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IPA – Caring For Country – NRS Program Funding

Environment and Communications - Monday 21 February 2011

Senator SIEWERT—Generally, I want to continue on the course of questioning I was asking about last estimates in terms of funding. In fact, I think over the last two estimates we have been talking about whether the cuts that were announced last year in terms of the funding for Caring for our Country actually moved to the NRS program. My understanding from the answers that we got was that it did. I am just wondering whether you have any more detail about where those cuts have been made to the program.

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GM concerns continue to crop up

The Australian Greens have today expressed concern about GM crops in WA after Kojonup farmer Stephen Marsh’s property lost organic certification as a result of contamination by neighbouring crops of genetically modified canola.

Australian Greens Agriculture spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert says the contamination further highlights a range of problems and concerns linked to the growth and sale of GM products in Australia.

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GM labelling recommendations must be publicly released – Greens

The Australian Greens say many people don’t realise they are buying GM products in stores and supermarkets, with current labelling loopholes making it practically impossible for them to be avoided.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Health spokesperson says the recommendations of the Independent Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy should be made public upon their presentation to the Australian New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council meeting in Adelaide, ahead of a COAG decision on food labelling, which is due in February.

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Aged care organisations face ongoing allocation delays

The Australian Greens have voiced deep concern at the Federal Government’s delay in announcing the 2010 allocation of aged care bed licences and community care packages.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Health and Ageing spokesperson says the announcement was due at the end of October and is now a month overdue.

“These announcements are essential for care organisations to budget, plan developments and employ staff,” Senator Siewert said today.

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Truth in Labelling - Genetically Modified Material

FOOD STANDARDS AMENDMENT - (TRUTH IN LABELLING— GENETICALLY MODIFIED MATERIAL) BILL 2010  - Second Reading

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (4.05 pm)—I move: That this bill be now read a second time. I table an explanatory memorandum relating to the bill and seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard. Leave granted.

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (4.05 pm)—The incorporated speech read as follows—

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Greens welcome marine sanctuary roadmap

The Australian Greens have welcomed the release of a report which sets out a blueprint for establishing a network of marine sanctuaries in Australia’s South West Marine Bioregion.

“This report sets the benchmark that must guide the Federal Government's approach to planning in the SW marine bioregion,” said Greens Marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today.

“The research demonstrates that extensive marine sanctuaries are needed if we are to properly protect the biodiversity of the south west marine bioregional area.

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Social Security and Indigenous Legislation Amendment

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (12.29 pm)—I will keep my comments brief. The Greens will be supporting the Social Security and Indigenous Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2010. I would however like to put on the record that we—as I think this place is pretty well aware—completely oppose income management.

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