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Gorgon announcement relegates Garrett to 'rubber stamp' status

The Australian Greens today called on the Rudd Government to explain how it can announce its endorsement of a $50 Billion gas deal with China before the Gorgon project had received Commonwealth environmental approval.

"The message to us seems clear - threatened species will not be allowed to get in the way of development under Rudd, and environmental conditions are nothing more than a means of green-washing projects destined to go ahead regardless of their environmental impacts," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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Garrett must take seriously allegations of damage on the Burrup: Greens

Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert has urged the Minister for Heritage, Peter Garrett to take seriously potential damage to a national heritage-listed site on Western Australia's Burrup Peninsular.

"We hear that the Heritage Minister's Department has gone to the trouble of seeking expert archaeological and legal advice about whether multinational Cemex has damaged artefacts of national heritage significance on the Burrup," Senator Siewert said.

"We now need to know the outcome of this advice and what Minister Garrett plans to do about it.

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The West leads the way, again

Today, Federal Greens senators for WA Rachel Siewert and Scott Ludlam joined WA Greens Upper House MPs Giz Watson, Robin Chapple, Alison Xamon and Lynn MacLaren on the steps of the WA Parliament to congratulate Adele Carles on her historic win of the seat of Fremantle.

"This is the first time the Greens have ever beaten the ALP on primary votes," Ms Carles said.

"The people of Fremantle have entrusted the Greens with their first seat in the WA Legislative Assembly.

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Senate to investigate Employment Services contract process

The Senate today moved to establish an inquiry into the Government's handling of awarding employment services contracts.

"The Greens and Coalition Senators today referred this issue to a Senate Inquiry to review the decision making processes, and the outcomes of the tender process. The key questions are whether Australia's employment services will be better or worse as a result of this process and most importantly will those Australians without a job be supported as they need to be," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Budget delivers no green economy for Western Australia

Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert today expressed deep concern that the Federal budget leaves many people behind and does not develop the new green economy.

"While the increase of $32.49 per week for single aged pensioners is a welcome step, the Government has not addressed the crisis Australia is facing in aged care. In fact, for Western Australia I am deeply concerned that beds may need to close and many older people will face deeper hardship, particularly in regional and rural areas," said Senator Siewert.

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Barnett prepares to lay blame on Traditional Owners

The latest impasse between Kimberley Traditional Owners and Premier Colin Barnett over the siting of an LNG hub in the Kimberley highlights the State Government's poor handling of the decision-making process, the Australian Greens say.

"We are now seeing Premier Colin Barnett preparing to lay the blame for a failure to reach an agreement squarely on the shoulders of Traditional Owners, when in reality he is to blame for skewing the process," Greens Spokesperson on Indigenous Issues, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens urge O-week students to enrol for student payments

Tens of thousands of WA university students returning to study in the next fortnight will be able to qualify for a $950 Government Training and Learning Bonus, thanks to an extended deadline negotiated by the Australian Greens.

“Under Kevin Rudd’s original plan for the $42 billion economic stimulus package, only those students who had enrolled by 3 February could qualify for the $950 bonus,” Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“However, as a result of the Greens’ negotiations in the Senate this deadline has been extended to 31 March.”

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WA must move beyond mining to resilient economy: Greens

Greens highlight emergency relief for struggling families as more mines close

Western Australia must create a more resilient economy that can ride out mining busts and the current round of job cuts, according to the Australian Greens.

“The need for emergency relief is becoming evermore apparent as each day more Western Australians find themselves out of work through mining closures and cutbacks,” Australian Greens Employment and Workplace Relations Spokeswoman Rachel Siewert said.

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