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COVID-19 (coronavirus)

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US patent waiver support leaves Australia isolated

The Greens are calling on the Morrison Government to support the patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

The Greens say that the United States’ announced support for the waiver of intellectual property provisions on COVID-19 vaccines has put further pressure on Australia to back the proposal.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid and Development, said:

“Australia must immediately follow the United States and back the TRIPS waiver. We are one of the hold-outs and it’s morally indefensible.

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Greens to move in Senate against India travel ban

The Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt, has announced the Greens will move in the Senate next week for the Government to revoke its direction under the Biosecurity Act to ban and put in place criminal penalties on Australians and residents returning home from India.

“The ban is racist, it’s possibly illegal, it’s not based on health advice and it must be rescinded immediately.  The Greens will move in the Senate next week to overturn the ban and we believe it will have widespread support amongst Senators.”

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Australia Must Support Equal Access to Covid-19 Vaccines

The Greens have said that Australia must support a World Trade Organization (WTO) proposal that would waive intellectual property provisions to allow Covid-19 vaccine production to be rolled out and made accessible and affordable to everyone in the global community.

The WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council is meeting this week, with the Covid-19 vaccine on the agenda.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid & Development, said:

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Childcare Expenses Back To Pre-Covid Levels

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that the December quarter Consumer Price Index data released today by the ABS has revealed “out-of-pocket [childcare] expenses have now returned to pre-COVID levels in all capital cities.”

Senator Faruqi said:

“These latest numbers put us back to where we were before Covid-19 – with one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world.

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Rental Report Reveals Tenants’ Covid Struggle

Mehreen Faruqi 15 Oct 2020

Australian Greens Housing spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that AHURI’s Renting in the time of COVID-19: understanding the impacts report, released today, has shone a light on the struggles of renters during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Renters are doing it very tough. The findings of this report confirm many of the fears we’ve had for renters throughout this crisis. Many are earning less, living precariously, and being refused rent reductions.

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Speech: Young People and Covid-19

Mehreen Faruqi 25 Aug 2020

I rise to speak on the impact COVID has had on young people and the future they face. It's hard to overstate how rapidly and dramatically COVID-19 has changed the world for young people. But we must acknowledge that neither they nor the pandemic are the cause of the greatest challenges they face. Those have been created for them by older generations. A recent Betoota Advocate headline attributes a fake quote to the Prime Minister: 'The sooner young people understand they're effed, the sooner they'll be happy.' It's hard to argue with.

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No More Band-Aids: Reinstate Free Childcare and Fund ECEC Properly

The Greens have responded to the government’s package for childcare in Victoria, saying that it is unnecessarily complicated and austere. The government should guarantee free childcare permanently and extend JobKeeper for all early learning workers.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Education spokesperson, said:

“This package doesn’t work for families, who may still have to pay gap fees. It doesn’t work for educators, who don’t have a wage guarantee. And it doesn’t work for centres, who won’t get the funding they need.

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Federal Gov Must Support Early Learning In Victoria

Adam Bandt 3 Aug 2020

The Greens have said that the federal government must urgently support early learning and immediately provide relief for early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Victoria.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Education spokesperson, said:

“The current situation is untenable. The federal government should immediately extend JobKeeper for all early learning workers and provide free childcare with a guaranteed relief payment for services.

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Gov Must Act As Eviction Cliff Approaches

Mehreen Faruqi 18 Jun 2020

Australian Greens Housing spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that the federal government and National Cabinet must act urgently to ensure renters and those in housing stress are not left in enormous debt or at risk of homelessness as the eviction ban ‘cliff’ rapidly approaches.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Over the coming weeks and months, renters face the prospect of eviction and possible homelessness as eviction bans come to an end across the states and territories.

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Motion: COVID-19 & Housing

Mehreen Faruqi 18 Jun 2020

I move:

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

   (i) the COVID-19 crisis has further exposed existing inequalities in our broken housing system,

   (ii) renters across Australia face eviction as COVID-19 related eviction bans come to an end across states and territories, and

   (iii) as the economic crisis continues, more people are at risk of homelessness than ever before;

(b) calls on the Government to:

   (i) increase funding for emergency housing,

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