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Australian Greens present pesticides petition to Senate

The Australian Greens today tabled a petition in Parliament on behalf of Pesticides Action Group WA calling for further investigation into the use of pesticides including the illnesses and environmental harm that these products cause.

"At present there is no nationally coordinated bio-monitoring programme or public health surveillance of the Australian population by relevant Australian government authorities," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Agriculture.

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Senate Inquiry into GrainCorp takeover to continue

The Australian Greens have welcomed the Senate's decision to continue the Inquiry into ownership arrangements of grain handling, examining the proposed takeover of GrainCorp by Archer Daniels Midland.

"Continuing this Inquiry will provide more opportunities for the concerns of growers and the community about this takeover to be heard," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"I'm hoping to hear more from ADM and GrainCorp during the Inquiry.

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Senators reject opportunity to oppose GrainCorp sale

The Australian Greens said today that growers would be disappointed by the failure of MPs to match their public comments on GrainCorp with action in Parliament.

"The Senate today opposed an Australian Greens motion calling for the Treasurer to reject the sale of GrainCorp to Archer Daniels Midland," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"It is disappointing that the rhetoric of some MPs in the media doesn't translate to action on the floor of Parliament.

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Another Coalition backflip puts Australian farmers at risk

The Australian Greens said today that farmers have been let down by another election backflip from the Agriculture Minister, which targets the nation's front line defence against invasive species.

"During the campaign, the Coalition promised a $20 million "biosecurity flying squad" to improve biosecurity on front line, but now the Agriculture Minister's own department is cutting 220 involved in protecting our agriculture from invasive plant and animal diseases," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

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GrainCorp Senate Inquiry needs completing before takeover decision

The Australian Greens said today that a Senate Inquiry into the proposed takeover of GrainCorp needs to be completed before the Treasurer makes his decision on the acquisition.

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee tabled an interim report into the ownership arrangements of grain handling before the Federal Election, but Committee member and Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the process needs to be completed as a matter of priority.

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Coalition’s backflip on Landcare undermines long term drought strategy

The Australian Greens said today that the Coalition's backflip on Landcare funding was counter-productive to efforts to reduce the impact that drought and climate change is having on Australia's farmers.

"However the Coalition try to spin this issue, they've taken funding from Landcare and Caring for our Country, rather than getting the money from elsewhere," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on agriculture said today.

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Abbott should protect Australian farming land

Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said reports the Indonesian Government is planning to buy one million hectares of Australian farm land should set off major alarm bells.

"This will be the first test for the Liberal-National Coalition as to whether they put Australia's national interest first by protecting Australia's prime agricultural land and water," Senator Siewert said.

"In this century of food insecurity, the government should be protecting Australian farms from overseas land buyers and investors.

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