Saturday, July 26, 2014

GREENS RETURN TO CANBERRA WITH INCREASED NUMBERS

Posted by admin on September 9, 2013

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“The Greens will be the credible opposition in the new parliament,” Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

“The Greens win in Melbourne is a victory for people who want a caring approach for refugees, support for renewable energy, university funding, single parents and our future economy.

“Adam Bandt and his team ran an incredible campaign and received a record vote. Melbourne is now a beacon for Australians who want caring society and healthy environment.

“In the Senate we have held onto our seats and have picked up at least one more in Victoria.

“Our message to those who didn’t vote Green this time is that we will continue to stand up for the things that matter in the face of an Abbott Government that will attempt to cut jobs, roll back action on global warming and continue the Labor party’s shameful record on refugees.

“We will spend the next three years ensuring we reach more Australians.

“We will work hard to show Australians that we are the party showing real leadership instead of exploiting people’s fears and prejudice.”

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Greens welcome NAIDOC Week celebrations

Posted by admin on July 7, 2013

Yirrkala-Bark-Petitions

The Australian Greens affirm that this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963′, emphasises the importance of the ongoing campaign to build support for Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate and recognise the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.

“This NAIDOC Week, we are also remembering the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to the Federal Parliament by the Yolngu people of Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land, the first time traditional documents were recognised by Federal Parliament.

“As we reflect on this first recognition, we are also looking ahead to the future referendum on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Constitution.
“The Greens are committed to seeing our founding document recognise our nation’s First Peoples.

“We made sure it was on the agenda following the 2010 election and I am continuing to work with the members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee to develop the wording of the question to be put to a referendum.

“MPs and people across the community need to work hard to build the campaign for Constitutional Recognition. There has been strong cross-party support for this campaign so far, and that spirit needs to continue.

“I encourage everyone to visit Recognise.org.au and help build momentum towards a yes vote when we get to the referendum,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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Greens secure 457 protection for nurses, engineers

Posted by admin on June 28, 2013

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Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP has welcomed the passage of the 457 reforms through the House of Representatives.

Mr Bandt says his support for the legislation came after the Greens secured amendments to protect local nursing and engineering jobs.

“This is an important step in protecting Australian jobs and the rights of all workers – locals and those on 457 visas,” Mr Bandt said.

“It is a culmination of a strong campaign to ensure that employers test the local labour market before seeking to bring in workers from overseas.”

“I am now confident the bill will pass the Senate with Greens support.”

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Truss’s legacy for Wide Bay – high unemployment and low growth

Posted by admin on June 27, 2013

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The Greens Candidate for Wide Bay, Joy Ringrose, has challenged long-time sitting federal member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss, to work to improve the economy of Wide Bay or stand aside for a more capable representative.

“It is increasing unacceptable that Wide Bay’s populace continues to suffer from high unemployment and low economic growth.

“Truss and the federal ALP government have sold us short by sitting on their hands while manufacturing relocates offshore thereby reducing the number of apprenticeships on offer.

“Since the eighties employment in manufacturing has dropped from 22% to less than 8%, from the time that the Coalition and the ALP started going along with the multinational Free Trade Agenda. Our government has to stop allowing jobs to go offshore and to start actively supporting current and new manufacturing enterprises.

“It is outrageous that Warren Truss supports big mining companies bringing in 457 visa holders, overseas workers who are non-unionised and cheaper to employ, rather than to give mining jobs to Australians.

“Warren Truss has also supported the decision of the Labor Party to slash single parent payments by up to $120.00 per week pushed our most vulnerable parents and children onto Newstart and into into poverty.

“Newstart is now set at 40% below the poverty line, further punishing people whose jobs have gone offshore.

The Greens are campaigning to lift the Newstart allowance by $50 per week and give a top-up of $40/week to single parents.

Ms Ringrose concluded “Australia can afford to do this by properly implementing the Mining Tax to ensure a fair distribution of our common wealth.”

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Coalition undermining ‘Yes’ vote for local government

Posted by admin on

Noosa News

While welcoming the final passing of the laws to set up the Referendum for constitutional recognition of local government, Greens local government spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has accused the Coalition of running a spoiler campaign to undermine the chances of the Referendum passing.

