Whales bring thousands of visitors and hundreds of jobs to the Wide Bay Electorate
How many more whales have to die before the Government makes up its mind if it is going to take legal action against Japan, asked the Australian Greens today.
“Mr Rudd’s threats to take legal action are laughable, unless he has the will to put them into action – his Government has been using the same lines for the last two seasons just as the Coalition did before them, and Australians don’t believe him” said Australian Greens marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.
“Mr Rudd has confirmed there are no plans to use Australian boats to monitor whaling this season, as their only purpose was to gather evidence to support a future court case. That was two years ago – and what has been accomplished in that time?”
“The Prime Minister Rudd must raise the issue of whaling when he meets the Japanese Prime Minister next week. If he fails to resolve the issue next week with the Japanese Prime Minister, he should commence legal action in the international courts immediately,” said Senator Siewert.
“Negotiations between Australia’s Environment Minister, Whale Envoy and the Japanese Government have achieved nothing – as evident when we see the Japanese whaling fleet heading back out into the Southern Ocean.”
“We cannot wait until the next International Whaling Commission meeting in mid 2010 to take action on Japanese whaling – that is after the current whaling season and hundreds of whales will be slaughtered while the Australian Government dithers.”
“The Japanese plan to take nearly 1000 minke whales and 50 fin whales in their hunt this season. The only thing standing in the way of that quota is the Sea Shepherd, who again will be on the seas alone,” she concluded.
Nominations to be received no later than close of business Monday 4 January 2010
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Quality affordable child care should be available for all Aussie Kids
The Australian Greens welcome the decision to sell the remains of ABC Learning to a consortium of not-for-profit welfare groups but say the real work to support childcare in Australia begins now, according to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Early Childhood Education, says the decision of receivers to sell more than 700 childcare centres to the Mission Australia-led consortium rather than private equity company Archer Capital is a win for parents and families.
“This is the right decision for the future of early childhood education and care (ECEC),” Senator Hanson-Young said. “The Greens want to see care transformed from a costly, corporate-run afterthought to a high quality, affordable, accessible service for all.
“Now that this large section of the market has been given to not-for-profit groups, the Federal Government must act quickly to reinforce this decision and protect the delivery of quality childcare.
“Particularly given COAG’s agreement to lift childcare standards, it is vital that the Federal Government increases support for not-for-profit providers in order for them to remain viable.”
New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that tens of thousands of Australian women are being kept out of work because childcare is either too expensive or not available.
“We need to be reducing the cost of care for parents and families, not increasing it,” Senator Hanson-Young said. “The Government needs to be more active in the sector – it needs to
link funding for providers to benchmark standards of service delivery, and plan for the future so centres are located to meet demand, rather than maximise profit.”
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has said that Tony Abbott’s stated scepticism on climate change today will shock many Liberal voters.
“And in a world where both big and small business understand the science of climate change and the need for appropriate action, Abbott’s comments will also dismay most business operators,” Senator Brown said.
“Abbott’s failure on climate change is shepherding the government’s weakness at Copenhagen. For instance, the Rudd government’s failure to announce adequate funds for developing countries to deal with climate change, described as an insult by the spokesperson for the G77 plus China developing nations group, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping.”
“Oxfam estimates Australia’s baseline contribution should be over $3 billion a year.”
“The make-up of Tony Abbott’s new front bench makes Sir Robert Menzies look pink,” Senator Brown said.
“The report clearly validates many of the concerns raised by Darling Downs and Surat Basin communities at the epicentre of the conflict between resource extraction and farming.
“The inquiry learned that tightening the regulations on a case by case basis – while essential – does not address the question of whether the short term benefits of coal mining on productive farmland outweigh the long-term costs.
“These costs can be great indeed: compromised land, damaged aquifers and reduced food security.
“The Australian Greens believe that leaving this for State Governments to determine is unacceptable and will inevitably lead to the irreversible destruction of some of Australia’s prime farming country.
“The Commonwealth reserves the right to assess and, if necessary, block development projects if they breach matters of national environmental significance.
“We think similar tests should apply in the case of irreversible damage to water resources or destruction of prime farmland.
“We want to see the Water Act 2007 amended to ban mining and extractive industries where they will have adverse impacts on groundwater resources and the environment,” Senator Ludlam concluded.
"No world leader can ignore the planet's population burden. There were 3 billion people when Kevin Rudd was born. There are 6.8 billion now. There will be 9 billion by mid-century. This population boom is not economic wisdom, it is a recipe for planetary exhaustion and great human tragedy."
Bob Brown, September 2009
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