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 December 06, 2005 4:17 AM

Labor and government vote against human rights test: Greens

6.12.05

Labor and the government tonight combined to vote against a Greens move
to require the Anti-Terrorism (No.2) 2005 Bill to conform to
international human rights law.

The Greens amendment, based on the UK Human Rights Act, would have
allowed a court considering the powers in the bill to declare sections
of the bill as incompatible with the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the
Convention against Torture.

"Labor and the government have cooperated to ensure the courts won't be
able to measure this bill against our international obligations",
Senator Brown said today.

"The government says the bill doesn't breach human rights, but won't let
the courts put it to the test."

"The government and Labor will also combine to allow detention without
charge or trial in Australian law by supporting Schedule 4 of the bill."

"The Greens will also call a division on this Schedule 4 of the bill so
the Australian people can see who is responsible for detention without
charge or trial."

For more information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

 

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 December 06, 2005 4:16 AM

MEDIA RELEASE - 6 December 2005

Carr and Egan wrong to say Cross City Tunnel comes at 'no cost' to
the public

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said today that Mr Bob Carr and Mr Michael
Egan's mantra at the Cross City Tunnel inquiry that the project has come
at 'no cost to the public' is both wrong and insulting to the public.

"The public is paying in lost stamp duty, taxes and rates
exemptions," Ms Rhiannon said.

"The RTA would have had huge project management costs, including
legal and consultancy fees running into millions of dollars. 

"Then there is the high price of having the RTA, Treasury, Planning
and many other agencies manage the project and its fall out.

"The public is wearing other costs like high tolls and lost time
negotiating roads in the above ground mess. Local businesses are also
failing.

"Mr Carr and Mr Egan, in giving evidence to the inquiry, resorted to
spin and wise cracks to deflect blame away from themselves.

"Both senior RTA executives and Mr Carr have also repeatedly run the
line of 'trust us', with time this project will come good.

"This 'wait and see' approach is galling to Sydney residents who
are currently dealing with the chaos the tunnel has created.

"Privileged papers released by the Greens show senior RTA executives
are discussing a government buy back of this asset.

"The NSW Labor government knows this project has been a failure. It
is wrong to pretend otherwise, " Ms Rhiannon said.


More information:  9230 3551 or 0427 861 568



Alison Orme
Adviser, Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon
Macquarie St, Sydney 2000
Tel: +61-2-9230 3551 Fax: +61-2-9230 3550
Mobile: 0432 332 104
Email alison.orme@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Web www.leerhiannon.org.au
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 December 06, 2005 4:14 AM

Metro Strategy a Plan for Unlimited Urban Sprawl

The government's metro strategy will result in a 25% increase in
Sydney's urban sprawl over the next thirty years according to Greens
MLC and Planning Spokesperson, Sylvia Hale.

"The Metropolitan Strategy document refers repeatedly to a need to
contain Sydney's environmental footprint, yet when you get to the fine
print it becomes clear that the government's target is to expand the
footprint in line with the growth in population," said Ms Hale.

(The Metropolitan Strategy document identifies on page 14 Sydney's
current urban footprint as over 1700 square kilometres. Table 7 on page
20 of the document identifies the strategy's environmental target as
"no increase in Sydney's environmental footprint, per
capita.")

"With Sydney's population predicted to increase by more than 1
million, this means the government is planning to increase Sydney's
environmental footprint by over 25% over the next three decades," Ms
Hale continued

"Sydney's current footprint is over 1700 square kilometres meaning
that under this strategy Sydney will grow by another 400 square
kilometres."

"The government calls this containing Sydney's footprint, the
Greens call it unsustainable urban sprawl. This sort of uncapped growth
in Sydney's environmental footprint will have serious consequences for
the quality of life of those who live in Sydney and surrounding
areas," concluded Ms Hale.


For more information: Chris Holley 0437 779 546
christopher.holley@parliament.nsw.gov.au
www.sylvia.nsw.greens.org.au

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 December 05, 2005 2:19 AM

Government gag on Senate terror debate an outrage: Greens

5.12.05

Debate on one of the worst pieces of legislation in Australia's history
will be reduced to just six hours, Senator Nettle said today.

The government guillotined speeches on the Anti-Terrorism Bill (No.2)
2005 today and have restricted debate on the bill tomorrow to three and
half hours.

"This is an outrage. There is little democracy left in the Parliament
with the actions of the government this week."

"How can we properly consider the legislation and almost one hundred
amendments in the space of only three and half hours? Seventy-four of
those amendments, delivered to Senators this afternoon are from the
government. They will be debated for as little as three minutes per
amendment."

"The government's attack on the democratic processes of the Senate
mirror the terrorism laws themselves."

"Detention without charge and trial and new sedition laws which attack
free speech are being rammed through the Parliament with virtually no
debate."

"The government is removing peoples' rights with no debate by the
people's representatives allowed."

"In the past terrorism legislation has taken days or even weeks to
debate. The Senate debate on the two ASIO bills in 2002 and 2003 took 6
days. Menzies allowed 15 days on the bill to ban the Communist Party,
but debate on these worse laws will last only a few hours."

For more information: Kristian Bolwell 0411 638 320


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 December 04, 2005 11:11 PM

Law Council needs an answer on terror laws: Greens

5.12.05

The government is still failing to answer the Law Council's concerns
regarding the terrorism laws Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said today.

Senator Nettle asked Senator Hill in Question Time today why the Prime
Minister had still not responded to the concerns expressed by the Law
Council regarding preventative detention and control orders in a letter
written on November 3.

"The 50,000 lawyers represented by the Law Council should not have to
take out full page newspaper ads to get an answer from the Prime
Minister", Senator Nettle said.

"The government has still not provided a justification for detention
without charge or trial."

"Senator Hill's shameless hiding behind a reference to the victims of
the Bali bombing can not excuse the failure of the government to make a
case for these laws."

"As the Law Council's ad showed today even Robert Menzies would have
opposed these laws."

"These laws should not be passed."

The Greens will move amendments to remove preventative detention and
control orders from the Anti-Terrorism Bill (No.2) 2005 in the Senate
this afternoon.

For information: Kristian Bolwell 0411 638 320


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 December 04, 2005 11:05 PM

Clear and present risk to child poverty

"Costello has a hide talking about bad parenting and welfare when
'Welfare to Work', which goes to Parliament tomorrow, is going to have
such a devastating impact and force more children than ever into
poverty," said Senator Siewert today.

