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Greens asked PM to lift AWB veto temporarily

Rachel Siewert 16 Nov 2006

The four Greens Senators wrote to the Prime Minister last month asking him to temporarily lift AWB's right of veto on wheat exports, to allow farmers to sell this year's crops free from the risk of fallout from the AWB oil for food scandal.

The Prime Minister has not yet replied.

"The huge uncertainty around AWB's future and the potential risk of large liabilities arising from the Cole inquiry have left farmers concerned that they might end up carrying the can for AWB's actions," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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High Court decision has far reaching consequences

Rachel Siewert 14 Nov 2006

The High Court decision on the constitutional validity of the Government's Work Choices legislation is a landmark declaration which may permanently change the way Australia is governed, according to the Greens.

"Just because these laws are constitutional doesn't make them fair on workers," Senator Siewert said.

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Poverty the main factor in Indigenous diabetes

Rachel Siewert 13 Nov 2006

"The prevalence of diabetes in Australian Indigenous communities has little to do with any 'racial' genetic predisposition to the disease and everything to do with a lifestyle derived from endemic poverty and a lack of social opportunities," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Diabesity today is chiefly a disease of poverty and social disadvantage."

Poor quality diets based on cheap and unhealthy 'western' foods combined with a lack of life and recreational opportunities for Indigenous children and adolescents are the biggest causal factors.

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IR changes a 'wink and a nod' to exploitation

Rachel Siewert 13 Nov 2006

The Greens have dismissed the latest round of Government changes to workplace laws as a further erosion of the rights of working Australians.

"The Greens will move amendments to protect sick leave and annual leave, and ensure that the right to work a standard 38-hour week is protected," Senator Siewert said.

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Australians still want to live in the land of the fair go

Rachel Siewert 12 Nov 2006

The Greens have welcomed the release of the ACOSS report "Australia Fair – 10 Essentials to make Australia Fair".

"This research illustrates that the Australian community's essential values of fairness and equality are alive and well," Senator Rachel Siewert said. "There is real unease out there about the widening gap between rich and poor and the sense that Australia is becoming less fair."

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Northern development must not repeat southern mistakes

Rachel Siewert 9 Nov 2006

Senator Rachel Siewert has warned the Government against forcing farmers into an unsustainable stampede into fragile northern ecosystems.

"We are in danger of rushing headlong into developing the north without heeding the lessons of the past. We need to carefully consider what natural resources are up there, the Indigenous owners and other, environmental implications," Senator Siewert said in the Senate last night.

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Senate shock: Greens child support amendments accepted

Rachel Siewert 9 Nov 2006

In a remarkable turnabout, the Government has accepted three Greens amendments to the Child support legislation amendment (reform of the child support scheme-new formula and other measures) bill 2006.

"I believe that these are significant amendments which improve the act, and I'm pleased that for once the government agreed, "said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Unfortunately our fourth amendment was not supported. We sought some analysis of the interaction of this bill with Welfare to Work to ensure it didn't impact on low income families," Senator Siewert said.

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Government self congratulations ring hollow

Rachel Siewert 7 Nov 2006

"The government's self-congratulations on wetlands management ring hollow," according to Senator Rachel Siewert.

A Senate motion today (moved by Senator Watson) congratulating the government on its environmental management comes on the same day that the Prime Minister canvassed draining wetlands to allow the government to deliver water to irrigators and secure town supplies.

"The government may have the numbers to push whatever it likes through the Senate, but numbers alone cannot transform black into white," said Senator Siewert.

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Water summit fails to deliver

Rachel Siewert 7 Nov 2006

"The Prime Minister's all-too-brief water summit today failed to deliver the outcomes needed to solve the water crisis," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.


"They shied away from making the tough decisions at a time when urgent action was sorely needed" she said.


"We cannot simply trade our way out of this problem."


"Mr Howard suggested that they would consider raining wetlands as an emergency measure to ensure town water supplies. This is unconscionable."


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Parliament House fails its own new water efficiency guidelines

Rachel Siewert 6 Nov 2006

"Parliament House is failing to make any headway on water and energy efficiency, but it still seems keen to tell individuals and businesses how they could do better," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

The release of DEH's Water Efficiency Guide: Office and Public Buildings comes hot on the heels of revelations at Senate Estimates proving that Parliament House now uses more water and electricity than ever.

"Minister Campbell should consider practicing what he preaches."

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