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WA Coroner calls for strong leadership on Aboriginal deaths in Kimberley

"The coronial report into the high rate of Aboriginal deaths in the Kimberley today highlights the clear need for leadership by Commonwealth and State Governments in tackling the appalling living conditions and lack of opportunities for Aboriginal people in the North-West," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"In a state as rich as West Australia it is shameful to think that life is getting worse for our first Australians," she said.

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Holes evident in GM legislation

"Regulation of GM in this country is grossly inadequate and highlights why it is so important to maintain the moratorium on GM crops," said Australian Greens spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"There is no regulation in place to deal with the issues of contamination, segregation and marketing of GM and non-GM crops. This issue is about to come to a head with the overturning of the moratorium on GM canola by NSW and Victoria."

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World Heritage on the cards for Ningaloo

The Australian Greens welcomed confirmation in Senate Estimates that the Government would finally move of World Heritage protection for Ningaloo Reef.

It was confirmed in Estimates yesterday that the Federal Government plans to nominate Ningaloo Reef for the 2009 round of World Heritage listing.

Yesterday Department of Environment and Heritage officials confirmed that the region would be nominated by 1st Feb 2009 for final consideration by the world heritage body in mid 2010.

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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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Greens support an unreserved apology

The Australian Greens today indicated they support an unreserved apology to the stolen generations, and criticised the Government for moving with 'undue haste' to rule out reparations.

"Bob Brown gave the Australian Greens' unreserved apology in the Senate in 1997."

"The Government's has been a long time coming," said Senator Siewert today.

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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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