All of us, together

To tackle COVID-19, we can not leave anyone behind

The pandemic affects everyone. But not everyone has the same resources to keep safe. 

Australia is a wealthy country and we can fight the pandemic and ensure everyone’s looked after. 

For most of us, this has been an incredibly stressful time. Some people have lost jobs. Others have faced the threat of the virus at work. In and out of lockdown, we have all worried about the future. 

Meanwhile, billionaires and big corporations made record profits. The Federal Government’s JobKeeper program helped some people, but ignored others. Billionaires doubled their profits, and billions of dollars went to the profits of big corporations, elite schools and men’s clubs. 

House prices soared, and now, 1 in 2 young people are worried about how they will pay the rent. 

First Nations communities, the elderly and disabled people face additional challenges. 

We need to look after everyone - not just the very rich and privileged. 

The next election is closer than you think. Just a few hundred votes could put the Greens in the balance of power. 

We will fight to make sure you won’t be left behind.

We are fighting for:

So far, we have successfully helped:

✅ Protect Renters, nationwide (commercial and residential) with eviction bans
Thousands of people added their voice to our campaign. We kicked off changes in NSW and TAS state parliaments on a Tuesday and Wednesday. We wrote to the PM, Premiers and Chief Ministers' National Cabinet, and by Sunday agreement had been reached. This is people power. We're working to reinstate these bans in affected areas like NSW and Victoria.

✅ Additional income support for people on JobSeeker (Newstart)
Individuals on JobSeeker received an additional $550 COVID supplement during the crisis throughout much of 2021, and a temporarily lift on mutual obligation requirements until 27 April 2020. While these measures were only temporary, we're continuing to fight for permanent improvements.

✅ Additional income support for Students on Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy
Students received an additional $550 COVID supplement throughout much of 2021. While these measures were only temporary, we're continuing the fight for permanent improvements.

✅ Support for the Not For Profit sector - Originally shut out of the government’s small business support package, many organisations that provide support to the most vulnerable people in our communities received access to support to keep their services functioning.

Greens COVID-19 detailed responses:

🏘 Rent and Mortgage holidays

Rent and Mortgage holidays

We've heard from tens of thousands of people who fear they will be kicked onto the streets and we're deeply concerned about the half-measures in place around keeping people in housing.

"Everyone needs a home."

This simple, universal truth is the opening line in the letter sent by Adam Bandt and Senator Mehreen Faruqi to the PM, State and Territory leaders last week.

Millions will struggle to pay rents and mortgages in the months ahead. We can't allow people to be evicted into homelessness or left with crippling debt — especially during a pandemic.

The Tasmanian Greens secured a 120 day ban on evictions in Tasmania (on the 25/03/2020), and a day earlier, the Greens NSW secured special powers for the Housing Minister to step in to stop evictions. By Sunday 29 March, agreement had been reached for a national moratorium on residential and commercial evictions. This is people power 💪

We're keeping the pressure up for a national response:
💚 rent & mortgage holidays
💚 $ for homeless services

We need rent holidays and mortgage holidays and a ban on evictions right now to ensure that people can keep a roof over their heads.

Yes, everyone needs a home »


Published 27/03/2020 | Updated: 29/3/2020

Centrelink - changes that create a social safety net for everyone

As the crisis continues, as many as 1 in 10 Australians will lose their jobs, as entire sectors of the economy shut down in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the face of this unprecedented crisis, we have to urgently strengthen our social safety net to make sure that no one is left behind.

For years, the Liberal government has prioritised the profits made by their big corporate mates over delivering services for the people they are meant to represent. They’ve cut away at our income support systems, they’ve ripped funding out of healthcare, and chronically underfunded our hospitals and they’ve targeted people who need assistance. They’ve left millions of Australians living below the poverty line. 

In the face of this crisis, when more people need assistance than ever, we are seeing enormous cracks in our health and social safety net systems. Right now, the government is scrambling to create services and safety nets – these services should already exist.

Centrelink is not fit for purpose and currently lacks the capacity to adequately deal with an increased workload resulting from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

People can’t afford to wait weeks to receive their payment, the economy is in crisis right now. People are in crisis now.
That’s why we need a substantial increase in Centrelink staffing capacity, a suspension of mutual obligation requirements, cancellation of Robodebt, and the waiving of both the liquid assets test and other waiting periods to ensure that people can quickly access the support they need to weather this crisis.

 

The Greens and community organisations have pressured the government into making  significant changes to Centrelink support since the beginning of the crisis:

✅ Increased support for people on Newstart (JobSeeker) will now receive a temporary COVID-19 supplement. We'll continue to fight to make increased income support payments permanent.

✅ Students on Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy, originally excluded from the COVID-19 supplement, are now eligible.

✅ Attending Centrelink-manded 'Mutual Obligations' temporarily suspended – attending  appointments/activities is optional from Monday 23/3/2020 until 27/4/2020. Payments will NOT be suspended if you can’t attend because you’re physical distancing.

