Lee is the Australian Greens spokesperson on animal welfare. The Greens are the only major party to have such a specific portfolio responsibility. Before being elected to federal parliament Lee was a Greens MP in NSW Parliament for over a decade, where she also held the animal welfare portfolio.
Lee is currently campaigning on a range of issues, from banning live exports to protection of native species, more humane laws governing factory farming and empowering consumers to eat more ethically by ensuring proper labelling. Lee is excited about the surge of interest from the community in animal welfare issues and believes that by working with the community we can help drive shifts in government policy to achieve animal rights. She is a member of the Vegan Society NSW.
21 Nov 2008
The Australian Greens today expressed deep concerns for the upcoming whaling season, after comments from Minister Garrett revealed that the Government has no plans to send a vessel into the Southern ocean this summer.
"I am deeply disappointed and amazed that the Government is not sending a boat down to monitor the Japanese whaling activity this season," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
"With reports that the Japanese fleet have already left port, it is only a matter of time before they start whaling."
18 Nov 2008
The Australian Greens today called for immediate action from the Australian Government on whaling, following reports that the Japanese whaling fleet left port yesterday.
"The Government's commitment to funding non-lethal whaling research mustn't stop them preparing for immediate action during the upcoming whaling season," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
14 Nov 2008
I rise to take note of the answer of Senator Faulkner, representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to my question about the Tokyo Two, the two Japanese activists that were arrested earlier this year for their antiwhaling activities. On 15 May, as Senator Faulkner pointed out, Greenpeace undercover investigators and the testimony of informers resulted in the exposure of the fact that large amounts of whale meat were being smuggled off the Nisshin Maru to the private homes of crew members of the whaling boats. The Tokyo Two intercepted one of these boxes which contained whale meat that was estimated to have a value of about $4,400. The two of them took it to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor in an effort to expose this scandal.
14 Nov 2008
My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In June this year, two Greenpeace campaigners, now known as the Tokyo Two-Junicho Sato and Toru Suzuki- were arrested by Japanese authorities for their efforts in exposing a widespread whale meat scandal in Japan. They have been in jail and under house arrest for 145 days.
Amnesty has protested the arrest as politically motivated, and the UN Human Rights Committee has severely reprimanded the Japanese government for ‘unreasonable restrictions placed on freedom of expression in Japan'. What efforts, if any, have been undertaken by Australia in negotiating for fair treatment and proper justice for the Tokyo Two?
Has the Prime Minister raised this issue with Japan and has the Australian government investigated whether the actions of the Japanese authorities are a breach of international law under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights?
11 Nov 2008
The Australian Greens today renewed calls for the Rudd Government to follow through on their stated opposition to whaling, with this year's season due to start in a matter of weeks.
"The Japanese whaling fleet is expected to launch within the next month, yet still the Government refuses to take any active steps to prevent this annual slaughter," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
09 Nov 2008
Scott & Rachel visit the Sea Shepherd crew in Brisbane, as they prepare for the upcoming whaling season.
26 Aug 2008
Senator Siewert (Western Australia) asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, upon notice, on 24 June 2008:
- When was the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency notified by the department of the section 9 emergency declaration application made under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 with respect to the construction of the dingo fence at Happy Valley.
- Why did it take 8 days after the application was made for work to stop on the construction of the dingo fence.
- Was there a stop work order given to stop construction of the dingo fence.
Why did representatives from the department attend a meeting at Fraser Island on Tuesday, 20 May 2008, when an earlier section 9 emergency declaration application had been withdrawn on Friday, 9 May 2008 and federal jurisdiction consequently removed.
- Have the ground disturbance guidelines been reviewed by the Fraser Island World Heritage Area Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service; if so, when did that review occur
- How will any disturbed cultural heritage sites along the dingo fence on Fraser Island be remediated.
04 Jun 2008
To follow on from Tim H's post on Senate Estimates transcripts, I thought I'd also post a few links to some of the more interesting discussions coming out of estimates.
26 May 2008
Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
Senator SIEWERT-I want to ask a couple of questions around live export and, hopefully, I am not going over stuff that we have done before. If we have, just refer me to that so that I do not waste time. As I understand it, the export industry is required to comply with Australian standards for export of livestock. And as I understand it too, that is under Commonwealth law but it is difficult to enforce at a state level because it is not in state legislation. Is that a correct understanding?
Mr Aldred-I think perhaps we can talk a little bit about it. The states and territories are responsible for animal welfare legislation. The live export standards were administered by us-
Senator SIEWERT-Sorry, I am having trouble hearing, so could you speak up a bit. I apologise.
Mr Aldred-The live export standards are developed at a national level and then they are administered through the chain by states and territories and by AQIS in terms of the loading and transport.
14 Feb 2008
The Australian Greens today once again called on the Government to take legal action over whaling in Australian Antarctic waters.
"After talking up their response, the new Labor Government have done little more than the previous Howard government to tackle the whale slaughter," said Greens spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.