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Greens set the agenda for water summit

Rachel Siewert 6 Nov 2006

"It is highly likely that the Treasurer has underestimated the impact of continuing drought on Australia's agricultural production and effect on economic growth," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

ABARE released revised figures last week which further downgraded the forecasts for likely crop production. Crop production is expected to be 60% less that last year, with the gross value expected to be 16% less than that achieved during the drought of 2002-03.

"These ABARE figures do not take into account impact on summer crops," she said.

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Who saved the electric car?

Rachel Siewert 5 Nov 2006

The Greens have welcomed eleventh hour intervention by WA Planning Minister Alannah McTiernan to allow the Reva electric car to undergo further trials and evaluations on Western Australian roads.

The demonstration zero-emissions vehicle was due to be destroyed this week after falling foul of Federal Government red tape.

"Minister McTiernan should be congratulated for saving the electric car from being crushed," Senator Siewert said.

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Environment & heritage legislation is 'pathetic'

Rachel Siewert 3 Nov 2006

"The proposed new environment and heritage laws clearly aimed at fast-tracking development approvals at the expense of weakening the protection of our heritage and environment," said Senator Siewert today.

"They are quite simply pathetic."

Evidence to the Senate committee hearing today on changes to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act was overwhelmingly critical of both the direction and the substance of the changes.

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Treasurer underestimates drought impacts

Rachel Siewert 3 Nov 2006

"It is highly likely that the Treasurer has underestimated the impact of continuing drought on Australia's agricultural production and effect on economic growth," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

ABARE released revised figures last week which further downgraded the forecasts for likely crop production. Crop production is expected to be 60% less that last year, with the gross value expected to be 16% less than that achieved during the drought of 2002-03.

"These ABARE figures do not take into account impact on summer crops," she said.

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Water buy back plan too little and too slow

Rachel Siewert 2 Nov 2006

"The plan announced yesterday by Malcolm Turnbull demonstrates a breathtaking level of ignorance of the scale of the problem and the need for urgent action," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Turnbull's plan is to only buy back excess water from irrigators recovered through efficiency measures.

"The scheme is not capable of delivering anywhere near the amount of water now needed to save the Murray. It is too bureaucratic and far too slow."

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Public R&D dollars must tackle climate change

Rachel Siewert 2 Nov 2006

"Public investment in R&D must do more to deliver public good outcomes. It must tackle our major social and environmental challenges," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Senator Siewert was responding to the release of the Public Support for Science and Innovation report by the Productivity Commission today.

The report suggests that publicly funded research needs to focus more on delivering public benefits from industry partnerships, and leveraging research which might not otherwise have been conducted.

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Report highlights need for action on Indigenous family violence

Rachel Siewert 1 Nov 2006

"The release on the latest figures today on Indigenous family violence highlights the need for a long-term evidence-based strategy to tackle this pressing problem," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

The report indicates that family violence continues to be a significant issue in Indigenous communities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men continue to be greatly over-represented as victims of violence.

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ABARE fails the nation on climate change

Rachel Siewert 31 Oct 2006

Green Senators Rachel Siewert and Christine Milne today expressed their disappointment with the failure of the Commonwealth's leading resource economics modelling agency to face up to the challenge of climate change.

"I am deeply concerned that ABARE are still not adequately dealing with the likely impacts of climate change on agriculture," said Senator Siewert.

The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) indicated during Senate Estimates today that they are unable to link climate science and economics modelling to address climate change.

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WA takes a step toward a green energy future

WA Legislative Council passes a Greens (WA) bill for a 20% renewable energy target

The WA Legislative Council today passed the Greens 'WA Renewable Energy Targets' (WARET) legislation with the support of the Liberal and National Parties.

Senator Rachel Siewert has congratulated Paul Llewellyn MLC (Greens member for the South-West) for the result, which has been more than a year in the making.

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Hockey's unemployment double standards

Rachel Siewert 24 Oct 2006

"While Minister Hockey is claiming that Australians are job snobs and is spending $30 million to crack down on the unemployed, Centrelink's website acknowledges that people are being paid below the Federal Minimum Wage," Senator Rachel Siewert said this morning.

"The message from Joe Hockey this morning is simple - we'll crack down on workers and the unemployed, but employers can get away with almost anything," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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