Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007; Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007; Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Bill 2007; Appropriation (Northern Territory National Emergency Response) Bill (No. 1) 2007-2008; Appropriation (Northern Territory National Emergency Response) Bill (No. 2) 2007-2008

In Committee

10:39 pm

Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

The Greens oppose clauses 4 to 7 in the following terms:

(1)    Clauses 4 to 7, page 2 (line 3) to page 6 (line 27), TO BE OPPOSED.

This is a similar amendment to that of the Democrats; however, ours goes a little further to specifically relate to clause 7, which excludes the Northern Territory laws. We have been through the debate on the issues as they relate to racial discrimination. We are particularly concerned with the so-called welfare reforms that the government is introducing through this bill. As has been outlined, a separate set of rules will apply to those in the Northern Territory. Not only do we think that this will not work but also we think that these specific clauses are discriminatory and they treat people in the Northern Territory as a different set of citizens. The reforms apply to everybody in the prescribed areas, whether they are exemplary parents or not. We will go into the details of the shortcomings of this bill shortly, but we are specifically here to do deal with the issues as they relate to racial discrimination.

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