"What we need is a government committed to working towards a real
reduction in child poverty. 'Welfare to Work' is going to wreak havoc on
many Australian families.

"With Welfare to Work being debated tomorrow it is timely for the
government to consider that 13% of children are being raised in poverty.
Placing further obstruction in the way of struggling families by
reducing their income or forcing them into unsuitable work is going to
lead to a generation of young Australians that will feel the
consequences for years to come."

The concerns articulated in the Brotherhood of St Lawrence's 'Social
Barometer: Childrens Chances' gives us a timely reminder of the long
term impacts of child poverty.

As noted in the report summary:
 "This is not an Australia that most of us want.  It is creating the
basis for a future two-tiered society.  And it is robbing us of skills
and talent."
"Fifteen years of economic growth were meant to produce better."

Mr Costello was quoted today saying that the government would intervene
in withdrawing family support payments from 'bad parents' only in cases
where there was 'a clear and present risk that must be addressed.'

"I would say that there is much greater 'clear and present risk' to
already struggling families, and that is the 'Welfare to Work' changes.
Mr Costello should be focussed on providing support and services for
disadvantaged families, not penalising them further," concluded Senator
Siewert.


For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025




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 December 03, 2005 10:47 PM

Sunday, 4 December 2005

Senator Milne joins thousands in climate change rally in Montreal

Australian Greens climate change spokesperson Senator Christine Milne
joined thousands of people in the climate change rally in Montreal,
Canada earlier today, as part of the International day of Action on
Climate Change.

Senator Milne, who has travelled to Montreal for the first conference of
the parties to the Kyoto Protocol, said freezing conditions did not stop
a huge crowd turning out for the rally to protest at inaction by world
leaders on climate change.

"The march goes for at least a dozen city blocks, with two huge lines
meeting in the middle," Senator Milne said from Montreal.

"There is lots of colour, lots of placards, lots of excitement. People
desperately want the US and Australia to do something.

"Meanwhile back at the convention centre, Australia is virtually out of
the talks. They are very much sidelined in this event. They are keeping
a watching brief as the rest of the members of the Kyoto Protocol are
getting on with trying to negotiate an outcome."

Senator Milne said the strong turnout at the rally demonstrated that
people were way ahead of their governments.

"People are very angry about what's happening," she said.

In Canada, the evidence of climate change was already apparent with sea
ice retreating.

"People want action on climate change and they want it now," she said.

Senator Milne will be in Montreal this week for the duration of the
talks.

A sound recording of Senator Milne's comments, as a wave file, is
available on request.  Audio files will be available on Senator Milne's
web site from tomorrow at www.christinemilne.org.au


Contact: Katrina Willis 0437 587 562




Katrina Willis
Adviser
Office of Senator Christine Milne
03 6234 4566 (phone)
0437 587 562
03 6234 2144 (fax)
www.greens.org.au

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 December 02, 2005 9:02 PM

Saturday, 3 December

Senator Bob Brown
Vs
Forestry Tasmania

Greens Senator Bob Brown is launching a federal court action against
Forestry Tasmania. The case attacks the presumption that logging
operations, which are undertaken through the Tasmanian Regional Forest
Agreement, are exempt from the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999.

If Senator Brown wins the case, it will have national implications
affecting logging operations wherever a regional forestry agreement is
in place. There are 10 RFAs around Australia.

Senator Brown may face up to $250,000 in court costs and is undertaking
a national fundraising campaign to help meet those costs.


What: Bob Brown Vs Forestry Tasmania

Where: Federal Court in Hobart

When: Monday, 5 December 2005
           (from around 10am)

The case centres around the Wielangta (pronounced Why-lang-ta) forests,
near Maria Island on Tasmania's east coast. It is a hot spot for rare
and endangered species like Tasmania's Wedge-tailed Eagle, Swift Parrot,
Tiger Quoll, the Wielangta (broad-toothed) Stag Beetle and other tiny
creatures including orchids.


Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603 or
www.bobbrown.org.au under campaigns

--------------------------------------------------------------
Ebony Bennett
Media Adviser
Office of Greens Senator Bob Brown
Mobile: 0409 164 603
Ph: (02) 6277 3170
Fax: (02) 6277 3185
ebony.bennett@aph.gov.au

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 December 01, 2005 10:47 PM

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA

MEDIA RELEASE


Friday, 2 December 2005


Which Part of 'FAIR' does the Government not understand?

The Australian Greens have declared they will pursue workplace fairness
for the long haul, after the Government refused to acknowledge the
profound imbalance in the Work Choices legislation.
"We were concerned that in the rushed drafting of this Bill the
government was proposing a body called the "Australian Fair Pay
Commission" that did not actually ensure that the process for setting
the rate of minimum pay took 'fairness' into account," Senator Siewert
said today. "We tried to help them fix this, but they weren't interested
in fairness."
Green amendments sought to ensure that the AFPC balanced the needs of
the economy with the need to maintain a decent standard of living for
workers on the minimum wage.
"All we were asking was that basic community standards be considered so
that workers are assured of getting enough to put food on the table and
keep a roof over their heads," she said.
On the eve of Work Choices becoming law, Minister Abetz repeatedly
wasted time on 'schoolboy debates' over the meaning of the word 'fair',
dodging the more substantive issue and refusing to consider living
standards along with economic factors.
The Greens will pursue this issue and monitor the implementation of this
legislation and hold Labor to its promise of tearing up this inexcusable
legislation when the Coalition is thrown out of office.
"The proper role of the Government is to find the balance between living
standards, productivity and inflation, ensuring that we've got a fair
system that looks out for the best interests of everyone - employers,
employees and the wider public interest.
"Instead, in providing exclusively for the interests of large employers,
the Government has drafted a 700 page assault on the vast majority of
Australians, deeply altering the workplace rights of most of the people
who voted for John Howard last October."

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025
Email senator.siewert@aph.gov.au  |  http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au


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 November 30, 2005 7:56 PM

1 December 2005

Parliament finishes with black day for environment

The Government's decision to push through the retrograde Water
Management Amendment Bill means that last day of the parliament for 2005
will be black day one for the environment, Greens MLC Ian Cohen said
today.

"The legislation turns the Water Management Act on its head by
proposing that the environment may only get 'the water remaining after
the commitment to basic landholder rights and for extraction have been
met'," Mr Cohen said.

"In other words, after irrigators and other landholders have taken
their allocations, some scraps may be left over for the environment.

