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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“The ban is racist, it’s possibly illegal, it’s not based on health advice and it must be rescinded immediately.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 has an obligation to refugees who have contracted COVID

Refugees that the Australian Government exiled to Papua New Guinea contracting COVID should prompt their immediate evacuation to Australia, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“For years, Labor and Liberal Governments have deliberately withheld adequate medical treatment from people in their care,” Senator McKim said.

“The refugees who have contracted COVID need to be medevacced to Australia, and all other refugees in PNG need to be brought to Australia to prevent them contracting the illness.”

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Decades of manufacturing decline limits vaccine options, publicly-owned vaccine manufacturer could save lives

The Greens say that decades of decline in Australian manufacturing puts the nation at risk of having fewer options when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines, and have called for a publicly-owned vaccine manufacturer.

Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are based on new technology (mRNA), and while CSL has capacity to manufacture the protein based vaccines it doesn’t at this time have the ability to produce mRNA.

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Visa Holders

The Australian government should develop and publicly release criteria for temporary visa holders to be allowed to return to Australia.
 
During the COVID-19 select committee hearing today it was revealed that Australian Border Force officials have no criteria for granting exemptions to the travel ban for ‘compelling and compassionate’ grounds.
 
“The decision making on this has been completely arbitrary, leaving hundreds of people stranded overseas, despite holding valid visas,” Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.
 

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COVID-19 App

The Government’s shameful disregard for privacy continues with the release of its COVID-19 app.

“If the Government wants people to use this app, they need to put protections in law beforehand,” Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said.

“People have very legitimate concerns about how the data will be used and where it will be stored.”

“The reported storage of the data by a US company raises real concerns. When it comes to privacy, if there’s one person I trust less than Peter Dutton, it’s Donald Trump.”

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Temporary Visa Holders

The Greens welcome moves by some state governments to support temporary visa holders, but they show how people have been abandoned by the federal government, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Moves by the Tasmanian and South Australian governments to support some temporary visa holders are welcome, but it should be the federal government taking this action,” Senator McKim said.

“The federal government has the resources to help and direct responsibility for Australia’s visa system.”

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Temporary Visa Holders need genuine income support

The government's response to temporary visa holders in Australia is cruel and callous, Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Temporary visa holders are guests in our country and many have lost jobs and income. They need genuine income support right now," Senator McKim said.

"The government is turning its back on people in their hour of need, just as it has done to people seeking asylum for years."

"Not all temporary visa holders have the financial capacity to simply leave. For them this is a sentence to poverty and hunger." 

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Government must provide income support for temporary visa holders

The Federal Government must provide income support for temporary visa holders impacted by the coronavirus shutdown, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"There are 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," Senator McKim said.

"Many of them have no income and no capacity to leave the country due to restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic, and face losing their homes and jobs."

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