Democracy & Local Government

Lee is the Australian Greens spokesperson on Democracy. The Greens are committed to reforms that give people more of a say in how Australian government works and introduces proportional representation. The Greens are campaigning to remove the corrupting influence of donations from Australian politics and to strengthen the democratic values of our voting system. 

The Greens are committed to ensuring that those marginalised and with little power have their voice heard and can genuinely participate in the political process.   We are working to tighten the federal lobbyist code of conduct which is weak and lags behind other countries.

news-stories

Greens win Fremantle By-Election

17 May 2009

The Australian Greens congratulate the efforts of the Greens (WA) and Adele Carles who has won an historic by-election in Fremantle.

It is the first time the Greens have ever beaten the ALP on primary votes.

"The people of Fremantle have put the port city on the map, giving the Greens their first seat in the WA Legislative Assembly," Adele said at the election night party.

The Australian Greens congratulate the efforts of the Greens (WA) and Adele Carles who has won an historic by-election in Fremantle.

It is the first time the Greens have ever beaten the ALP on primary votes.

"The people of Fremantle have put the port city on the map, giving the Greens their first seat in the WA Legislative Assembly," Adele said at the election night party.

media-releases

WA Government playing catch-up on housing

11 Dec 2008

The WA Government needs to seriously invest in Indigenous housing, to address inadequate funding in the past by both State and Federal Governments, said the Australian Greens today.

"Both State and Federal governments need to play catch-up fast by investing the funding required to replace or upgrade homes in Indigenous communities," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

A recent WA government audit found that $540 million needs to be spent renovating nearly 2,500 homes in Indigenous communities in Western Australia.

The WA Government needs to seriously invest in Indigenous housing, to address inadequate funding in the past by both State and Federal Governments, said the Australian Greens today.

"Both State and Federal governments need to play catch-up fast by investing the funding required to replace or upgrade homes in Indigenous communities," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

A recent WA government audit found that $540 million needs to be spent renovating nearly 2,500 homes in Indigenous communities in Western Australia.

speeches-in-parliament

One year of the Rudd Government

25 Nov 2008

This government came into power with a promise of social inclusion. Many in the community took this to mean that the government would be acting on that basis and that part of that social inclusion reform and agenda would be welfare reform. Unfortunately, that is not what we have seen. In fact, we have seen the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Ms Macklin, and other ministers ‘out-Howard' Howard in the way they have approached welfare reform.

This government came into power with a promise of social inclusion. Many in the community took this to mean that the government would be acting on that basis and that part of that social inclusion reform and agenda would be welfare reform. Unfortunately, that is not what we have seen. In fact, we have seen the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Ms Macklin, and other ministers ‘out-Howard' Howard in the way they have approached welfare reform.

news-stories

Making Canberra Green

28 Oct 2008

We have seen the terrific result in the ACT where candidates Meredith Hunter, Amanda Bresnan, Caroline le Couter and Shane Rattenbury have been elected to the balance of power and are now in discussions with both the Labor and Liberal parties to see what shape the next Assembly will take and who will be Chief Minister.

We have seen the terrific result in the ACT where candidates Meredith Hunter, Amanda Bresnan, Caroline le Couter and Shane Rattenbury have been elected to the balance of power and are now in discussions with both the Labor and Liberal parties to see what shape the next Assembly will take and who will be Chief Minister.

media-releases

Greens ‘New Century’ Australia Senate Agenda

25 Aug 2008

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

"The Greens' role, beginning with this new Parliament, is to begin delivering an Australia that was cleaner, fairer and saner."

In the new Senate, the Rudd government will need seven extra votes from either the Greens, the two independent Senators, or the Coalition, for legislation to pass.

Senator Brown said the immediate priority for the Greens was to put discussion of human values that respected the environment at the centre of Australian politics - especially policies that would deliver immediate planet-saving action on reversing climate change and protecting forests, and those which created a more caring, giving, peaceful and dignified Australian society.

"The Greens are about re-creating Australia for the new century, street by street, community by community, city by city."

