Posted by admin on June 28, 2013
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.”
Posted by admin on June 27, 2013
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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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.
Posted by admin on June 25, 2013
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.