Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Stolen Generations Inquiry Chair welcomes Government’s commitment to Reparations

Jan Barham MLC, the Greens NSW spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs and Chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generations, has welcomed the NSW Government’s response to the inquiry’s 35 recommendations.

“This strong commitment to act on reparations is welcome, it’s significant, and it’s long overdue,” Ms Barham said.

“It’s almost twenty years since the Bringing Them Home report into forcible removals was tabled. It would be better if we hadn’t needed two decades and another inquiry to get here, but I’m glad that our committee’s recommendations have received such strong support in the Government’s response.”

Millions pouring into gun lobby coffers from firearms license fees

The Australian gun lobby has been found to be amassing giant political war chests from compulsory gun club membership fees. Gun club membership fees are paid as a legal prerequisite in order for most non-rural people to obtain a firearms license.

There are currently no limits on gun club fees, meaning that shooting organizations like the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (the SSAA) can charge substantial membership fees which are then used for political lobbying.

This unintended consequence of the 1996 National Firearms Agreements risks creating a US National Rifle Association (NRA) equivalent in Australia. These laws are currently working to create an annual income stream for the SSAA estimated at $10 million or more according to research by academic Philip Alpers (insert link).

Greens MP and NSW gun control spokesperson David Shoebridge said: 

"The National Firearms Agreement says you need a genuine reason to obtain a gun license and for most metropolitan people this means buying membership as a local gun club.

"The problem is that membership fees are being redirected away from local clubs and handed over for political campaigning.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Cutting funding while increasing Uni debt not the answer

Targeting university students and increasing their debt is not the answer to the long term sustainability of Australia's higher education sector, the Australian Greens have said in response to a Grattan Institute report.

"The Turnbull-Joyce government wants to take an axe to higher education funding and it shouldn't look to increasing student debt to make up any shortfall," the Greens' education spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

Labor’s private schools obsession a threat to fair funding: Greens

Labor’s refusal to reduce the amount  of money going to overfunded private schools and reinvest it into the public schools that need it most is putting true needs based funding at risk, the Australian Greens have said.

“Labor’s obsession with defending the fistfuls of cash going to private schools is threatening to derail any chance we have at achieving genuine needs based funding for all Australian students,” the Greens’ education spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Climate Emergency Declaration Petition in Coffs Harbour January 7

I thought my journey was over at Paris but it’s not. If absolutely everything promised at the Climate Summit is achieved we might limit global warming to three degrees. Three degrees means no Arctic or Antarctic ice, no glaciers and very likely no humans.

This is real, happening at present and for people under 20 now the effects could be catastrophic, not just the wild weather we are experiencing with just one degree of warming.

This is an emergency and we need the science to be taken seriously by all governments
On New Years Day 2017,  I will bring out Old Yella for one last time and paddle from my home in Ballina, where I recuperated from the gruelling Paris journey, to Canberra. I will paddle 1150km down the coast to Moruya, then turn right and drag  Old Yella 180km up the hill to Canberra.

Groups in towns along my route are already collecting signatures on the Climate Emergency Declaration petition for me to deliver to Canberra, along with the signatures being collected via the online version of the petition. Please help reach the target of 100,000 signatures by signing online at The Climate Emergency Declaration

Friday, 2 December 2016

SMH link: Farmers demand the Coalition government does more on climate change


Greens MP Jamie Parker has expressed his dismay at today’s amendment to the Navigation Act 2012, which will set an upper limit for fuel sulphur content only while cruise ships are at berth.
“Today’s announcement by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport has enshrined into law the degrading of the NSW Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations to protect people across Sydney from toxic pollution from cruise ships,” he said.
“The Federal change to the Maritime Act appears only to enforce half of the measures put in place by the EPA last year.

Parliamentary Inquiry dissenting report rejects TPP

The Australian Greens' dissenting report to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) clearly states that the government should immediately give up on any plans to ratify this monster of a deal.

"This deal is done and dusted. It should be consigned to the dustbin of history, where it belongs," the Green's finance and trade spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Xenophon sells SA short in water negotiations

The Nick Xenophon Team cannot be trusted to stand up for South Australia, the Australian Greens have said, after it was revealed that Senator Xenophon has removed his demand for additional environmental water in negotiations with the government on the ABCC Bill.

"Nick Xenophon has just sold South Australia down the river," South Australian Senator and Greens' water spokesperson, Sarah Hanson-Young said.

