Friday, 26 August 2016

Greens propose powerful parliamentary alternative if Turnbull baulks on banking Royal Commission

The Greens spokesperson for Finance, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, said, “If the Turnbull Government refuses to act on establishing a Royal Commission into the misconduct in the financial services sector, then I want Parliamentarians to know there is another powerful option for us to pursue.

“We have received advice that a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, with similar powers to a Royal Commission, can be established by an Act of Parliament. This could be put forward by a cross-party group, pass through the Senate and then (with Labor and cross-bench support) would only require one Liberal or National Party back-bencher to cross the floor in the House of Representatives for it to become law.

“If the Executive won’t act on an issue important to the Australian people then the Parliament must consider all its options.

“Whilst this power has been rarely pursued in the past, it is well within the Parliament’s prerogative as outlined by the Constitution, and reflects the nation’s mood in electing a diverse and balanced Parliament.

Don't punish doctors for voluntary euthanasia: Greens

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale has restated his party's intention to introduce laws to enable dying with dignity, in light of the police investigation into a Perth GP.

"Around Australia people overwhelmingly support the right of terminally ill people to end their lives on their own terms, and the law should reflect that," said Senator Di Natale, himself a former GP.

"During the federal election the Greens committed to reintroducing legislation to make sure terminally ill people experiencing intolerable pain, suffering or distress can, at the time of their choosing, receive assistance from a medical practitioner to end their life.

New Greens’ portfolio allocations

The Australian Greens Party Room has changed portfolio responsibilities as we enter this new term of parliament.

“Thanks to the outstanding advocacy of our parliamentary team, the Australian Greens have been leading the debate on the major environmental, economic and social challenges facing our country,” said Senator Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader.

$300 million for RAAF base, nothing for residents hit by Williamtown contamination

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has commented on Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne's announcement of a further $300 million of extended defence contracts at Williamtown RAAF base.

Minister Pyne failed to provide any detail when he states that the Coalition government was 'very concerned' about the contamination issue and that government agencies were working with Defence to support the community.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Greens will oppose company tax cut for big business

Greens Treasury spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today announced that the Greens will not support any cut to the company tax rate for big business.

“The Greens will not support any attempt to cut the company tax rate for big business,” Mr Bandt said.

“If Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison want to make big businesses pay even less tax, they will need to get the support of the Labor Party.”

"When it comes to paying tax, big business is getting away with murder but the Liberals' response is to offer them a tax cut.”

Standing strong on Safe Schools

Greens NSW MP and acting spokesperson on Sexuality & Gender Identity Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the reported conservative push against Safe Schools by a NSW Liberals MP <> (Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2016) is another example of unwarranted attacks and scare tactics being used on an important education program.
Dr Faruqi said:

"Our community has come a long way when it comes to celebrating diversity, which makes it even more disappointing to see these unwarranted attacks on a program that is all about acceptance, support and education.

'Chasing Asylum' Film

RAR at the Sawtell viewing

This viscerally intense exposé of Australia’s asylum seeker policy will make audiences feel like a brick smashed to pieces with a sledgehammer. Full review
Luke Buckmaster·The Guardian
"Chasing Asylum" confronts Australia's hardline policy of detaining asylum seekers in offshore processing centers, offering a powerfully crafted plea for human rights will move many viewers to tears. Full review
Richard Kuipers·Variety

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Greens challenge Labor – why stop at overseas political donations

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that Labor’s concern about the potential for overseas political donors to use their money to buy influence should equally apply to wealthy Australian companies that bankroll parties.

“While the former Treasurer Wayne Swan’s call for a debate on overseas political donations is a start this approach does expose Labor’s failure to end the corrupting influence of political donations whatever the source,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“When in office Labor failed to act on political donation reform.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Planning for climate change and appropriate coastal development- Coffs Harbour Greens

The Coffs Harbour launch of the NSW Greens plan to protect the state's coasts and waterways was held at Sapphire Beach on Friday 19th August. Visiting Greens MLC David Shoebridge met with local Council candidates to discuss the impact of coastal erosion in the Coffs Harbour LGA.

"It is criminal for any local council to be allowing itself to approve private development that is at risk of coastal inundation. As we saw with the recent coastal storms that battered the coast at places such as Collaroy, we are already paying the cost of past poor development with private and public infrastructure now being damaged or lost.” said Mr Shoebridge.

Greens say entire plebiscite is a delay tactic against marriage equality

Expect more delays, says Greens Leader Richard Di Natale, unsurprised that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pushed his promised plebiscite on marriage equality off to next year.

"Delays are the entire point of the Liberals' plebiscite ploy. They don't want to end discrimination in the law, they want to push it off to the never-never," Senator Di Natale said.

"The Parliament could pass marriage equality into law next Tuesday, but instead the Liberals want to run a costly and divisive public vote that may be ignored by many of their so-called representatives anyway.

"The plebiscite is pointless. We already know there's overwhelming support for marriage equality in the community and in the parliament so it can't be seen as anything but a delay tactic.

"The PM should end the sham, end the delays and end the discrimination against people who want to celebrate their love."