✅ No new people added to the Cashless Debit Card "Trial"


We are still putting pressure on the Government to:

  • People on Disability Support (DSP) and the Carer Payment must also receive the $550/ftnight COVID-19 supplement
     
  • Pause all mutual obligation requirements indefinitely for all people until the virus is contained, including jobactive, ParentsNext, and Community Development Program participants.
     
  • Raise Rent Assistance rates
     
  • Cancel all robodebts and repay and compensate victims
     
  • Expedite processing times for income support applications for those who are sick, have been in contact with someone who is sick, or needs to care for someone who is sick
     
  • Ensure students do not have a disruption in payments if University and TAFE are not providing alternative ways to learn, or classes are cancelled or postponed
     
  • Ensure no $750 payments are quarantined on the Cashless Debit Card - they should be paid directly into people’s bank accounts.
     
  • An additional payment for families with children whose primary income is social security
     
  • Provide access to income support for temporary visa holders – about 1.5 million people in Australia on temporary visas, and the Government has an urgent responsibility to provide income support for those who need it.

Now more than ever we need a social security system that supports everyone.

 
Updated: 29/3/2020

👩‍👧‍👦 Reducing domestic and family violence — during the coronavirus crisis

Reducing family violence during the coronavirus crisis

Quarantining at home can put women and children living with violence further at risk. Google searches for domestic violence assistance are at a five-year peak and some services are already reporting an increase in demand.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the Government must do more to fund the frontline services that protect people experiencing family violence.

Everyone deserves to feel safe at home. But experience overseas shows that being at home during the COVID-19 crisis can put some women and children at higher risk of abuse from violent or controlling partners.

In the coming months, financial pressures, anxiety, restricted access to friends and family, and lack of escape options will mean that some women and children are not safe at home.

Domestic and family violence services are already under strain and need significant additional resources. The COVID-19 crisis will increase demand and change the way that assistance can be provided.

The Greens welcome the announcement of additional funding for domestic violence counselling and referral services during this crisis, but warn more targeted funding is essential to create extra capacity.

“Helping victims to understand their options and the services available to them is critical. But without extra funding for the already stretched services women are being sent to, more referrals just creates more unmet demand."

“The scale of government assistance for frontline services supporting survivors of family and domestic violence does not meet the demand fuelled by self-isolation during the Covid-19 crisis.”

“An additional $150 million to a referral and counselling phone line is inadequate when experts say housing (both crisis and long-term), legal support and policing is needed."
– Greens Senate Leader and spokesperson on Women, Senator Larissa Waters.

The Government must make sure that women and children fleeing dangerous situations have somewhere to turn.

The Australian Greens are calling on the government to:

  • Urgently fund crisis accommodation
  • Waive time limits on accessing crisis accommodation to ensure women and children can safely self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days
  • Urgently increase funding for frontline domestic and family violence services to respond to increased and changing demands by:
    • increasing staff;
    • implementing public health protocols;
    • investing in new technology to allow remote advice and support services to be delivered safely and securely.
  • Increase funding for Safe at Home programs
  • Work with the COAG Women’s Safety Council to ensure specialist domestic and family violence police officers are available to oversee DVO / AVO applications and enforcement.

To get through this crisis we all need to work together and find ways to ensure everyone is safe from violence.


First published 23/03/2020 | Updated 28/03/2020

📰 All media responses from Greens MPs & Senators

The Greens are calling on the government to ensure no one is left behind in this pandemic.

Decades of under-funding have left gaping holes in our social safety net, our health system, and the government's responses so far have done little to stem job losses. Financial insecurity has many households facing eviction and homelessness. This will only increase when JobKeeper is cut throwing 1.3 million workers and businesses into further uncertainty.

It is the government's number one job to keep people safe. We’re in a pandemic, and this is not the time for half measures.

All Greens COVID-19 media responses »

COVID-19 Vaccination

 

As Australia begins our vaccine rollout, we believe Covid-19 vaccines should be provided on a voluntary basis and free of charge to the whole population.

We support the safe, efficient rollout of Covid-19 vaccines across Australia as early as possible in order to protect our health system and vulnerable members of our community.

It is critical that we prioritise everyone’s safety in the vaccine rollout. All Covid-19 vaccines must be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to ensure their efficacy and safety.

The AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax and Moderna vaccines all offer protection to varying degrees from illness caused by the dominant strain in Australia. We still don’t know the efficacy of these vaccines in preventing the transmission of Covid-19 and we will continue to take advice from the health experts on this.

There is evidence that the mRNA vaccines are more effective and easier to adapt to new strains and mRNA technology is set to revolutionise drug and vaccine development. We should be investing in Australia’s capacity to manufacture mRNA technology onshore.

We are strongly supportive of health care and aged care workers getting vaccinated. We will follow the advice of health experts regarding the need for mandatory vaccines for frontline workers.

