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Greens welcome Colombian hostage release

The Australian Greens welcomed the release today of Clara Rojas one of two hostages released by Colombian rebels. Clara was running mate and campaign manager for Greens' ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, with whom she was kidnapped in 2002.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert called on the Australian government to join international efforts to secure the release of all hostages and bring peace in the long-running war in Colombia.

"Unfortunately Ingrid and thousands of other hostages are still being held by the rebels."

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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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Turnbull's urban water plan lacks vision - Greens

The Greens say the Government's new urban water plan lacks the innovation and the vision needed to have sufficient impact on our pressing water issues to make a difference.

"Malcolm Turnbull's new plan is simply not tackling the problem at the scale needed to really make a difference," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"It does nothing to help Australian households reduce their use."

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Greens release watertight urban water plan

"The release of the IPCC report on climate change highlights yet again the urgent need to reduce our urban water use," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Senator Siewert launched the Greens urban water plan, which calls for new water use targets and the establishment of a Water Tight Fund to pay the upfront costs of integrated household rainwater and water recycling systems.

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Housing dream becoming a nightmare?

Rachel Siewert 5 Nov 2007

The Australian Greens today launched their housing policy, to address the drastic housing affordability crisis across Australia.

"Quick fix solutions don't exist – we need a comprehensive, in-depth approach that tackles all levels of this problem," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Housing today in Perth.

"The lack of affordable housing in this country reflects a serious market failure as well as serious policy failure by both federal and state governments."

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Water needs urgent long term planning

To mark the importance of National Water Week, the Greens are calling for urgent action on effective planning of water efficiency, conservation and control.

"Parts of Australia are running out of water, the Murray Darling system is at its lowest levels in 116 years and most capitals in Australia have record low dam levels," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Low income families in marginal electorates

As you are all no doubt aware this week is Anti-Poverty Week.

Having the start of Anti-Poverty Week coinciding with the first day of the election campaign has of course been a bit of a political opportunity.

John Howard introduced $34 Billion of tax cuts, but as both Bob and I were quick to point out - simply cutting taxes (or raising tax-free thresholds) is not really going to help out families on low incomes when it comes at the expense of investment in services ... and when its likely to put upward pressure on interest rates.

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