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Tobacco industry fight to undermine health initiatives uncovered

The Australian Greens say a series of Freedom of Information requests made by as-yet unnamed tobacco companies indicates the industry is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to undermine a range of health initiatives.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Health spokesperson, learned through Senate Estimates that tobacco companies had lodged 19 FOI requests to the Department of Health seeking very extensive information and internal documents going back almost twenty years.

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Australian Greens, Labor commit to agreement for stable Government

The Australian Greens and the Labor Party have signed an agreement to ensure stability for Labor in Government. The Greens will ensure supply and oppose any motion of no confidence in the Government from other parties or MPs.

Labor will work with the Greens to deliver improved transparency and integrity to Parliament and pursue policies that promote the national interest and address climate change.

As part of the agreement there will be regular meetings between the Prime Minister and Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and newly-elected Lower House MP Adam Bandt.

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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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Australian Greens concerned Tiwi Islanders lumped with ‘unviable’ project

The Australian Greens are calling for Federal and Northern Territory action to ensure logging and plantation operations on Tiwi Islands are sustainable and bring benefits to the Island's community.

"I am very concerned by the admission of the administrators of the forestry project on Melville Island, that the operations as commercially unviable," said Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens back deferral of decision on bottom-trawling off WA

Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert has welcomed signs that the Rudd Government may extend a closure to bottom trawling off the Kimberley and put off its a decision on Commonwealth trawl fishery boundaries off Western Australia.

"By deferring the decision on Commonwealth trawl fishery boundaries for another year, the Federal Fisheries Minister would create an opportunity for a more informed process that would take into account likely impacts on the marine ecosystem and local fisheries," Senator Siewert said.

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Greens urge Fed Govt to save Derby men’s service

The Australian Greens are urging the Federal Government to ensure that a successful men’s service in WA's east Kimberley that has been widely praised for tackling alcohol abuse and reducing domestic violence is not forced to close its doors next week.

“Wamba Nilgee Burru Ngardu, also known as Derby Men's Service, accommodates about 60 men a week – providing a place to eat, sleep and wash, while supporting them to turn their lives around,” Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Four weeks after oil spill began, Govt response inadequate: Greens

The Australian Greens say that four weeks after oil began spilling into the Timor Sea, the Government’s response in regards to addressing potential marine impacts is insufficient.

“Today marks exactly four weeks since the Montara wellhead emergency began and yet we are still not seeing an adequate  response by Government to address all the potential impacts on marine life, including large marine mammals such as whales and turtles, fish and corals,” Greens Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert said.

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Senate backs full inquiry into oil spill

The Senate today supported a Greens' motion to ensure that any inquiry into the Montara oil spill is comprehensive.

"It is essential that we have a comprehensive inquiry into all aspects of the oil spill so we can learn for the future," said Senator Siewert today in Canberra.

The Australian Greens were concerned that the inquiry into the Montara oil spill proposed by the Government could be limited to technical and regulatory issues and not also review the clean-up operations or the environmental impacts of the spill.

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