"The bill is aimed at thwarting a High Court challenge (the 'Gwydir
case') that is looming in several weeks' time.

"In a bizarre move the Government has argued that it is sufficient for
a water sharing plan to deal with an abstract concept of water. Water
Sharing Plans will be able refer to abstract or virtual water.

"I have no idea how the Minister thinks that rivers and wetlands can
survive on theoretical water.

"The legislation attempts to make Water Sharing Plans that might
otherwise be found to be invalid (because they invert the intent of the
Act) into valid plans under the Act regardless.

"On the one hand, we have the Premier this week promising $105 million
for river health, but on the other hand, we have this legislation, which
turns the intent of the Act on its head and allows for a commitment of
water to the environment to be abstract, theoretical water," Mr Cohen
said.

"The Greens will be moving amendments to the legislation to remove the
worst elements of the bill," Mr Cohen said.

Further Information: Ben Oquist 02 92303305 or 0419704095

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 November 30, 2005 1:15 AM


Breach of backbencher agreement highlights need for real change

30 November  2005

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today said that the breach of the
Petro Georgiou backbench deal on children in detention showed why the
Government needed to make legislative changes to prevent children from
being detained.

"A centrepiece of the Petro Georgiou immigration deal made earlier this
year was that the detention of children would only occur as a  last
resort,"  Senator Nettle said.

"The government has kept the infant children recently arrived from
Indonesia in immigration detention, breaching the agreement with Mr
Georgiou and other Coalition backbenchers.  This shows why legislative
change to stop children being detained is needed," said Senator Nettle.

"Backroom deals will never and have not stopped the detention of
children.

"The Migration Act should be amended to forbid the detention of
children," concluded Senator Nettle.

More information: Kristian Bolwell 0411638320




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 November 30, 2005 1:14 AM


Greens link World AIDS Day with violence against women

On World AIDS Day Friday 1st of December, Greens Health spokesperson
Senator Kerry Nettle is highlighting the link between violence against
women and AIDS.    

"It is important to address the connections between these twin global
epidemics as growing research is demonstrating that women who have
experienced violence are at higher risk of AIDS," Senator Nettle said
today.

"Violence and the threat of violence dramatically increase the
vulnerability of women and girls to AIDS by making it difficult or
impossible for women to abstain from sex, to get their partners to be
faithful or to use a condom."

"UNAIDS research shows that violence limits women's ability to protect
against infection and can also compromise access to a range of critical
health information and services, including testing and treatment."

"To be most effective, when the government is focusing on HIV/ AIDS
either domestically or via Australia's aid programme, it must also focus
on the relationship between AIDS and violence against women." 

"The latest figures from UNAIDS and World Health Organisation are
profoundly disturbing and action is urgently required."

"These latest figures show 40.3 million people are now living with HIV
across the world and that more than three million people died of
AIDS-related illnesses in 2005. 500,000 of these were children. "

Contact - Kristian Bolwell 0411 638 320 
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 November 30, 2005 1:12 AM

MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Kyoto-Plus essential for Aust clean technology, business and jobs:
Greens

The Australian government's refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol is
costing Australia investment, jobs and competitive advantage in global
markets, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson Senator Christine
Milne said today.

"The coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol has provided unprecedented
business opportunities such that thousands of companies and business
executives are joining world leaders in Montreal to take advantage of
the mechanisms for technology transfer between developed and developing
countries," Senator Milne said.

"Legal, financial and investment interests are set to direct trillions
of dollars in the next decade into carbon trading markets and new
technologies.

"Executive Director of UNEP, Klaus Toepfer, said: 'There is no question
that 2005 will be seen as the watershed, when the mainstream banking,
insurance and investment worlds realised the scale of the opportunities
unfolding in the new carbon, clean-tech and sustainable natural resource
markets, and also, the legal risks of not being a leader in this area.'"

Senator Milne said the only risk to a major transition to a low carbon
future is if the Montreal talks fail to provide for a climate policy
framework beyond 2012.

"It is essential that Australia agrees to a 2013-2017 regime
incorporating major reductions in greenhouse gases in the order of 60%
by 2050," Senator Milne said in Canberra.

"Just as investment has dried up in the renewable energy sector in
Australia because the government refuses to lift the Mandatory Renewable
Energy Target, so too global investment in the development of clean
environmental management and technology solutions will falter unless the
world comes away from Montreal with a clear second commitment period
regime."

Senator Milne departs Australia on Thursday to attend the climate talks
in Montreal, Canada.


Contact: Katrina Willis 0437 587 562 or 02 6277 3063


Katrina Willis
Adviser
Office of Senator Christine Milne
Ph: 03 6234 4566
0437 587562
Fax: 03 6234 2144
www.greens.org.au



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 November 30, 2005 12:57 AM

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA

MEDIA RELEASE


Tuesday, 29 November 2005
Greens expose building industry Star Chamber

Senator Rachel Siewert has produced a chilling account of heavy-handed
and coercive behaviour by inspectors operating under the banner of the
newly established Australian Building and Construction Commission
(ABCC).

The manner in which Deputy Commissioner Nigel Hadgekiss has been running
ABCC hearings in Perth was exposed today when Senator Rachel Siewert
moved a disallowance on the Building and Construction Industry Act 2005
regulations.

Workers who are not necessarily even suspected of having committed a
criminal offence, but merely thought to be able to provide information
that could be used in some hypothetical future prosecution are having to
front a star chamber inquisition on the threat of six months jail - with
no right to silence.

"Commissioner Hadgkiss presides over the examination as both examiner
and presiding commissioner.  So in essence, he determines the validity
of any objections to his own questions - arguably an extraordinary
conflict of interest."
"ABCC inspectors are employing tactics that I believe are deliberately
designed to intimidate, bully and spread fear among ordinary workers."

"I have heard of inspectors waiting until workers have gone to work so
they can serve notice on their wives or partners in an intimidating
manner," she said.

In attempting to block the adoption of regulations under the Building &
Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005, Senator Siewert related a
grim catalogue of intimidation that ordinary workers had faced in the
short time since the Act came into force.

The full speech is available at http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au


For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025
Email senator.siewert@aph.gov.au  |  http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au



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 November 30, 2005 12:47 AM

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA

MEDIA RELEASE


Wednesday, 9 November 2005


Greens appeal to New Zealand PM to take action on whales



An Australian Greens motion calling on the Government to exercise its
legal options to prevent the coming slaughter of great whales was
defeated in the Senate today.