Overview of Greens' policy Agenda for New Senate

A sustainable Australian economy, based on building zero-emissions infrastructure - The Greens will continue to champion a meaningful Emissions Trading Scheme, as one tool of many, for tackling Climate Change.

Save the Coorong Senate Inquiry - Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and the Greens will move for an immediate Senate inquiry to save the Coorong and lower Murray River, as part of action for a thorough legislative overhaul of the governance and management of the entire Murray-Darling system.

Protecting native forests by ending wood-chipping of old-growth forests - this measure alone could reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by more than ten per cent, according to Australian Greenhouse Office data.

Senator Christine Milne's New renewable energy gross Feed-in laws - Householders, farmers and industry will be encouraged to convert to renewable energy and also make money from the energy they sell to the electricity grid. Thousands of jobs can be created by rolling out roof-top solar panels, solar thermal power stations, wind turbines as well as other measures.

Senator Rachel Siewert's amendment to restore the Racial Discrimination Act - removing the exemption the Howard Government gave itself when it intervened in the Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

Promote a discrimination-free Australian society, including removal of discrimination on the basis of sexuality from all statutes, including the Australian Marriage Act.

Increase the quality of life for Australia's 1.2m. pensioners by immediately increasing pensions by at least $30 per week.

Fair parental leave - promote a more family-friendly Australia by encouraging the adoption of a minimum 16 months' maternity and paternity leave.

No radioactive dump in remote Aboriginal communities - Senator Scott Ludlam and the Greens will help Labor keep its election promise of repealing the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005.

More overseas aid to alleviate poverty and injustice - the Greens will argue for a significant increase in Australia's overseas aid, above the current 0.32% of GDP (2008/09 Budget).

Dignified life and death - Senator Bob Brown's Death with Dignity legislation will return the right of the elected territory assemblies in Darwin and Canberra to legislate for death with dignity for those suffering from terminal illness.

Global political, religious and human rights guaranteed - The Greens will argue at every turn for a stronger international stance by Australia to promote improvements in human rights, including support for the democracy movement in China.

Clear food labelling - The Greens will campaign for excellence in food labelling. The current laws allow confusing and too often misleading labelling. Food sold in Australia should be clearly labelled for its country of origin, its genetically modified status, its nano-particle content and its allergen content.

Sustainable communities - Shifting a portion of infrastructure funding to support sustainable communities including fast, efficient mass transit and affordable housing.

Addressing unfinished business for Indigenous Australians - Amending and re-introducing the Australian Democrat's Stolen Generation Compensation Bill.

Re-introduce fairness into Australia's building sites - introducing a Bill to
Abolish the Australia Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act

For more information: Russell Kelly 0438376082

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

"The Greens' role, beginning with this new Parliament, is to begin delivering an Australia that was cleaner, fairer and saner."

In the new Senate, the Rudd government will need seven extra votes from either the Greens, the two independent Senators, or the Coalition, for legislation to pass.

Senator Brown said the immediate priority for the Greens was to put discussion of human values that respected the environment at the centre of Australian politics - especially policies that would deliver immediate planet-saving action on reversing climate change and protecting forests, and those which created a more caring, giving, peaceful and dignified Australian society.

"The Greens are about re-creating Australia for the new century, street by street, community by community, city by city."

Overview of Greens' policy Agenda for New Senate

A sustainable Australian economy, based on building zero-emissions infrastructure - The Greens will continue to champion a meaningful Emissions Trading Scheme, as one tool of many, for tackling Climate Change.

Save the Coorong Senate Inquiry - Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and the Greens will move for an immediate Senate inquiry to save the Coorong and lower Murray River, as part of action for a thorough legislative overhaul of the governance and management of the entire Murray-Darling system.

Protecting native forests by ending wood-chipping of old-growth forests - this measure alone could reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by more than ten per cent, according to Australian Greenhouse Office data.