21 August 2016

Clean up political donations – include ban on overseas donations

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has commented on reports about donations from Chinese businesses and lobbyists to both major parties.

“The latest reports about millions of dollars in overseas donations flooding into the Coalition and Labor parties highlights the urgent need for a ban on donations from overseas businesses and donors.

“Donations from overseas property developers, infrastructure companies, agriculture companies and other lobbyists are not made for the heck of it. The same applies to donations made by Australian businesses and donors.

Ad hoc approach to CSG is not the answer to gas price hikes

The Greens NSW energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the government was heading in the wrong direction by moving to a ‘case by case’ assessment of new coal seam gas licences in NSW, saying that the industry does not have a social licence and that any additional gas will do little now that export LNG has linked domestic gas prices to the international market.
“The Greens have been warning for years that export LNG will have an adverse impact on the domestic gas market and the need to consider a domestic gas reserve, or some other national interest test, to protect domestic consumers and manufacturers from the impact of gas price hikes,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Meet the Bellingen Shire Council Candidates - Local Forums

Kalang   Progress   Association  

Meet the Bellingen Shire Council Candidates

Sunday 11am   28th  Aug 2016

We would like to invite you to the Kalang Progress Association’s   Election Forum.

It will be held at the Kalang Hall, 1773 Kalang Road at 11am on 28th August.

Each candidate will be given 10 minutes to introduce themselves and answer
questions from the floor.

You will get a chance to meet the locals during a cuppa and scones.


Urunga-Mylestom Chamber of Commerce
Club Urunga (Urunga Bowling Club)

7.30 PM start, Wednesday August 31 


St Margaret's Hall (opposite war memorial)

5.00 PM
Thursday September 1


Meet the Candidates

Dorrigo Community Hall, Dorrigo
29 August 2016, 05:30 PM

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Greens to reveal donations and campaign spending BEFORE residents vote in 10 September council elections

In a challenge to both the Labor and Liberal parties the Greens are committing to telling voters of all reportable donations, and how much each Greens council election campaign will spend, before residents vote on 10 September 2016. Full details will be published on the first day of pre-poll voting, Monday 30 August, and continuous online disclosure of additional donations will occur until the election.


Greens propose work-around to provide HIV prevention drug

The Greens are calling on the Federal Government to support personal importation of an HIV 'wonder drug' that has just been denied listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, to protect those who are most at risk.

"We simply cannot leave Australians at unnecessary risk, when this drug gives us the chance to end HIV transmission in Australia," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale, a former public health specialist who has worked on HIV prevention in India.

Coffs Harbour Climate Action Candidate Forum August 30

Storm erosion on Coffs Coast
What: Candidate Q&A forum
When: 6pm Tuesday 30 August 2016
Where: CEX Club, 1 Vernon Street, Coffs Harbour
With Council elections coming up on 10 September, we all need to help get climate action to the top of candidates' agendas. There is so much potential for meaningful action on renewable energy and cutting emissions at the local level, and it's essential we plan properly for sea level rise and extreme weather events. Vote now in the Coffs Coast Advocate poll on priorities for council - a "climate change strategy" is on there! - vote here now.  Then join us to discuss the issues with candidates in person.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Inquiry into inner city schools launched today

A Parliamentary Inquiry into plans to redevelop the inner city schools with a focus on Ultimo, has today been formally launched and will begin receiving submissions within days.

Greens MP and Education Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"The Government has a responsibility under the Education Act to provide access to quality public education for every child in this state including the inner city, regardless of local property prices.

Greens pledge to protect 18C as many times as it takes

Richard Di Natale
The Australian Greens say they will keep standing with the community to protect Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, in the face of revelations Prime Minister Turnbull promised yet another attempt at changing it to win his leadership coup over Tony Abbott.

"In his rush to become Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull sold out those who would face discrimination to secure power for himself. It's disgraceful," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"Once again the far Right of the Liberal Party is leading Malcolm Turnbull, instead of the other way around.

Clean energy funding at risk under Turnbull, Labor

Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith has joined in condemning the plan by the Turnbull Government to strip more than $1 billion from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Labor’s Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen also failed to rule out passing the cut yesterday morning on RN Breakfast.

"Labor talks about clean-energy but is failing to back it up with any action and instead is refusing to commit to supporting ARENA.  Stripping $1 billion in funding would leave emerging technologies with very few other places to go to get grants to test out their business ideas,” said Ms Smith.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Echo NetDaily Story: NOROC slams Baird’s proposed tree-clearing laws

Proposed changes to nature conservation laws would lead to increased land clearing, environmentalists have warned. Photo Lyn Orrego, NEFA
Proposed changes to nature conservation laws would lead to increased land clearing, environmentalists have warned. Photo Lyn Orrego, NEFA

Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC), the peak body for the region’s local government organisations, has made a damning appraisal of the Baird government’s proposed new biodiversity and land-clearing laws.

The body has warned in its submission to the government review of land-clearing and threatened species laws the reforms would be bad for biodiversity and sustainability, and add administrative burdens and costs for local councils.

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