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Green values in Action

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Rachel Siewert 21 Nov 2007

It's the last few days of the election campaign and, as expected, The Greens are coming under attack from a number of shady hard-to-identify sources that claim to represent a moral or faith-based stance and tell lies about our policies and intentions.The irony of this is very clear when you consider the strong commitment of the Greens to peace and non-violence, to social justice and the environment and to participatory democracy ... all of which are consistent with the universal values of the entire world's great religious traditions as well as humanist philosophical thought.

The Greens' demonstrated commitment to equality, social justice and to a fair and caring society is very clearly articulated in our policies and demonstrated in our parliamentary voting record, our ongoing dialogue with the community, and in action.

We strive to work collaboratively and respectfully with those who care and are struggling with disadvantage, inequality and despair ... whether it is in Aboriginal communities, shelters for the homeless or refugee camps.

Green Action: invest $460 million per year for the next 4 years to bring the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the same level as other Australians.

We believe that protecting our planet for future generations is fundamental to a values system that looks beyond the individual and the present ... to imagine and bring into being a healthy, safe and just future for all, in which the common wealth is distributed for the common good.

Green Action: spend the $34 billion Howard government tax cuts on community services - improving and rebuilding public health and education services and public transport infrastructure to benefit all Australians, now and into the future.

This is also reflected in our policies on climate change ... which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and ensuring that every Australian household has solar hot water and insulation.

Green Action: ensure Australia's emissions are 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below by 2050.

The Greens oppose discrimination in all forms, whether it be based on religion, race, age, political affiliation or sexual identity. We do not support vilification of any kind.

Green Action: treat refugees and asylum seekers with fairness, care and compassion, and legislate to remove discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex (LGBTI) people in federal legislation.

We stand up for the principles of honesty, accountability and inclusion in government and we regard all issues and legislation as having a moral and ethical dimension.

Green Action: enact proportional representation in the House of Representatives and local government, introduce fixed terms of Parliament and public funding of elections to eliminate private funding

We believe access to quality health care is a basic human right. An effective health system must be based on primary health care and preventive health care, such as health promotion, disease prevention and early intervention, in order to reduce avoidable admissions and pressure on hospitals.

Green Action: redirect the $3.5 billion Private Health Insurance Rebate back in to the public health system to restore public hospitals and provide proper pay and conditions for the health workforce

We firmly believe that all Australians have a right to independence, self-determination and choice in their lives and that people who experience disability, and their families and carers, should have the opportunity to actively participate in policy development, in service planning and delivery.

Green Action: Increase the carer's allowance from $98 per fortnight to $197 so the 2.6 million Australians who care for elderly and disabled family members and friends receive some financial assistance to carry out this essential work.

The Australian Greens have a vision of a smart and caring society which is committed to the long-term well-being of all its citizens and works to build a brighter future. We see nurturing and educating our children as a critical means of ensuring the future well-being of our society and our environment.

Green Action: Increase childcare payments to low and middle income families and introduce a government-funded paid parental leave scheme.
Increase the aged pension by $30 a week (Australia's aged pensioners have not had a real pay rise since 1993)
Introduce a dental scheme for aged pensioners and low income earners and their families to access regular basic dental care

We believe in equal rights for all human beings. Nowhere is this more critical than in education. A sound, comprehensive, well-funded education will help present and future generations thrive and overcome countless hardships.

Green Action: Invest $5 billion into the public education system to ensure that all Australians, whatever their income level, have access to high quality education

However, our responsibilities to human rights do not end at Australia's borders. We live in a wealthy, prosperous country, and our humanistic responsibilities extend to people of all nations.

Green Action: Increase the level of overseas aid to a minimum of 0.7% of GDP by 2010

We also stand up for the right of the community to participate in making the decisions that impact upon their lives ... and support an independent and sustainable community sector that both delivers services to those in need and speaks up loudly, without fear or favour, on their behalf.

Green Action: Restore the Senate committee system and increase opportunities for public participation in policy development.
Ensure adequate and sustainable funding for a vibrant community sector in Australia, and ensure that the non-government sector is represented on all relevant Government consultation bodies.

Greens policies reflect our values in action.
Our core values are evident in every decision we make.

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