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Greens highlight Indigenous health & housing in Poverty Week

Rachel Siewert 15 Oct 2006

"On the eve of Anti-Poverty Week in Australia, we need to look seriously at poverty in our Indigenous Communities," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The UN Special Rapporteur on Housing spoke of a hidden national housing crisis on his recent visit, highlighting the terrible conditions he'd seen in Indigenous communities and describing it as a 'humanitarian tragedy'," she said. "This is shameful."

"One in four Aboriginal homes require demolition or major structural repairs. The ABS estimates that $2.1 billion is required to address urgent Indigenous housing need."

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Greens call for national water summit

Rachel Siewert 15 Oct 2006

Senator Rachel Siewert called today for Federal and State Governments to stop their pointless bickering and hold a national summit to address the water crisis.

"Australian Governments have had plenty of warning that we were in for desperate times," she said.

"They have wilfully ignored the experts and squandered the opportunity to respond to the impacts of reduced and unreliable rainfall."

"Because they were reluctant to make unpopular decisions they ignored the warnings."

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Leaked report damns Christmas Island mining

Rachel Siewert 14 Oct 2006

A damning report by Parks Australia staff gives ample evidence that mining should not even be considered on Christmas Island.

 "The proposal to allow the clearing of untouched rainforest should be thrown out," said Senator Siewert today.

"The Minister, Ian Campbell needs to say no to mining up front, right now."

"The report says that PRL have failed to rehabilitate any of their trials, and have not done the required research," said Senator Siewert.

"The experts tore shreds off their Environmental Impact Statement."

"It is beyond a joke."

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States & Feds bicker while rivers run dry

Rachel Siewert 14 Oct 2006

"Both State and Federal Governments are culpable over the water crisis. They should stop blaming each other and focus on the reality of the problem," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"We have been stretching the system for decades and ignoring all the warning signs. Now climate change is the final nail in the coffin."

"Australian Governments have squandered the opportunity to research, plan and adapt to the impacts of reduced and unreliable rainfall. Now both farmers and the environment are suffering the consequences," said Senator Siewert.

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Child support changes could see more children living in poverty

Rachel Siewert 11 Oct 2006

"Proposed changes to the formula for calculating child support could see more children living in poverty," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Senator Siewert was responding to the release late yesterday of the Senate Community Affairs committee report on the Child Support Legislation Amendment Bill 2006.

"The Greens recognise that the existing system is outdated and creates injustices on both sides," she said. "In all cases, the best interests of the children must come first."

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Aboriginal cancer rates reflect shocking access to primary health care

Rachel Siewert 10 Oct 2006

"New figures released today again highlight the appalling health issues facing the Aboriginal community," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

Cancer rates in NSW are 66% higher for Aboriginal women and 58% higher for Aboriginal men, according to a report published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

"These shocking rates of cancer reflect appalling access to primary health care."

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List the Burrup today

Rachel Siewert 10 Oct 2006

In Senate Question Time today, Environment and Heritage Minister Ian Campbell refused to state whether he would prevent Woodside from destroying the Burrup rock art while he consulted over National Heritage Listing of the site.

"However, the Minister did say that he didn't want to see any new impediment to development on the Burrup. I can only imply from that answer that he won't act to protect the unique rock art of the Burrup" said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Federal appeal on Noongar native title disappointing, but true to form

Rachel Siewert 5 Oct 2006

"Mr Ruddock's decision to appeal against Noongar title is disappointing, but entirely predictable," said Senator Rachel Siewert in Perth today.

"Given the Attorney General's recent alarmist comments about Perth's beaches and parklands being under threat, not to mention the spate of recent legislative and administrative changes undermining Aboriginal communities, this challenge is entirely true to form," she said.

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Greens slam Woodside rock art research plan

Rachel Siewert 5 Oct 2006

"If Woodside really want to understand the ancient Aboriginal petroglyphs on the Burrup Peninsula, they would be working with the State Government and other industry players to protect the rock art, by developing an alternative location for their gas plant," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Senator Siewert was responding to the announcement by Woodside that they would put up funds for a three year independent postgraduate research project into rock art on the peninsula through the University of New England.

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Breakthrough on the Burrup

Rachel Siewert 3 Oct 2006

Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed the report by the Australian Heritage Council proposing to protect the Burrup Peninsula Rock Art Province and Dampier Archipelago.

"Heritage Minister Senator Ian Campbell now has in his hands the clearest  indication yet that the Burrup deserves full protection. This is a turning point in the campaign to save this remarkable part of the world."

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