It is important that all Australians have a record of their Covid-19 vaccinations that is easily accessible. These records should be confidential.

Information and messaging about Covid-19 vaccines should be provided in a transparent, accessible and honest way so that everyone can make informed decisions.

The Greens encourage everyone in the community to get vaccinated in order to protect our health system and vulnerable members of our community. This includes supporting our neighbours in the Pacific Region to get timely and equitable access to the best Covid-19 vaccines available.

The Greens support a strong public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic and that includes vaccination.

Steps to vaccine development in Australia

Step 1: Research and discovery: Research into vaccine candidates is undertaken by universities, non-for profit organisations and pharmaceutical companies.

Step 2: Pre-clinical trials: Pre-clinical trials involve laboratory studies to show if a vaccine could be useful and safe for humans. This helps sort out the most promising candidates to go on to human clinical trials. 

Step 3: Clinical trials: Clinical trials measure how a vaccine will work by testing it on a large number of people. Vaccine candidates go through several phases of clinical trials to identify safety, dosage, side effects, efficacy and comparability. 

Clinical trials happen in many places including hospitals, medical institutes, universities and research centres. Results of clinical trials are published, and to be credible, need to be published in peer reviewed journals. 

Australian Clinical Trials are governed by established ethical principles and research guidelines, including by Human Research Ethics Committees under the auspices of the National Health and Medical Research Council. 

Step 4: Approval by the TGA: All vaccines must be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia. 

The TGA assesses the results of clinical trials and the way that trials were designed and conducted. The TGA looks at the benefits of new vaccines, including any possible side effects, to determine whether it is both safe and effective for use in Australia. This means testing every ingredient in the vaccine for safety, quality and effectiveness. 

The TGA also checks that the vaccine meets manufacturing quality standards and assesses the quality of all vaccine batches before they are supplied in Australia. 

Once vaccines are approved for use in Australia, the TGA monitors and reports on any side effects of vaccines. Adverse events are publicly listed on the Database of Adverse Event Notifications.

Results of clinical trials into Covid-19 vaccines:

Further information about Covid-19 vaccines is available on the Health Direct Website and NPS Medicinewise Website

 

COVID-19 Health information

Trustworthy Information

Macluumaadka lagu kalsoonaankaro / Odeeffannoo qabatamaa / ታማኝ መረጃዎች / ተኣማኒ መረዳእታ /معلومات جديرة بالثقة / Wël ke lëk lɔcök / Güvenilir Bilgiler / Thông tin đáng tin cậy / 值得信赖的 信息 / 可信的資訊 / Informazioni affidabili / Αξιόπιστες πληροφορίες / Información Confiable

For the most up-to-date advice, please follow the directive of professional advisory bodies and health departments in your state or territory:

Government Health information:

COVID information, in-language

Information on keeping our community healthy, includinghow you can prevent the spread of the virus, good hygiene practices, what to do if you're feeling unwell and ways you can help others in the community.

  • SBS News on Coronavirus in your Language
    COVID19 information in more than 60 languages »
  • health.gov.au/resources/translated » has resources available in:
    Arabic - العربية / Chin Hakka / Chinese - 简体中文 - 繁體中文 / Greek - Ελληνικά / Hazaragi / Italian - Italiano / Korean - 한국어 / Kurdish - Kurdî / Meriam Mir / Persian - Farsi - فارسی  / Pitjantjatjara / Spanish - Español / Torres Strait Creole - Yumplatok / Vietnamese - Tiếng Việt and Warlpiri.
In-language pamphlets and images

Easy-to-access information, provided in-language

Information on keeping our community healthy, includinghow you can prevent the spread of the virus, good hygiene practices, what to do if you're feeling unwell and ways you can help others in the community.

Information is accurate as of 09/04/2020

Shareable images

Interpreter services

Interpreter services

Tarjumidda adeegyada / Tajaajiila hiika afaanii / የማስተርጎም ኣገልግሎት / ግልጋሎት ምስትርጓም / Ajuiir ke wɛ̈ ɛ̈ r thook / Sözlü Çeviri / خدمات الترجمة / Hizmetleri / Dịch vụ Thông ngô / 口译服务 / 傳譯服務 / Servizi Interpreti / Υπηρεσίες διερμηνείας / Servicios de Interpretación

  • Interpreter service: 131450
    - You must say you need to talk about the coronavirus.
  • Centrelink multilingual phone service: 131 202

Mental Health

Caafimaadka dhimirka (maskaxda) / Fayyina mataa / የኣእምሮ ጤና / ናይ ኣእምሮ ጥዕና / الصحة النفسية / Tuaany de nhom / Akıl Sağlığı / Sức khoẻ Tâm thần / 精神健康 / 精 神健康 / Salute mentale / Ψυχική υγεία / Salud Mental

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone about your mental health, call:

  • Beyond Blue anxiety assistance: 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14