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 May 13, 2013
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.”
Posted by admin on April 20, 2013
The Australian Greens argue that the new budget submission from ACOSS puts further pressure on the Government to increase support for jobseekers and single parents in next month’s Budget.
“The Government needs to listen to ACOSS and the individuals and organisations who are calling for an increase in Newstart,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.
“People are falling further and further into poverty. The Government needs to provide a meaningful increase in Newstart in the May budget.
“Despite some Labor MPs finding their voice on this issue, the Government has continued its march towards the Coalition’s conservative policies in regards to our most vulnerable people. The May budget is the chance for them to take a new path, one which helps people find secure work, without putting them at risk of falling deeper into poverty.
“In the 12 months since my own week on Newstart, things have only become harder for people living more than $130 below the poverty line. Despite this, Newstart has continued to fall behind increases to the cost of living.
“The Greens are the only party taking the necessary steps in Parliament to help vulnerable people. My Private Member’s Bill increases Newstart by $50 per week and could be funded by fixing the mining tax.
“Everyone knows that Newstart needs increasing, but MPs from the older parties remain steadfast in their unwillingness to take meaningful action in Parliament. The May Budget is this Government’s big change chance to prove they genuinely care about vulnerable people,” Senator Siewert concluded.
Posted by admin on April 7, 2013
Greens Deputy Leader and workplace spokesperson Adam Bandt MP will move amendments to the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Bill 2013, currently before Parliament, to protect Sensis workers from off shoring. Mr Bandt joined a rally of Sensis workers in Melbourne who are fighting a decision by Telstra to cut up 700 workers from the directory business.
“Our national phone company shouldn’t send up to 700 jobs overseas just to make more profit,” Mr Bandt said.
“The law already requires Telstra to produce a phone directory for the benefit of the Australian public and the Greens’ amendment would require that work to be done locally.”
“As one of the major advertisers in the phone directories, the government should be using public money to protect local jobs.”
Posted by admin on March 10, 2013
The restoration of local government for the communities of Noosa is a victory for democracy. So many men and women contributed their time, their energy and their resources to a hard-fought campaign that brought together people across the political spectrum. However this magnificent achievement remains at risk and vulnerable to the whim or ideology of future state government who may choose to ignore the will of the people as did Peter Beattie and the Queensland ALP (remember them?)
With a parliamentary inquiry report recommending a referendum to recognise local government in the constitution at the September election, Australian Greens local government spokesperson and committee member Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on the Gillard government to introduce required legislation soon after parliament resumes next week.
The Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government report has recommended a referendum at the next election to recognise local councils in the constitution and allow the federal government to directly fund them.
“Two expert committees have now found in favour of a referendum. The Labor government must move quickly to pass legislation between March and July facilitating the referendum and allowing time to build strong community and cross party support,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“If the government drags the chain it will rob the campaign of time to educate the community about the importance of constitutional reform to allow the federal government to fund local councils.
“Two High Court cases have created uncertainty around federal grants to local councils.
“This referendum should receive active support from all political parties, state governments and local councils across the nation.
“Referendums are notoriously difficult to pass, with voters approving eight out of 44 proposals to alter the constitution, so it is important campaigning gets going as soon as possible.
“This report reveals a big appetite from local councils for reform and strong capacity to campaign. The Gillard government must lead the way in securing this important change.
“The Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 sets out the referendum process. This includes passing a bill setting out the proposed alteration to the Constitution, establishing ‘yes’ and ‘no’ committees of MPs to prepare a case supporting their position and the Government-General issuing writs,” Senator Rhiannon said.
Posted by admin on March 5, 2013
Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt says the PM’s promise on s457 visas rings hollow, given the failure of the government to require jobs to be advertised locally first.
Allowing the big miners to use secret Enterprise Migration Agreements also showed the Labor government wasn’t really serious about putting locals first, Mr Bandt said.
“The PM is ramping up the rhetoric on overseas workers to compete with Tony Abbott while actually doing little to protect local jobs. Employers should be made to advertise locally before they bring in overseas workers,” Mr Bandt said
“The changes to the 457 visa scheme are really just election window dressing. If Labor were serious, they would bring back proper labour market testing and require jobs to be advertised locally first.”
