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Greens renew call for Drug Law Reform

Rachel Siewert 4 Mar 2021

The Australian Laywer’s Alliance “Doing More Harm Than Good: The need for a health-focused approach to drug use” report clearly shows that a national approach to harm minimisation is long overdue.  
 
"The legal and medical sectors have been saying for decades that treating drug use as a criminal matter, rather than a health issue does not work", Australian Greens Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 
 

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Christian Porter must stand down pending an independent inquiry

Larissa Waters 3 Mar 2021

The Attorney General must stand down and there must be an independent inquiry into the rape allegations, otherwise there will be a chilling effect on survivors speaking out, said the Greens today following the revelation of the identity of the cabinet minister.

“Today’s press conference by Christian Porter denying the rape allegations will have been extremely distressing to sexual assault survivors everywhere,” said Larissa Waters, Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women.

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Aged Care work must start today 

The Greens say that the Aged Care system is fundamentally broken and there needs to be a sense of urgency in fixing it.
 
"The Royal Commissioners set out a five year process and the work needs to start today", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
"This reform needs to be underpinned by a new aged care act based on a human rights approach. 
 
"For too long, aged care has been put in the too hard basket. The Royal Commission Report clearly shows that years of tinkering around the edges has fundamentally failed older Australians. 
 

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Anti-Chinese Racism A National Concern

Australian Greens Anti-racism spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has expressed her serious concerns about a Lowy Institute survey which found that 1 in 5 surveyed Chinese-Australians have been threatened or attacked during the past 12 months.

Senator Faruqi said:

“There’s no doubt ‘Covid racism’ is at play here. But we should not disregard the impact of political rhetoric and the consequences of heated debate over Australia-China relations.

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Greens welcome Senate support for increase to JobSeeker and referral of bill to inquiry 

"Yesterday the Senate supported my motion calling on the Government to immediately revise its JobSeeker announcement and urgently increase the Jobseeker Payment to be above the poverty line", Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
“In supporting my motion the Senate has agreed that the Government's proposed $3.57 a day increase to JobSeeker is not enough. 
 
“I strongly urge Senators to support amendments to the bill in the Senate to increase the rate.
 

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PFAS Ban In NSW Welcome – Now A National Ban Needed

Australian Greens Senator for NSW, Mehreen Faruqi, has said that today’s announcement of a NSW ban on firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals is welcome, but long overdue.

The Commonwealth should now proceed with a national ban.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Communities across NSW will welcome this news. It is long overdue. Our environment and people’s livelihoods have been ruined by toxic PFAS chemicals.

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Rape apologists and PM's arse-covering contribute to sexist and misogynistic culture in politics

Larissa Waters 25 Feb 2021

 
“Peter Dutton has finally confirmed when he was told about Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations and outed himself as a rape apologist in the process.  Mr Dutton is now the fifth government member who knew about the allegation, but apparently didn’t bother to pick up the phone to the PM", said Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women.
 

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Morrison makes mockery of environment law review with latest legislation

The Morrison Government’s latest attempt to weaken Australia’s environmental laws completely ignores their own expert’s recommendations and will lock in the demise of our wildlife and iconic natural places, the Greens say.

Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“This move by the Morrison Government is a death sentence for Australia’s koalas and wildlife. 

“The Morrison Government has blatantly ignored their own expert’s recommendations and is instead taking a chainsaw to environmental protections.

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Speech: Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020

 I rise to speak on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020. This bill amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to provide a new definition of academic freedom that enshrines in law principles of freedom of expression and substitutes the existing term 'free intellectual inquiry' in relevant provisions with the term 'freedom of speech and academic freedom' to align the language of provisions within the model proposed by Robert French.

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