Senator Christine Milne's New renewable energy gross Feed-in laws - Householders, farmers and industry will be encouraged to convert to renewable energy and also make money from the energy they sell to the electricity grid. Thousands of jobs can be created by rolling out roof-top solar panels, solar thermal power stations, wind turbines as well as other measures.

Senator Rachel Siewert's amendment to restore the Racial Discrimination Act - removing the exemption the Howard Government gave itself when it intervened in the Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

Promote a discrimination-free Australian society, including removal of discrimination on the basis of sexuality from all statutes, including the Australian Marriage Act.

Increase the quality of life for Australia's 1.2m. pensioners by immediately increasing pensions by at least $30 per week.

Fair parental leave - promote a more family-friendly Australia by encouraging the adoption of a minimum 16 months' maternity and paternity leave.

No radioactive dump in remote Aboriginal communities - Senator Scott Ludlam and the Greens will help Labor keep its election promise of repealing the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005.

More overseas aid to alleviate poverty and injustice - the Greens will argue for a significant increase in Australia's overseas aid, above the current 0.32% of GDP (2008/09 Budget).

Dignified life and death - Senator Bob Brown's Death with Dignity legislation will return the right of the elected territory assemblies in Darwin and Canberra to legislate for death with dignity for those suffering from terminal illness.

Global political, religious and human rights guaranteed - The Greens will argue at every turn for a stronger international stance by Australia to promote improvements in human rights, including support for the democracy movement in China.

Clear food labelling - The Greens will campaign for excellence in food labelling. The current laws allow confusing and too often misleading labelling. Food sold in Australia should be clearly labelled for its country of origin, its genetically modified status, its nano-particle content and its allergen content.

Sustainable communities - Shifting a portion of infrastructure funding to support sustainable communities including fast, efficient mass transit and affordable housing.

Addressing unfinished business for Indigenous Australians - Amending and re-introducing the Australian Democrat's Stolen Generation Compensation Bill.

Re-introduce fairness into Australia's building sites - introducing a Bill to
Abolish the Australia Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act

For more information: Russell Kelly 0438376082

media-releases

Australians are calling for a fairer society

09 Apr 2008

"Figures released today by the Australian Council of Social Services show a staggering 84% of Australians think the gap between rich and poor is widening. This should serve as a clear indication that all is not well in our country," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Family & Community Affairs, Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Figures released today by the Australian Council of Social Services show a staggering 84% of Australians think the gap between rich and poor is widening. This should serve as a clear indication that all is not well in our country," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Family & Community Affairs, Senator Rachel Siewert.

speeches-in-parliament

Address in Reply to Governor General

11 Mar 2008

I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunawal people. It was a great pleasure to be at the first welcome to country that we had in this place on 12 February. I congratulate the government for having made sure that that happened. It was also a great privilege to be at this place when the apology was finally made.

I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunawal people. It was a great pleasure to be at the first welcome to country that we had in this place on 12 February. I congratulate the government for having made sure that that happened. It was also a great privilege to be at this place when the apology was finally made.

media-releases

Removing gag clauses a welcome first step - Greens

09 Jan 2008

The Australian Greens are pleased the Government has announced it will review contracts with non-government organisations to remove gagging clauses.

"This is a great first step, but far more needs to be done to undo the legacy of John Howard," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

The Australian Greens are pleased the Government has announced it will review contracts with non-government organisations to remove gagging clauses.

"This is a great first step, but far more needs to be done to undo the legacy of John Howard," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

media-releases

Quarantining tax cuts irresponsible - Greens

08 Jan 2008

"Locking in $31 Billion in tax cuts while cutting back on government services is both economically and socially irresponsible," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"When John Howard announced these tax cuts the big news was that it failed to produce even a blip in the polls, and the Australian public said very clearly that they'd rather see spending to improve services such as health and education."

"Locking in $31 Billion in tax cuts while cutting back on government services is both economically and socially irresponsible," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"When John Howard announced these tax cuts the big news was that it failed to produce even a blip in the polls, and the Australian public said very clearly that they'd rather see spending to improve services such as health and education."

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