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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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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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The West leads the way, again

Today, Federal Greens senators for WA Rachel Siewert and Scott Ludlam joined WA Greens Upper House MPs Giz Watson, Robin Chapple, Alison Xamon and Lynn MacLaren on the steps of the WA Parliament to congratulate Adele Carles on her historic win of the seat of Fremantle.

"This is the first time the Greens have ever beaten the ALP on primary votes," Ms Carles said.

"The people of Fremantle have entrusted the Greens with their first seat in the WA Legislative Assembly.

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WA Government playing catch-up on housing

The WA Government needs to seriously invest in Indigenous housing, to address inadequate funding in the past by both State and Federal Governments, said the Australian Greens today.

"Both State and Federal governments need to play catch-up fast by investing the funding required to replace or upgrade homes in Indigenous communities," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

A recent WA government audit found that $540 million needs to be spent renovating nearly 2,500 homes in Indigenous communities in Western Australia.

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