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UN Declaration must be enacted in law - Greens

The Australian Greens have welcomed the Government's support for the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, saying it is about time.

"The Government promised to support this Declaration and I'm pleased they have finally done so. The real test is whether they now make their policies consistent with the Declaration" said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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United Nations concern over NT Intervention

The Australian Greens today welcomed reports that the United Nations has written to the Australian Government expressing concern over racist elements of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

"This is the slap of realism that this Government desperately needs. The international community are crying out against this blatantly racist intervention, which is serving as a major embarrassment for us on a global stage," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Government in the dark on Japanese whaling

The Federal Government has no idea what whaling operations may have occurred in our own Antarctic waters, say the Australian Greens.

"Questioning in Senate Estimates tonight has revealed that the Australian Government does not know if any whaling occurred in our waters during the current whaling season," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"During estimates it was confirmed that the Government had not followed up reports from the Sea Shepherd that they had found at least part of the Japanese fleet in Australian waters."

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Nothing new in Garrett’s whaling speech

The Australian Greens said today's speech to the Lowy Institute by Environment Minister Peter Garrett on Australia's stance against whaling was disappointing, and showed the Government's lack of commitment to take the fight to the international arena.

"Australians expect better, stronger action, but what we got from Minister Garrett today is more of the same. This is just a continuation of so far failed diplomatic approaches, and slow progress in reforming the International Whaling Commission," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens back UN challenge to ALP’s racist policies

The Australian Greens today welcomed a challenge to the United Nations on the discriminatory nature of the Northern Territory Intervention.

"Having exhausted all efforts at the Commonwealth level to reinstate the application of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) to the Northern Territory Intervention this is the only avenue now open to address this 'serious, massive and persistent racial discrimination' against Aboriginal people in the NT," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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Garrett should reject whale slaughter deal

The Greens are calling on Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to reject a secret International Whaling Commission deal that allows Japan to kill more whales in the North Pacific Ocean, in return for killing less in the Southern Ocean.

Greens Spokesperson on Whaling, Senator Rachel Siewert said the Greens would be using the next sitting of Parliament to press the Government for more details of the secret whale slaughter deal, and press the Government to withdraw from negotiations.

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Japanese whaling in breach of Antarctic laws

The Australian Greens today called on the Government to immediately initiate legal action against Japanese whalers, following the release of a report showing new diplomatic and legal options.

"Here is another report that shows there are further grounds for international legal action. How much longer does the Government need before it will act?" said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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More action on whaling needed

The Australian Greens today called on the Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett to explain why Japanese whalers were in Australian Antarctic waters and whether any whales were taken in Australian waters.

"Japanese whalers were found in Australian waters by the Sea Shepherd group, and were unable to kill any whales while they were being pursued ... but how many whales were taken before they were found?" asked Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on whaling.

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Government sidelines Indigenous Rights in climate negotiations

The Australian Greens today deplored the Australian Government's approach to Indigenous rights during climate change negotiations this week.

"Mr Rudd should be explaining to the Australian people how on one hand he has made an election promise to endorse the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights, whilst on the other hand acting to cut out any practical application of those rights in the negotiations currently underway at the UN Climate Conference in Poznan," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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