With the Australian Government having chosen to stand back and allow the
hunt to go ahead, Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has taken the unusual
step of writing to New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark appealing for
her Government to step in.

"Time and again the New Zealanders have shown the courage to stand by
their convictions" Senator Siewert said.

"After our Environment Minister's stirring speech on whales on November
9, 2005, no-one doubts Senator Campbell's personal commitment to whales.
But he has been unable to tell the people of Australia what his
Government is doing, only what they are not doing."

"I have written to the New Zealand PM urging her to take legal action in
the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLO.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) circulated an
independent legal briefing late in October outlining a number of options
open to the Government given Japan's radical expansion of so-called
scientific whaling.

The Australian Greens had hoped that the Government would avail itself
of some of these options. It may now be only a matter of days before the
hunt begins.

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025

Email senator.siewert@aph.gov.au  |  http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au



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 November 29, 2005 11:38 PM

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Genetically Engineered foods: a risk to our health and our farms?

Revelations that the WA Government will fund independent research into
the safety of genetically modified foods raises serious questions about
the regulatory regime in Australia. Senator Kay Patterson couldn't put a
Government response on the record when questioned by Senator Rachel
Siewert in the Senate today.

The visit of US Agricultural Economist Dr Charles Benbrook to Australia
coincides with the announcement by WA Agricultural Minister Kim Chance
that industry-sponsored studies were not sufficient to provide "thorough
and independent" assessments of GM foods.

"Protecting food safety is a fundamental responsibility of the
Government. In the rush to help biotechnology companies commercialise
untested and potentially unsafe products, we may have left blind spots
in the regulation of this powerful technology."

Senator Siewert was briefed by Dr Benbrook this morning. He outlined the
consequences of large-scale planting of Herbicide Resistant crops in the
US, which after only a few years were contributing to the development of
herbicide resistant weeds, demanding greater application of more
powerful chemicals in the long term.

"When these disturbing developments on North American farms are combined
with local research showing that these foods are causing allergenic
reactions, I think it shows we may be taking a risk with our health, and
a risk with our farm sector."
"Most Australian states have correctly perceived these risks and
established moratoria on commercial crops," Senator Siewert said.
"Findings such as these show how important it is to maintain these
bans."

The full speech is available at http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au


For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025
Email senator.siewert@aph.gov.au  |  http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au



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 November 29, 2005 8:38 PM

30 November 2005

Parliament Orders Release of Road Plan Documents


The NSW Upper House has supported a demand from Greens MP Sylvia Hale
for the state government to release all documents relating to proposals
to extend or expand major roads in Sydney's inner western and southern
suburbs.

The government is now required to release within fourteen days all
papers relating to the possible expansion or extension of the M4 and the
F6 as well as any plan to link Parramatta Road with Port Botany or the
Airport through Stanmore and Enmore.

"The state government's decision to ignore the recommendations of
its own inquiry and proceed with a major expansion of Port Botany will
put millions of additional containers onto Sydney's roads. It is
obvious that this will require a massive upgrade of roads in Sydney's
inner western and southern suburbs," said Ms Hale.

"The people who live in these areas have a right to know what is
being planned for their neighbourhoods. They already suffer the bulk of
Sydney's aircraft noise burden, how many trucks are now planned for
their local roads?"

"The state government has not been open with people about what it is
planning. By requiring the release of these documents the parliament is
holding the government accountable," concluded Ms Hale.
 
For more information: Chris Holley 0437 779 546


Sylvia Hale
Greens MLC
NSW Parliament
PH: (02) 9230 3030
FX: (02) 9230 2159
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 November 29, 2005 8:09 PM

Extradite Van Nguyen
30  November  2005

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today called on the  Government to extradite
Van Nguyen following legal from Senior Counsel Mr Tim Robertson and the
NSW Council for Civil liberties.

"Mr Robertson's legal opinion shows that the Government is not doing all
it can to save Van Nguyen's life. Mr Robertson says that the Government
could lodge extradition proceedings in the Singapore Courts, which may
save his life, Senator Nettle said.

"The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has also written to Mr Mick Keelty,
the Australian Federal Police Commissioner asking him to consider
charging Mr Van Nguyen so that he can be extradited and avoid the
hangman's noose.

 "I will be moving a motion in the Senate this afternoon calling on the
Government to do everything possible to extradite Van Nguyen from
Singapore to prevent his execution.

"The Greens believe capital punishment is pointless, abhorrent and
barbaric in all circumstances.

"The Prime Minister should spend less time at the cricket and more time
with the Australian Government Solicitor preparing these urgent
extradition proceedings." Senator Nettle said.


For more information and copies of the legal advices contact  Kristian
Bolwell 0411638320

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 November 29, 2005 8:00 PM

29 November 2005

Green debate reopens

Tonight's announcements by the Premier are a welcome re-opening of the
relationship with the environment and green movement but there is a lack
of real action to tackle the immediate greenhouse challenge, Greens MLC
Ian Cohen said today.

"The Government is reinvigorating the future vision for sustainability,
but it lacks a strong position on the hard issues, such as the
energy-hungry desalination plant. The money allocated to the environment
by the Premier tonight is less than a third of the amount allocated to
build the greenhouse polluting desalination plant.

"Strategies for marine parks, inland river systems, Crown lease
purchases, being funded by environmental trust funds, hold significant
future promise. Waste and environment levies of $6 per tonne each year
for 5 years will resource the Government on environmental programs,
while lowering the impact on landfill. The Government is getting the
message on recycling initiatives," Mr Cohen said.

"The Greens welcome the commitments for new marine national parks.
That is a big win for the community and environmentalists who have been
campaigning for decades to achieve proper protection for our oceans and
their wildlife. We await the detail before we can be confident," Mr
Cohen said.

"However the desalination plant will be a terrible greenhouse legacy
for NSW. On top of that, a Government greenhouse plan that leaves open
the possibility for new coal fired power stations in NSW is no plan at
all.

"The Premier will rightly be ridiculed if he turns up to his proposed
greenhouse summit with the possibility of new coal fired power stations
and a desalination plant in NSW.

The desalination plant will cost $1.3B and then up to another $100m per
year to run.  The $425M announced tonight is a fraction of that," Mr
Cohen said.

Further Information: Ben Oquist 02 92303305 or 0419704095 

 
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 November 29, 2005 7:58 PM

Government tries to sneak through VSU

29.11.05

The public debate on Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) has been lost by
the Government so it now plans to try and sneak these laws through the
Parliament at a time when the public focus is elsewhere, Senator Nettle
said today.