“Labor’s Enterprise Migration Agreements will also make it easier for the big miners to import overseas workers.
“Like the mining tax, the tough talk hides some big loopholes.”
“The Greens’ Protecting Local Jobs (Regulating Enterprise Migration Agreements) Bill would require jobs to be advertised to locals first.”
“The government should also be allowing the 10,000 asylum seekers living in the community to work, strengthen skills training and make sure apprentices have a living income before allowing more overseas workers in.”
“Until the Prime Minister is will to properly regulate EMAs and 457 visas her local jobs promise will ring hollow.”
Posted by admin on March 12, 2012
The anti-gay marriage advertisement by Katter’s Australian Party again shows how out of touch the party is toward the views of ordinary Queenslanders, the Australian Greens said today.
“The party’s latest ad is an insult to modern Queenslanders and shows how out of touch it is,” Greens’ marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today in Ashgrove.
“It does not represent the views of Queenslanders toward gay and lesbian couples. This is why Queenslanders should be voting Green because most Queenslanders, like the rest of Australia, support marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
Sen. Hanson-Young is in Brisbane today supporting Greens lead candidate Adam Stone to stop the LNP’s opposition to civil union laws.
“Queensland’s parliament has already said to same-sex couples ‘you are equal to heterosexual couples’,” Sen. Hanson-Young said.
“I’m working hard in the federal parliament so that this year Australia’s government amends the Marriage Act and spreads that message of equal love to all same-sex couples across Australia.”
“I call for the ad by Katter’s Australian Party to be withdrawn,” Greens lead candidate and candidate for Mt Coot-tha, Adam Stone, said.
“Our parliaments are meant to increase the rights of marginalised peoples, not diminish them. I’m standing up for Mt Coot-tha against the likes of Katter’s party. I’ll also defend the electorate against the LNP’s plans to repeal civil unions as part of the campaign for full marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
Posted by admin on February 3, 2012
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper
Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam today launched a campaign urging the Government to strengthen media cross ownership laws and protect diversity in the Australian mass media.
Senator Ludlam said the recent Fairfax raid by mining billionaire Gina Rinehart was just an example of the ongoing concentration of media ownership in Australia.
“This is not about Mrs Rinehart’s personal world view. It’s about the mass media in Australia being run by a tiny handful of people which is getting smaller and smaller.”
“Eleven of Australia’s twelve capital city daily papers are owned by either Fairfax or Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd. The remaining newspaper is effectively controlled by the owner of Channel Seven. It stands to reason that the concentration of media ownership in this country has gone far enough.”
“Disturbingly, Australia is already ranked 30th in the world for press freedom. By comparison, Canada is 10th and New Zealand is 13th.” (Reporters Without Borders – Press Freedom Index 2011/2012)
Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has bought almost 14% of Fairfax Media, adding to her 10% stake in Channel Ten. The reach of Fairfax extends beyond the city mastheads the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age into regional towns right across Australia.
“The weakening of Australia’s media ownership laws by the Howard Government has had a negative impact on the integrity of public debate in Australia, a situation that will worsen if further concentration of ownership is permitted.”
“With the support of the Australian Greens, the Government can take the urgent action required to protect diversity in media ownership in Australia. We have asked the Australian people to write to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy through our website – http://www.greensmps.org.au/media-ownership – to urge him to take action before it is too late.”
Posted by Jim on January 25, 2012
The Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald, said he will be attending the Australia Day ceremony at the Recreational Hall at Wallace Park.
He said, “I think it is important that a candidate aspiring to represent Noosa should be present at the formal induction of new citizens into the community.
“Citizenship ceremonies are one of the most moving secular ceremonies in our nation. I have always admired the bravery of migrants who choose to set up a new life in Australia and to formally identify themselves with our nation by taking on citizenship.
“My own migrant origins in Australia stretch back 180 years, so there hasn’t been a tradition in my family of people formally taking on citizenship. But the challenges facing today’s migrants and my forebears who were free settlers are similar in many respects.
“Some of our new citizens will have fled tyranny and persecution and we welcome them into our community and wish them a safe and prosperous future in our country.
“On behalf of the Noosa Greens, I welcome all our new fellow Australians.”
Greens Candidate Noosa
Media Release, 25 January 2012