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Blaming individuals is not a Covid strategy

Mehreen Faruqi 18 Aug 2021

Statement from Greens Senator for NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, following today’s announcement of 633 new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases in NSW:

“Today’s COVID-19 numbers are just devastating.

“But simply telling people to ‘stay home’ is not going to cut it when people aren’t getting the financial support they need to do so. The vast majority of people are doing the right thing, and have been for weeks. Blame-shifting onto individuals is very unhelpful.

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Early learning services must be supported

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that early learning and care services impacted by lockdowns must be supported through relief payments.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Thousands of early learning centres came to the brink of collapse in 2020 and we don’t want to see the same situation repeating itself.

“Centres are struggling to keep their doors open. Relying on the gap-fee waiver is unsustainable. In the end, families, children and early educators will be impacted.

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Neo-Nazi revelations more evidence of far-right organising

A shocking investigation by Nine into Australia’s largest white supremacist group has uncovered the most horrific evidence yet of a growing far-right movement, the Greens say.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens anti-racism spokesperson, said:

“The investigation is shocking but not entirely surprising for those of us who have followed the rise of the far-right closely and are impacted by racism and its deadly consequences.

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Question: 'Fortress Australia' has again tightened borders

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:44): [by video link] My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Cash. As of yesterday, 'fortress Australia' has further tightened its borders. Under the strict new rules, even Australian citizens and permanent residents who ordinarily live in another country will need to seek exemptions to leave Australia if they come back temporarily and could very well be denied the exemption.

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Speech: Charges on higher education

I rise to speak on the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment Bill 2021 and other cognate bills in front of us right now. I'll state from the outset that the Greens will not be opposing these bills. The bills update the model for registration charges for the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, known as CRICOS.

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Amendments: Family Assistance Legislation (Child Care Subsidy) Bill 2021

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (10:35): [by video link] My understanding is that, in the bill as circulated, there's an error which means that families that earn between $70,000 and $175,000 would not receive the rate of subsidy as was announced by the minister as part of the budget. Could the minister please confirm that the government amendment which was circulated last night will address this problem?

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Speech: The Morrison government has abandoned universities

It is hard to describe the current dire state of affairs for Australian universities without getting very angry at the Morrison government. Make no mistake: at every single turn throughout COVID-19 and, in fact, since their election, the Liberals and Nationals have failed and attacked our universities. Earlier this year, Universities Australia estimated the 2020 job losses at our universities at more than 17,000 jobs. This is a truly enormous number, no matter how you spin it. These people are the next generation of researchers, the next generation of educators and thinkers.

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Speech: 509 days of border closures

Today marks 509 days since Australia's borders closed on 20 March 2020 – 509 days. This situation has posed such challenges and caused such heartbreak for so many in our community as well as their families and friends overseas. As of today, more than 38,000 Australians are still stranded overseas and want to return home. There are many thousands more living here who are separated from loved ones abroad. I am one of them. For us, there is no time line on when we might see our families again. There is just waiting and waiting and waiting. It is intolerable.

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Speech: Closing the Gap

I speak to the Prime Minister's Closing the Gap address and associate myself with the heartfelt comments made by my colleagues Senator Thorpe and Senator Siewert. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the many lands that we are here from today and pay my respects to elders past and present. I'm on the land of the Gadigal of the Eora nation, but no matter where we are in this country we are on stolen land. I do this acknowledgement in full recognition of the fact that we are still so far away from justice for First Nations people.

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