"The Government is yet to provide one single coherent argument in
support of VSU," Senator Nettle said.

"The Government is trying to catch students out and silence their voices
in the debate by pushing these laws through Parliament at a time when
students are busy with final exams and campuses are empty.

"This is an attempt to destroy student life at a time when students are
not around to defend the strong and vibrant student culture that has
built up on university campuses around the country over many decades.

"VSU is an assault on the rights of students to run their campus
services to meet their needs.

"The Government is attempting to use the cover of the last two weeks of
Parliament when the public focus is on Industrial Relations, Terrorism
and Welfare to Work Legislation to sneak through their controversial
unsupported and unpopular VSU laws." Senator Nettle said.

More information Kristian Bolwell: 0411638320


 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 29, 2005 7:57 PM

Government doesn't abhor death penalty

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

The Senate today passed an amended Greens' motion expressing its
opposition to the death penalty.

The Government refused, however, to support the original Greens' motion
that the Senate express its abhorrence of the death penalty. Justice
Minister Chris Ellison said that Senators should not bring emotion into
the debate.

"Words do matter," said Greens Senator Bob Brown.
 
"Just two weeks ago the Senate was recalled to change the word 'a' to
the word 'the'. The Government knows that words matter, and it knows the
signal it is sending by refusing to state that it abhors the death
penalty," said Senator Brown.

"The dictionary defines abhorrence as: 'a feeling of extreme aversion
and something to be detested'. On Friday morning, Van Nguyen will be
hung. Does the government not find this abhorrent?" Senator Brown asked.

Over the last few years the Prime Minister has been equivocal,
expressing occasional support for the death penalty.

For example, on 23 February 2003, the Prime Minster stated, in relation
to the death sentence handed out to the Bali bombers:

"If that is what the law on Indonesia provides, well that is how things
should proceed, and there won't be any protest from Australia."

 "Australia's policy needs to be consistent and must be based on
principle, not on pragmatism. Capital punishment has no place in a
modern world," Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett  0409 164 603

--------------------------------------------------------------
Ebony Bennett
Media Adviser
Office of Greens Senator Bob Brown
Mobile: 0409 164 603
Ph: (02) 6277 3170
Fax: (02) 6277 3185
ebony.bennett@aph.gov.au

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 29, 2005 7:56 PM

Labor and government trail US public opinion on Iraq: Greens

29.11.05

Labor and the government are trailing US public opinion on Iraq, Greens
Senator Kerry Nettle said today. Labor and the Government combined in
the Senate today to oppose a motion calling for the withdrawal of
Australian troops from Iraq.

"US public opinion has turned against the war in Iraq, yet Labor and the
government is far behind," Senator Nettle said.

"A recent Arab League sponsored Iraqi National Accord Conference held in
Egypt representing all major factions in Iraq demanded the "withdrawal
of foreign forces in accordance with a timetable."

"Even conservative war veteran and Congressman John Murtha reflecting,
US public opinion, has described the Iraq occupation as "a flawed policy
wrapped in illusion" and has called for the "immediate redeployment of
U.S. troops."

"It won't be long before the White House will be forced
to start withdrawing troops. What is Australia going to do? The US
public and the Iraqi people don't want the troops to stay, we should
leave."

"At this rate Australian troops will still be in Al
Muthanna while the Marines on a plane home."

"We should withdraw our troops now."

For more information: Kristian Bolwell 0411638320

NB Senate Motion is below.

Senate Motion

Mr President

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that;

That the Senate:

(a) Notes

i) The admission by the Pentagon that US forces used white
phosphorus weapons in last years assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

ii) That the recent Arab League sponsored Iraqi National
Accord Conference held in Egypt demanded the "withdrawal of foreign
forces in accordance with a timetable".

iii) That US Democrat Representative John Murtha, reflecting
US public opinion, has described the Iraq occupation as "a flawed policy
wrapped in illusion" and has called for the "immediate redeployment of
U.S. troops."

(b) Calls on the Australian Government to withdraw Australian troops
from Iraq.


 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 29, 2005 7:55 PM

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Senate establishes inquiry into future of Australia's oil supply

The Senate today approved an Australian Greens' proposal for an inquiry
into the future of Australia's oil supply.

Australian Greens energy and transport spokesperson Senator Christine
Milne, who initiated the proposal, said the inquiry would provide an
opportunity for thorough consideration of a crucial issue for the
nation.

"World oil supply is not keeping pace with demand, which means the days
of low petrol prices are over," Senator Milne said in Canberra.

"This inquiry will provide an important opportunity for the community,
business and experts to participate in developing a strategic plan for
the transition towards a more sustainable future."

The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee will
conduct the inquiry into Australia's future oil supply, with particular
reference to:

(a) projections of oil production and demand in Australia
and globally and the implications for availability and pricing of
transport fuels in Australia;

(b) potential of new sources of oil and alternative
transport fuels to meet a significant share of Australia's fuel demands,
taking into account technological developments and environmental and
economic costs;

(c) flow-on economic and social impacts in Australia from
continuing rises in the price of transport fuel and potential reductions
in oil supply;

(d) options for reducing Australia's transport fuel demands.


The committee is due to report by 15 June 2006.


Contact: Katrina Willis 02 6277 3063 or 0437 587 562


Katrina Willis
Adviser
Office of Senator Christine Milne
Ph: 03 6234 4566
0437 587562
Fax: 03 6234 2144
www.greens.org.au



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 November 29, 2005 7:54 PM

Terror bill to conform to international law?

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

The Greens will move to make the terror bill conform to international
human rights law when the Senate considers the legislation tomorrow.

The amendment, based on the UK Human Rights Act, would require courts to
interpret the Anti-Terrorism Bill (No.2) 2005 in line with the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"The government says the terror bill does not breach international law.
So it should not have a problem with this amendment," Greens Senator Bob
Brown said.

"This is a test for the Senate. Will Senators ensure our international
obligations are upheld?"

"Numerous submissions to the Senate inquiry, including the Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission's, criticised the bill because it
breaches our international obligations. This change will allow courts to
declare the breach and make the law conform."

"If we had a Australian Bill of Rights this would not be necessary,"
said Senator Brown.

The Amendment is as follows:

Anti-Terrorism Bill (No. 2) 2005

(Amendments to be moved by Senator Brown and Senator Nettle on behalf of
the Australian Greens in committee of the whole)

(1) Page 4 (after line 11), after clause 4, add:

5 Application and interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights

(1) This Act must be read and given effect to in a way which is
consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights.

