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Greens secure ALP agreement on Indigenous constitutional recognition

A referendum on the recognition of Australia's first nations in the Australian Constitution will happen within the next three years or at the next federal election if the ALP forms Government – thanks to an agreement negotiated by the Australian Greens.

"I'm very excited that we have taken this significant step towards the proper recognition of Indigenous Australians in our constitution," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues today.

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Australian Greens, Labor commit to agreement for stable Government

The Australian Greens and the Labor Party have signed an agreement to ensure stability for Labor in Government. The Greens will ensure supply and oppose any motion of no confidence in the Government from other parties or MPs.

Labor will work with the Greens to deliver improved transparency and integrity to Parliament and pursue policies that promote the national interest and address climate change.

As part of the agreement there will be regular meetings between the Prime Minister and Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and newly-elected Lower House MP Adam Bandt.

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Xenophon and Greens push for whistleblower protections and poker machine reforms

Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon will join Australian Greens' Senator Rachel Siewert in Western Australia today, in a joint call for the major parties to commit to strengthening whistleblower protections, protection of journalists' sources and Freedom of Information laws, as well as reducing the damage caused by poker machines.

"These are key issues which the Greens and I totally agree," Nick said. "These are basic matters of principle on which we will go to the wire on."

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Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(8.34 pm)—The Greens oppose the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009. We opposed the Northern Territory Emergency Response. We opposed that process and we oppose this flawed bill. There is no proof that income management works. There is no hard evidence at all. To claim that this is implementing successful policy is absolute nonsense. The only hard evidence that is there is that income management does not work.

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Australian Greens deliver over 120 new jobs for WA communities

More than 120 new jobs will be created in Western Australia as a result of $17.5 million in funding negotiated by the Australian Greens with the Commonwealth as part of the Government's Jobs Fund.

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said more than $2.25 million will go directly to projects in Western Australia.

"This funding will create jobs and deliver environmental benefits to a number of communities by installing environmentally friendly and power saving technologies, and providing important training and experience in green construction projects."

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Coral Sea Conservation Zone saved: Greens

A battle of Senate tactics went the way of the Government and Greens with Senator Xenophon's support tonight, blocking a bid by the Opposition to disallow the Coral Sea Conservation Zone.

An Opposition disallowance motion seemed set to succeed and would have stymied Environment Minister Peter Garrett's proclamation of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone. The Coalition tactic was to talk out the motion and avoid a vote.

The Greens moved a last minute motion, supported by the Government and most of the cross-bench, which led to the vote being put.

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