“The split in the Coalition vote shows that Abbott is a wolf in sheep’s clothing on the Referendum for constitutional recognition of local government,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“In the Senate seven Coalition senators voted against the Referendum bill and nineteen others abstained, including Senators George Brandis and Eric Abbetz.

“While the Coalition officially support including a reference to local government in the Constitution, their actions seem designed to put roadblocks on any momentum around a ‘Yes’ vote.

“A number of Coalition MPs in the Senate debate said that they did not want the Referendum campaign to distract from their election campaign.

“Liberal Senator Mathias Cormann summed up his party’s approach when he told the Senate that the Coalition will be campaigning for a change of government not a change to the Constitution.

“The deceptive tactics of the Coalition could jeopardise financial certainty for many local councils and shires.

“Former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown played a key role in initiating this Referendum.

“Despite the undermining tactics of the Coalition the Greens are still confident that the Referendum can pass. The Greens are mounting a strong ‘Yes’ campaign,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Greens press Abbott to back local government vote

Posted by admin on June 25, 2013

Noosa-Said-Yes-Header

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott should clearly back a yes vote in the upcoming referendum on Constitutional recognition of local government, Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne has told the annual local government conference.

“The Greens strongly support a referendum on whether local government should be recognised in the Constitution. This would enable the federal government to fund local government services directly, rather than funnelling money through the states,” Senator Milne said.

“It’s up to local government representatives to lobby the Coalition to ensure Mr Abbott understands the need for direct funding from the Commonwealth.

“Mr Abbott has said he supports the principle of a referendum but the Coalition has been playing politics with this inside the parliament and he has not come out strongly backing the yes vote.

“We know that referenda have little hope of succeeding unless they have cross-party support.

“Recognition of local government in our Constitution is important for securing important community services and all parties should commit to making it happen,” Senator Milne said

The referendum on Constitutional recognition for local government was one of the Greens’ requirements for supporting Labor to form government in 2010.

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Fairer, Cheaper, Cleaner: Fixing Australia’s energy network

Posted by admin on May 25, 2013

Clean solar

The Australian Greens will establish a new federal government agency that will lower electricity bills, save energy and cut the pollution driving global warming.

Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said the Energy Savings Agency will make Australia’s energy system fairer, cheaper and cleaner.

“The Federal and State Governments have failed to prevent unnecessary spending on new electricity poles and wires,” Senator Milne said.

“Make no mistake, several state governments want to maximise profit from their electricity assets. Selling less electricity is not in their interest which is why reform of the energy market is too slow and why intervention is vital.

“Nearly a quarter of all our electricity bills pay for the cost of installing infrastructure that we have built to supply electricity for just 40 hours a year during peak demand periods.

“For every $100 of your electricity bill, $51 is for poles and wires and, of course, householders receive no compensation. Only $9 is due to carbon pricing and low to medium income households are compensated for that.

“For all Tony Abbott’s rhetoric about carbon pricing he can’t hide the reality that the cost of poles and wires has led to escalating power prices and it is time he and Julia Gillard got behind the Green’s scheme.

“Last year, the Prime Minister promised to end over investment in poles and wires and forecast savings of $250 a year for every Australian household, but so far she’s been all talk, no action.

“We need an independent agency to provide information, analysis, advocacy and financial support to help remove the barriers to cheaper and cleaner energy options.”

The Energy Savings Agency will have three priorities:

• Driving down power bills by achieving $1 billion in energy savings. This will be achieved by negotiating targets and providing $400 million per year for five years in incentives to urgently reduce energy demand during peak periods;

• Paying Australians fairly for the clean energy they produce – more than one million Australians have installed solar panels on their homes and businesses and they deserve a fair price for the electricity they produce. The Energy Savings Agency will recommend minimum fair prices that electricity retailers will be compelled to pay..

• Designing a National Energy Efficiency Scheme, expanding three state-based schemes to save energy and money at home and at work.

Senator Milne said the proposal has been costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and will cost $405 million to run each year.

“This is a major investment in Australia’s clean, green future,” Senator Milne said.

“The Greens care about people and the environment which is why we need the Energy Savings Agency to help ease the pressure on Australians, reduce the pollution that is driving global warming and ensure Australians get a decent price for investing in solar energy.