(2) If in proceedings regarding any matter in relation to this Act a
court is satisfied that a provision of the Act is inconsistent with a
right arising under the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, the Court may make a declaration of that inconsistency and the
provision of the Act shall be of no
effect to the extent of that inconsistency.

Note: The text of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights is set out in the Australian
Treaty Series.
[application of ICCPR]

--------------------------------------------------------------
Ebony Bennett
Media Adviser
Office of Greens Senator Bob Brown
Mobile: 0409 164 603
Ph: (02) 6277 3170
Fax: (02) 6277 3185
ebony.bennett@aph.gov.au
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 29, 2005 7:53 PM

29 November 2005

Iemma needs action not words to be Green

Premier Morris Iemma needs more environmental action rather than words
if he wants to clean up this Government's green record, Greens MLC Ian
Cohen said today.

"While the Greens welcome efforts to recycle more water, we will be
studying the detail of today's announcement to ensure the public is not
short changed.  If the Government was serious about water recycling it
would be investing in it itself rather than leaving it to the private
sector," Mr Cohen said today.

"Regardless, the viability of recycling schemes are undermined by the
Government's insistance that it will be building the desalination plant
at Kurnell.

"NSW needs tough demand management options and money for alternatives
like water tanks in peoples' homes," Mr Cohen said.

"These are the real environmental and cost effective alternatives
that the Premier has turned his back on.

"If the Premier is to have any green credibility he will use
tonight's function to rule on any new coal fired power stations for NSW
and re-think the desalination plant.

"Recycling old announcements from Bob Carr, like the greenhouse
innovation fund (announced in 2003) and long term greenhouse targets
(announced at a past ALP state conference) will not fool
environmentalists.

"After all NSW will not meet those targets without real action now.
That means a reconsideration of the greenhouse polluting desalination
plant," Ian Cohen said.

Further Information: Ben Oquist 02 92303305 or 0419704095

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 28, 2005 7:29 PM

MEDIA RELEASE - 29 November 2005

Greens plan to defer NSW Terrorism Bill if Iemma fails to follow
Victoria's lead

If Premier Iemma refuses to postpone parliamentary debate on the NSW
Terrorism Bill that is scheduled to take place today then Greens MLC Lee
Rhiannon will move to defer it until the new year.

"The Premier's decision to list the bill for parliament today is
illogical as debate should be deferred at least until after the
Commonwealth legislation has passed and there is time for community
input," Ms Rhiannon said.

"Iemma should follow Premier Bracks' decision in Victoria to delay
debate on this legislation until next year.

"It is illogical that we are due to debate this Bill before the
Commonwealth legislation has passed through the Senate, considering the
purpose of NSW's bill is to complement Howard's legislation.

"Because the Commonwealth legislation does not yet exist in its final
form we have no way of knowing how it will fit with the NSW
legislation.

"There is no sound reason why the NSW government could not have
waited until the Commonwealth legislation was finalised. It demonstrates
just how willing NSW Labor is to accept the Liberal Party's agenda.

"We should not be panicked into yielding up important rights that are
so critical to our democracy.
 
"The Greens believe that we should combat terrorism by refusing to
become less free, but the Premier has not had the courage to make the
argument in favour of freedom.

"Terrorists will be discouraged if they do not believe that they can
change the nature of Australian society through their actions.

"Security forces and the police already have enormous powers to
search and detain people, as illustrated during recent raids in NSW,"
Ms Rhiannon said.

More information:  9230 3551 or 0427 861 568


Alison Orme
Adviser, Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon
Macquarie St, Sydney 2000
Tel: +61-2-9230 3551 Fax: +61-2-9230 3550
Mobile: 0432 332 104
Email alison.orme@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Web www.leerhiannon.org.au
--
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 28, 2005 5:00 PM

Senate terror inquiry falls short: Greens

28.11.05

The report into the government's Anti-Terrorism (No. 2) Bill 2005 tabled
by a Senate committee today has strongly criticised but failed to oppose
the bill, Australian Greens Senators Nettle and Brown said today.

Greens Senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle who were part of the Legal
and Constitutional Committee inquiry have tabled a minority report
saying that the bill should be rejected.

"The evidence to the inquiry with the exception of the government, the
police and ASIO was critical of the bill. This is reflected in the
report but not in the final recommendation of the Senate Committee,"
Senator Nettle said.

"It is good to see the suggestion that sedition should go but what about
detention without charge or trial?" Senator Brown asked.

"There is no way the suggested safeguards can make this bill safe.
Innocent people will be locked up in some cases for 12 months." Senator
Nettle said.

"The evidence to the inquiry showed there was no need for these new
powers. It is a shame Liberal and Labor Senators have toed the party
line", Senator Brown concluded.

"The Greens will move to amend the bill to require conformity with the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," Senator Brown
said.

For more information: 
Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603  (Senator Brown)
Kristian Bolwell 0411 63 83 20 (Senator Nettle)

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 28, 2005 12:57 AM

28 November 2005

Desalination inquiry

Greens MLC Ian Cohen today released his proposed terms of reference for
an Upper House inquiry into the Kurnell desalination project.

"I congratulate the Opposition for confirming on the weekend they
will back an inquiry.  Discussions with the Opposition and cross
benchers give me confidence that we will succeed in getting an inquiry
up by the end of the week", Mr Cohen said today.

"The inquiry will not only look into the full environmental and
economic impacts of the Kurnell plant but will look at the alternatives
to securing Sydney's water needs.

"With the Government refusing to properly address the water recycling
and demand management options it will be left to the Upper House to do
the Government's work ," Mr Cohen said.

Proposed Terms of reference:

Inquiry into the likely local and environmental impacts of proposed
desalination plant at Kurnell, the proposed Shoalhaven River transfers
and a sustainable water future for Sydney, in particular:

(a) the local and environmental effects around Kurnell of the
    desalination plant and  the proposed Shoalhaven River transfers
    and a sustainable water future for Sydney.

(b) the greenhouse implications for NSW of the desalination plant

(c) further methods for significantly reducing domestic, industrial,
    commercial and agricultural water use;

(d) technologies available for treating waste water and stormwater;

(e) economic, social and environmental comparisons between production
    of potable reclaimed water and other levels of reclaimed water
    quality;

(f) economic, social and environmental comparisons between reclaimed
    water strategies and sourcing additional water supplies aimed at
    extending the existing system of once-through water use;

(g) need for a lead agency with the responsibility of driving total
    water cycle policy and sustainable water consumption practices.

