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Greens call for independent body to oversee biosecurity

The Greens have called on the Government to act on the recommendations of a Senate Committee and establish an independent statutory body to oversee quarantine and biosecurity policy and operations.

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee today has handed down a report examining the biosecurity threats posed by imports of Fijian ginger, New Zealand potatoes and Malaysian pineapples.

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Funding for NRM groups across WA under threat in the May budget

The Australian Greens have today expressed concerns that NRM groups across WA are facing the prospect of serious funding cuts in the May Budget.

“Community groups are contacting me about their concerns over the future of funding for NRM projects and groups,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

“There are concerns that on-going contracts will not be fulfilled, that funding will not be renewed, and that there will be few new projects, putting important environmental programs and jobs at risk.

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New commitments needed to protect Australia's natural resources

The Australian Greens have welcomed today's call from the ACF and NFF for a new decade of action to tackle the challenges confronting Australia's land, water, wildlife and farmland, saying the federal government needs to provide strong, ongoing investments in Landcare, biodiversity and NRM programs.

"For 25 years, people across the country have been working hard to protect and repair our environment, but a lot more needs to be done," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

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PM’s drought plan won’t help farmers long term

The Australian Greens have welcomed increased drought support for farmers, but say action on global warming must be part of any effort to protect rural communities. The Greens have announced a plan to support farmers facing global warming in the long term.

"The biggest challenge facing Australian farmers is the Abbott government's denial of global warming," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce insist that it is something that cannot be planned for. They do not understand drought.

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Agriculture cuts could pay for election promises

The Australian Greens said today it is likely that the Agriculture Department will be required to make a range of damaging cuts to pay for the government's election promises on biosecurity and R&D.

"The Government promised $100 million in funding for rural research and development during the election, but today the department was unable to tell me any detail on this commitment including whether this was new money or not," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

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Greens call for GM law changes to protect farmers and consumers

The Australian Greens have called for the reinstatement of the moratorium on GM crops in WA and changes to the laws governing liability and food labelling in order to protect the choices of farmers and consumers across the state.

WA Greens Senators Rachel Siewert and Scott Ludlam and Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren are joining thousands of Western Australians today in support of organic farmer Steve Marsh.

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Fracking will further industrialise the Kimberley - Greens

The Australian Greens said today that shale gas fracking would further industrialise the Kimberley, despite serious and ongoing community and environmental concerns.

"Industry and the WA Government are strongly pushing fracking, despite the risks it presents," Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Shale gas fracking and drilling is the latest onslaught to agricultural and regional communities, causing land disturbance and a significant threat of contamination and disruption of groundwater systems.

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Caring for our Country gutted to pay for Royal Commission

The Australian Greens say the Federal Government is treating natural resource management with contempt as it cuts $6.7 million from Caring for our Country to pay for part of the Royal Commission into home insulation.

"The Government has stripped money from Caring for Country for drought and other programs, and now we learn that the program has been targeted yet again," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

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Ignoring climate change turns the White Paper into a white elephant

The Australian Greens said today that the agriculture White Paper promises to be a white elephant unless it addresses the threats posed to agriculture by climate change and helps the sector prepare accordingly.

"You can't talk about the future of Australia's agriculture, farmers, growers, food security and regional communities without talking about the threats posed by climate change," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"The White Paper's terms of reference need to specifically address climate change.

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