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$6 Million earmarked for conservation handed back to Treasurer

The Australian Greens were shocked to learn in Senate Estimates today that $6 Million set aside for protecting biodiversity hotspots has not been spent and will be handed back to Treasury.

"This money was meant to be used to buy high conservation-value properties in Australia's biodiversity 'hotspots' – areas where there is a great concentration of unique wildlife," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"I cannot believe that the government couldn't spend this money – when there are so many opportunities to buy back some stunning private and leasehold land."

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Audit shows need for measurable outcomes

The release of a report by the Auditor General's Office today foregrounds ongoing concerns with the lack of accountability for delivering outcomes of major environment and land care programs.

"We need to be able to clearly demonstrate that the large amounts of money spent on the National Heritage Trust (NHT) and the National Action Plan on Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) are achieving measurable land management and environmental outcomes," said Senator Siewert today.

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Greens: Kimberley needs comprehensive plan

Rachel Siewert 5 Feb 2008

The Greens today cautiously welcomed the announcement by Environment Minister, Peter Garrett of a strategic assessment of the Kimberley, but stressed that a comprehensive long-term planning approach was needed.

"The Greens have been calling for a regional development strategy for the Kimberley for some time," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"It is crucial that the planning process is comprehensive – that it considers all types of industrial development - not just gas projects. "

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Bob Brown proceeds with High Court forest appeal

Greens leader Bob Brown today filed papers in the High Court in Hobart seeking leave to overturn a Federal Court decision permitting logging in Tasmania's Wielangta Forest.

In December 2006 Justice Steve Marshall ruled that logging in the 10,000 Hectare Wielangta Forest was illegal because it threatened three endangered species, the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, the Wielangta Stag Beetle and the Swift Parrot. However, in November 2007 Forestry Tasmania was successful before the full bench of the Federal Court in having this ruling overturned.

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Greens back National Trust call for immediate action on Murray Darling Basin

The Australian Greens today congratulated the Australian Council of National Trust for their call for immediate action on the Murray Darling Basin, but said their targets are not sufficient.

Speaking from Adelaide, alongside Greens SA Senate candidate Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Rachel Siewert said: "Inflows to the Murray Darling are at their lowest in 116 years, irrigation allocations are at an all time low, and we have even less water in storage this summer than last year."

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Greens launch Balance of Power animation

The Greens today launched a short animation explaining the benefits of Balance of Power in the Senate.

"The balance of power in the Senate is a big issue this election and a lot of people want to know more about it," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"It's important that people understand the political system before they go to the polls this election, and so we hope that this animation will help explain the situation better."

The animation can be found at The Greens Election 2007 Election page -

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Greens hold forum on Women & IR

In December 2006 the Howard Government rushed into law two pieces of legislation that are having a disastrous effect on many women in our community - Work Choices and Welfare to Work.

Tomorrow, the Australian Greens are holding a forum to look at the impacts of Work Choices and Welfare to Work on women and consider the best way forward for new fairer industrial relations and welfare systems.

"Work Choices and Welfare to Work are leaving many Australian women with no choices," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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