Further Information: Ben Oquist 02 92303305 or 0419704095

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 28, 2005 12:55 AM

Senate terror inquiry falls short: Greens

28.11.05

The report into the government's Anti-Terrorism (No. 2) Bill 2005 tabled
by a Senate committee today has strongly criticised but failed to oppose
the bill, Australian Greens Senators Nettle and Brown said today.

Greens Senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle who were part of the Legal
and Constitutional Committee inquiry have tabled a minority report
saying that the bill should be rejected.

"The evidence to the inquiry with the exception of the government, the
police and ASIO was critical of the bill. This is reflected in the
report but not in the final recommendation of the Senate Committee,"
Senator Nettle said.

"It is good to see the suggestion that sedition should go but what about
detention without charge or trial?" Senator Brown asked.

"There is no way the suggested safeguards can make this bill safe.
Innocent people will be locked up in some cases for 12 months." Senator
Nettle said.

"The evidence to the inquiry showed there was no need for these new
powers. It is a shame Liberal and Labor Senators have toed the party
line", Senator Brown concluded.

"The Greens will move to amend the bill to require conformity with the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," Senator Brown
said.

For more information: 
Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603  (Senator Brown)
Kristian Bolwell 0411 63 83 20 (Senator Nettle)

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 28, 2005 12:54 AM

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday, 28 November 2005

Australia to be sidelined at climate conference

Australia will be left on the sidelines at the international climate
talks because the federal government has refused to ratify the Kyoto
Protocol, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson Senator
Christine Milne said today.

"Environment Minister Ian Campbell failed during Question Time today to
answer how Australia will justify to the international community its
failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and to implement a raft of measures
to reduce the impacts of global warming," Senator Milne said in
Canberra.

"The Minister's ramble suggests he is deluded about Australia's standing
in the world when it comes to climate change. Far from being a leader
Australia is regarded as a laggard.

"Minister Campbell owes the country an explanation as to what he intends
to commit Australia to at the first meeting of the parties to the Kyoto
Protocol in Montreal, Canada.

"Australia will suffer the humiliation of observer status only, because
it refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

"While the responsible world players seek to reach agreement on how to
make the deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions required to avert the
worst impacts of climate change, Australia will be sidelined.

"As emissions trading is implemented and progressive countries move to
take advantage of technologies facilitating energy efficiency and
renewables, Australia will remain stuck in a huddle with the coal and
nuclear industries."

The government also today voted down a motion moved by Senator Milne to
support the international day of action on climate change on 3 December
and the need for urgent action to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions.

Senator Milne will depart Australia on Thursday to attend the climate
talks in Montreal.

Contact: Katrina Willis 0437 587 562 or 02 6277 3063




Katrina Willis
Adviser
Office of Senator Christine Milne
Ph: 03 6234 4566
0437 587562
Fax: 03 6234 2144
www.greens.org.au



 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 28, 2005 12:51 AM

Government must come clean on plans for Christmas Island

28 November 2005

The Government should suspend the construction of the 800 bed
immigration detention facility on Christmas Island and review the
necessity of the facility Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said
today.

"At a time when the Government claims to be reforming its  immigration
detention system, it is increasing its capacity to lock people up,"
Senator Nettle said.

"After the recent scandals and abuses, the public want alternatives to
detention, but the Government insists on building more empty prisons."

"According to Immigration Department figures provided at the November
2005 Senate Estimates:

* The current immigration detention centres - Baxter, Villawood,
Maribyrnong, Perth, Port Augusta and the existing Christmas Island
facility, already have a capacity to hold 1,688 people and they have
contingency places for 667 more people, bringing the total capacity to
2,355.
* Port Hedland has a capacity to hold 820 people and is costing $3
million a year to be ready to reopen.
* The infamous Woomera Detention Centre holds 800 and costs $2.6
million to keep mothballed.'

"Australia's total immigration detention capacity is already 3,975
people.  The locals on Christmas Island are opposed to this facility,
yet the Government is wasting $210 million on another empty prison,"
said Senator Nettle

"Is the government planning to increase the number of people in
detention and deport people from the mainland to Christmas Island?

"The Government must come clean on its real agenda for the immigration
detention centres."

"The Prime Minister's commitment to only imprison children as a last
resort is yet another hollow undertaking," Senator Nettle said.

Contact: Kristian Bolwell - 0411 638 320
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 28, 2005 12:37 AM

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday, 28 November 2005

PM must rule out nuclear energy for Australia

Proposed study a diversion ahead of Montreal climate talks

The Australian Greens today called on Prime Minister John Howard to rule
out nuclear energy as an option for Australia.

Australian Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said the
proposed $1 million study was a diversion thrown up by the government to
hide its failure to develop a robust, serious response to climate
change.

"Prime Minister John Howard must rule out nuclear energy for Australia,"
Senator Milne said in Canberra.

"Nuclear energy is being promoted by an industry struggling to survive
and by uranium miners hungry for more profits at the expense of human
and environmental health.

"Nuclear energy does not exist anywhere without huge public subsidies
and it would be an unwise and wasteful use of public funds to subsidise
a nuclear power industry in Australia.

"The question of nuclear waste remains unanswered and it is not good
enough for Science Minister Brendan Nelson to dismiss the matter as he
did yesterday as a problem for future governments.

"The best way to address climate change is to invest in energy
efficiency, renewable energy and better public transport. Focusing on
energy efficiency will save money, slow the depletion of non-renewable
sources and reduce pollution.

"On the eve of the next crucial round of international climate talks,
the Australian people deserve a thoughtful contribution from the federal
government about how it intends to address the planet's most serious
environmental threat, not a diversion in the shape of a study into
nuclear energy that Australians do not want."

Senator Milne departs Australia on Thursday to attend the climate talks
in Montreal.

Contact: Katrina Willis 02 6277 3063 or 0437 587 562


Katrina Willis
Adviser
Office of Senator Christine Milne
Ph: 03 6234 4566
0437 587562
Fax: 03 6234 2144
www.greens.org.au



 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 24, 2005 11:13 PM

ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey Media release

Fri 25 Nov 2005

====================
More than white ribbons needed
====================

ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey has argued that more money is needed to support women needing to leave violent relationships.