ABC independence traded for ABCC vote

The Australian Greens have announced that they will vote against the government's plans to allow the Communications Minister to make written directions to the board of the ABC, which it is reportedly doing as part of a deal with Senator Leyonhjelm for his vote on the ABCC Bill.

"The independence of the ABC is essential and should not be put at risk like this," the Greens' acting communications spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"Malcolm Turnbull thinks he can use the ABC as his own personal bargaining chip.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Face the facts and take action to save the Reef say Greens

The Australian Greens call on all political parties to face the scientific facts and take drastic action to save the Great Barrier Reef.

"A scientific study released today confirms that two thirds of corals are dead in the north of the Reef, said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters.

"Reef scientists are unanimous in saying the biggest threat to the Reef is global warming which caused the devastating coral bleaching and in their calls for drastic action.

Greens MP David Shoebridge will be beginning a trip to Trump’s America today to discuss gun control policies, compare the two countries’ gun lobbies and what it might all mean under a Trump Administration.

While Australia is considered by many the envy of the world when it comes to gun control laws, there is a growing and disturbing gun culture in Australia that is perpetuated by a growing number of pro-gun MP’s in Parliaments across the country.

In Austin, Denver, Baltimore, Washington, New York and Boston David will be meeting with politicians, academics, emergency services personnel, victims and families, and gun control advocates. An itinerary is available on request.

Overhaul schools funding so it’s based on need: Greens

Any overhaul of schools funding must result in a genuine ‘needs based’ model, the Australian Greens have said, pointing out that some wealthy, overfunded private schools will need to have their funding reduced so that struggling public schools can get ahead.

“Yes, some schools are overfunded and yes, that funding should be clawed back,” the Greens’ education spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Public funding is precious and it needs to be spent on giving all young Australians access to a high quality public education.

Invitation Community Sustainability Forum in Bellingen December 10

Monday, 28 November 2016

Like Abbott, Turnbull squibs ditching elitist Life Gold Pass

The elitist Life Gold Pass is set to survive into 2017 as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, like former PM Tony Abbott, has squibbed previous promises to ditch the discredited scheme, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"Prime Minister Turnbull's excuse that his government is too 'busy' is rubbish. We all know three weeks ago the Senate ran out of legislation to debate," Senator Rhiannon said.

One Nation puts 70,000 Queensland jobs in jeopardy

By falsely claiming that the Great Barrier Reef is "alive and well" after visiting an area unaffected by coral bleaching One Nation is putting the jobs of 70,000 Queenslanders in jeopardy say the Australian Greens.

"It is unconscionable for One Nation to claim the Reef is totally fine when 22 percent of corals in the Great Barrier Reef just died from the worst ever bleaching event on record," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters.

"Reef scientists are unanimous in saying the biggest threat to the Reef is global warming, which caused the recent devastating coral bleaching.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Video: Vote 1 Dawn Walker for NSW Greens Preselection

Greens proud of legal fight against Adani mega-coal mine

"We are disappointed with this decision but are proud of the tenacious legal fight to oppose this mega-coal mine.

"When governments fail to enforce or comply with their own laws, it falls to community groups to hold them to account.

"Public enforcement of laws is a crucial tenet of our democracy.

"Across the country, Australians care deeply about our reefs, forests, rivers and native wildlife and they should be able to have their say on developments threatening to destroy these parts of our national identity.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Tell Mike Baird you want NSW to get on board and ban the bag too.

The Queensland Government has just announced they will ban single use plastic bags.

Tell Mike Baird you want NSW to get on board and ban the bag too.

Sign our petition at and let's BAN THE BAG and help get litter out of our waterways and protect our precious marine life.

The Queensland Government will ban single-use plastic shopping bags from 2018, and says it will not wait for other east-coast states to do the same.


Turnbull-Joyce government’s ongoing failure on housing

The Greens say the split between state and federal Liberal ministers highlights the ongoing failure of the Turnbull-Joyce government to act on the housing affordability crisis.

Greens spokesperson for housing Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “The Turnbull government does not have a single strategy or policy to deal with the housing affordability crisis at a federal level, so it is no surprise that Liberal state ministers are cracking.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for negative gearing reform back in 2005 when the Howard government were in office. Earlier this year it was reported he argued in Cabinet to tighten negative gearing concessions, but still there is no change.