“The Greens are the only party that is coming up with innovative ideas to help Australians live a fairer, cheaper and cleaner future.”

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Greens say NO to coal seam gas

Posted by admin on May 22, 2013

CSG-scarred farmland
Senator Christine Milne has announced the Australian Greens policy for no new coal seam gas and empowering land holders to say no to coal seam gas on their land.

“The Greens are the only party standing up to the big coal seam gas mining companies who are threatening our precious water, valuable farmland and global climate,” Greens Leader Senator Milne said.

“Coal seam gas is methane which is a potent greenhouse gas and is leaking from wells and pipes. Not only that, coal seam gas threatens our land and groundwater, which underpins our regional communities and national food security,” Senator Milne said.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said the Greens were standing with the community on coal seam gas.

“I’ve was at the Beyond Coal and Gas summit in the Hunter Valley on the weekend where hundreds of people, young and old, from cities and rural areas, joined together in opposition to coal seam gas tearing apart their land, water, and climate.

“Only the Greens are working to give landholders the right to say no to coal seam gas on their land and moving to extend new water protections to shale and tight gas mining.

“Tony Abbott is a wolf in sheep’s clothing on coal seam gas – he’s telling rural communities they should be able to stop coal seam gas mining companies from coming on to their land but then doing nothing about it in Canberra,” Senator Waters said.

NSW MLC Cate Faehrmann said: “With the recent Planet Gas pull out, we’ve seen that communities can win against big mining companies when they stand together and the Greens will continue to be a strong voice for the community in parliament.

“New South Wales, like the rest of Australia, has an abundance of renewable energy alternatives which are the clean, green future,” Ms Faehrmann said.

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Abbott secret plan environmental disaster

Posted by admin on May 19, 2013

Cartoon by the Herald Sun's Mark Knight

Tony Abbott’s double dissolution agenda and secret policy would be a disaster for the climate and the environment, according to Greens Deputy Leader, Adam Bandt MP and environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters.

Labor needs to give a clear commitment before the election that they won’t be spooked into caving in to the Abbott agenda because of the double dissolution threat, Mr Bandt said.

“This plan shows that Tony Abbott is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. His double dissolution plan shows he will stop at nothing to implement his disastrous plan for the environment,” Mr Bandt said.

“His budget reply was a vision for an uncaring Australia and here is more evidence of how he’ll hurt people and the environment.”

“He won’t even guarantee that electricity bills will fall after his secret plan is implemented, because he knows his plan won’t help the planet and it won’t help people.”

“This plan is all about rolling back action on global warming and gutting environment laws so that all the most important decisions are made by state premiers.”

“We’ll see more logging and shooting in national parks, more mining and development in precious areas, more communities trampled on.”

“This is the danger of Abbott in total control of Parliament. Having more Greens in Parliament is the only way to protect the environment, clean energy and the climate.”

“Any plan for the Great Barrier Reef that doesn’t stop the big mining companies from treating the reef as a dredging dumping ground and a shipping super highway will fall tragically short,” Senator Waters said.

“Tony Abbott’s Coalition is so wedded to the mining industry that we can expect his plan for the Great Barrier Reef will ignore the biggest threat – the reef’s industrialisation by the big mining companies.

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Banks credit card gouge must stop

Posted by admin on May 13, 2013

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Greens Deputy Leader and banking spokesperson Adam Bandt says something must be done to rein in the big banks who are gouging credit card customers. Reports in Fairfax papers show that while the RBA has cut interest rates by 2% in the last two years, banks cut credit card interest by only 0.12 percent.

“The big banks are engaged in rampant profiteering,” Mr Bandt said.

“Over the last half a year the big four banks have made $13.4 billion in profits, while charging over $6 billion a year in credit card interest. When the Greens have suggested a public support levy on the big banks they have cried poor, but it is clear they are taking their customers and the taxpayer for a ride.”

“Over the next few days we will again no doubt hear a lot about Bruce Springsteen from the Treasurer. Yet when it comes to the banks’ credit card rort, the Treasurer turns off the iPod.”

“Like mortgages, the banks should be required to provide credit card products with interest rates that track the real cost in funding.”

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