"On white ribbon day, when we acknowledge the high levels of violence perpetuated by men against women, we should be able to point to efforts made by governments to assist women to leave violent relationships" Dr Foskey said today.

"Instead we learn that the Federal Government has sat for 15 months on a report which shows that there is a critical shortage of places in refuges for women."

"In the ACT we know that refuges are turning away women seeking refuge because there is no low cost or transitional housing for women who are ready to move on."

"There is also a shortage of workers with the training and experience to staff refuges and other services which support women to rebuild their lives."

"It's not enough to recognise that domestic violence is a growing problem - resources from both levels of governments must be committed to help the dedicated workers to deal with the problem" Dr Foskey said.


================================
Roland Manderson   Media Advisor
ACT   Greens    MLA  Deb  Foskey 
Legislative Assembly for the ACT
ph(02)62050551      m 0412241379
==== www.act.greens.org.au ===== 
 
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 24, 2005 11:12 PM

ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey Media release

Fri 25 Nov 2005

===========
Legal Affairs Committee: the right place for Terror Laws
===========

Deb Foskey, ACT Greens MLA for Molonglo, today welcomed the ACT Chief Minister's decision to ask the Legal Affairs Committee to scrutinise the Territory's laws to enact the Federal Government's Terror Laws.

"The Greens have opposed these Terror Laws which we believe to be unnecessary and an uncalled-for restriction of our civil liberties" Dr Foskey said today.

"Even so, they will go ahead.  I look forward to the opportunity to hold the ACT legislation up to the Human Rights Act."

"Even the sceptics are now looking to the ACT's Human Rights Act as a means of evaluating the federal government's proposed legislation."

"It will be interesting to see how the ACT's version of the legislation measures up against its Human Rights Act. This will be a test of both the legislation and the Act" Dr Foskey said.


================================
Roland Manderson   Media Advisor
ACT   Greens    MLA  Deb  Foskey 
Legislative Assembly for the ACT
ph(02)62050551      m 0412241379
==== www.act.greens.org.au ===== 
 
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 24, 2005 9:03 PM

QLD had it's senate removed early last century, but only after the senate itself voted to abolish itself. QLD went through a lot of curruption as a result.  [ send green star]
 
 November 24, 2005 9:01 PM

MEDIA RELEASE
25 November 2005


Warning to Premier Iemma not to move against NSW Upper House

NSW Premier Morris Iemma would be unwise to adopt the plan of SA
Premier Mike Rann who said today he wants to abolish the Upper House in
the South Australian parliament Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said.

"Premier Rann's attack is misplaced, undemocratic and dangerous,"
Ms Rhiannon said.

"Upper Houses at the state and federal level are playing an
increasingly important role in Australian politics.

"Premier Iemma needs to recognise that having to negotiate with Upper
House MPs to pass his government's legislation is part of the modern
political terrain.

"Upper Houses in the federal and state parliament enhance the
democratic process. Surely the current events in the Senate demonstrate
why we need a bicameral system.

"In NSW the Upper House has established a number of inquires that the
government fought hard to stop. The lengths the Iemma government went to
to stop an independent inquiry into the Cross City Tunnel suggest that
the Premier could be tempted to follow his South Australian counterpart.


"Successive NSW Labor leaders have talked up reasons to abolish the
Upper House.

"Although the Legislative Assembly hogs the media spotlight it is the
Legislative Council that really holds the government to account.

"Because the Legislative Council is elected by proportional
representation it is more genuinely representative of the people of NSW
than the Legislative Assembly," Ms Rhiannon said.


For more information:  0427 861 568 or 92303551

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 24, 2005 8:59 PM

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA

MEDIA RELEASE


Friday, 25 November 2005

Time for the WA Nationals to show their colours

Moves by the Queensland National Party to recommend opposing the IR
bills unless 'fundamental changes' are made raise the stakes for the
National Party in WA, Senator Rachel Siewert said this morning.

"I call on the WA National Party to clearly state, to the people of WA
and Federal Nationals leader Mark Vaile, where they stand on workplace
relations. Next week will be too late."
Queensland Nationals leader Lawrence Springborg told ABC radio this
morning that he would be "making sure we get a range of changes, beyond
the technical in many areas, to make sure that its' supportable."

These changes will have enormous impacts on people in regional areas in
particular, who will be disadvantaged by the harsh industrial relations
regime proposed by the Liberals.

"The Queensland Nationals are standing up to be counted - now it's
Western Australia's turn. The WA Nationals have indicated that they have
problems with the current proposals. If they share the concerns of their
Queensland colleagues, they need to act now. What changes do they want
to see, and what do they plan to do about it?

"Any one of the measures in the IR laws can be overturned if one single
Coalition Senator votes on their conscience," Senator Siewert said.


For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025
Email senator.siewert@aph.gov.au  |  http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au




 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 24, 2005 8:58 PM

Thank you for those links Freediver, that was very good of you.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
old threads November 24, 2005 6:14 PM

Greens Media Release 1
http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=1141&pst=278231&archival=

GREENS MEDIA RELEASE
http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=1141&pst=247368&archival=1

 [ send green star]
 
Greens Media 2 November 24, 2005 6:04 PM

This ia a continuation from Greens Media 1

Ad hoc freedom - not a way to run the Immigration Department

25.11.05

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today welcomed Minister
Vanstone's decision to grant Fatih Tuncok a bridging visa, but
criticised her administration of the Department which appears to be
based on ad hoc, quick fixes and only acting when embarrassed by adverse
publicity.

"Once again it appears that Minister Vanstone is making policy on the
run, implementing a quick fix when the spotlight is turned on the
maladministration of her portfolio," said Senator Nettle.

"I've met 'Jockey' Tuncok at Villawood Detention Centre, and I know he
will be enormously relieved to be freed from almost three years in
detention.

"The question should be asked why it took so long for the Minister to
act and why she has only acted when the story hits the papers.

"The Minister should revoke his deportation order, not just grant a
Removal Pending Bridging Visa, which implies she still intends to deport
him or she may have another Jovicic situation on her hands.

"In answer to a question I asked, the department revealed that 233
permanent residents have been deported in the last three years under
section 501 of the Migration Act.  People should not be punished over
and over - it breaches the long established legal principle of double
jeopardy.

"Rather than ad hoc fixes when the heat is on, the Minister should cease
detaining and deporting permanent residents under section 501.  Prior to
1999 there was a common sense limit that permanent residents who had
lived here for over 10 years can not be deported." 

Contact: Kristian Bolwell 0411 638 320

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