin continues to claim that the laws are no longer racially discriminatory because they can apply to all people on certain welfare payments across Australia," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services said in Perth today.
"At the same time she is now trying to reassure voters that these punitive measures will not be applied outside of the Northern Territory for the foreseeable future. However, there is nothing in the legislation to prevent the laws being rolled out across the nation at any time," Senator Siewert said.
"A change of Government, or a change of heart by this Government could see compulsory income quarantining applied nationwide at anytime.
"This is the biggest change to our social security system since the Second World War - the changes need full and rigorous debate," said Senator Siewert.
Senator Siewert also accused the Government of shamefully trying to discredit a study into nutrition in remote Aboriginal communities which provided compelling evidence that the Northern Territory Intervention was not working.
The study, "Impact of income management on store sales in the Northern Territory" by the Menzies School of Research was recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
"I'm deeply concerned about the attempts made in Senate Estimates to undermine and discredit this study by a government that continues to claim a commitment to evidence-based policy," Senator Siewert said.
"There is simply no comparison between the validity of an independent study published in one of Australia's most prestigious peer-reviewed journals, and the approach the Government has taken to evaluation of the NTER.
"I will be interested to hear what the scientific and medical research communities make of the 'analysis' supplied by FaHCSIA to Senate estimates late last week.
"The results clearly point to the fact that in the ten communities assessed income management hasn't modified purchasing behaviour, which I believe highlights that this policy has been both counterproductive and costly.
"It makes no sense for the Government to argue that the results in these communities should be discounted or ignored because they already had good stores and ongoing nutrition programs. If that was the case, then there was simply no need to introduce indiscriminate income management laws into those communities to begin with.
"Quite simply - either income management hasn't worked in those communities or it simply should not have been introduced in the first place.
"The Government should withdraw the legislation currently before the Senate and put in place measures that genuinely help people to overcome disadvantage," concluded Senator Siewert.
The combined legislation is now likely to come back in the week of 15th June before the Senate which greatly weakens the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in regard to the NT Intervention and which also begins the national rollout of Income Management to non-Aboriginal - and of course in the process to many more Aboriginal people - under Centrelink.
It's important that Senators know there is continued and growing opposition on record to such oppressive blanket legislation which seeks to further control the lives of particularly Aboriginal and now other disadvantaged Australians.
Please ring/email Senator(s) regarding the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009[email protected], 02 6277 3447
[email protected], 0262773777
[email protected], 02 6277 3715
[email protected], 02 6277 3388
[email protected], 02 6277 7630
[email protected], 02 6277 3334
[email protected], 02 6277 3552
[email protected], 02 6277 3336
- a plea to you to understand / challenge the current legislation before the Senate regarding the proposed reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act / Welfare Benefits and the extraordinary ramifications this will have for the nature of Australian society henceforth.
Regarding the RDA
I am concerned that many aspects of the Northern Territory Intervention such as compulsory leasing of freehold land will remain under the proposed reinstated Racial Discrimination Act as so-called Special Measures, greatly weakening the original power of the RDA. Many Aboriginal Territorians believe that the concerns they voiced about Special Measures were ignored during the 2009 consultation process.
Regarding extension of Income Management.
Australia already has the 5th largest gap between rich and poor of the developed nations of the world. The proposed legislation which seeks to micro manage the income of many thousands more Australians including many more Aboriginal Australians, can only lead to further alienation, disempowerment and social exclusion. I quote the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association Report of March10, 2010 which summarised 'Compulsory income management - - Profound long-term negative impacts on psychological health, social health and wellbeing and cultural integrity. Stop Income Management.'
I further remind you that discrimination by postcode is no less arbitrary than discrimination by race.
This is a crucial vote for the wellbeing and intergrity of our entire nation.
You could also sign the petition to be found at
or better still print the petition and collect signatures, then send them to Michele Harris to the address listed on the petition before 31 May 2010.