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Australia less fair

The Howard Government has squandered the opportunity offered by the good economic times to make Australia fairer and invest in our future prosperity, say the Greens.  

"Prime Minister Howard's economic agenda has failed the most disadvantaged of our community" said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on community services.

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Wheat Marketing - policy on the run

The Greens support the motion to have the Wheat Marketing Amendment bill 2007 referred to committee. We believe it is essential that sections of this bill are referred. We believe that substantive sections of it need to be thoroughly reviewed. We believe there is unnecessary haste to force this bill through this place. While we acknowledge that there are areas that need to be dealt with more urgently, we believe that those should be dealt with first and the rest of it thoroughly reviewed and considered.

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Australia Puts Sawfish Survival at Risk

"The Australian Government is about to embarrass us internationally through its shameful attempt to downgrade a United States proposal to end the trade in sawfish to help ensure their survival," said Greens spokesperson on Fisheries, Senator Rachel Siewert today.  


"The proposal to downgrade the trade in Sawfish is scheduled to be debated at the UN conference on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in The Hague today."

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Aid/Watch only the first of many to fall

"The decision by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to strip Aid/Watch of its charity tax status is another attack on Australian democracy," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.


"Aid/Watch is only the first of a large number of community organisations, from environment groups to welfare organisations who we can expect to lose tax deductibility status in an attempt to either silence them or starve them of funds."


"Aid/Watch is only the first in the line of dominos to go down in the start of a major campaign to silence dissent."

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'Secret' Treasury analysis confirms true IR agenda

"Secret advice to government on the impact of the IR 'reforms' confirms that the Government's real agenda was always about lowering wages, and their claims about boosting productivity were spurious," says Senator Siewert.

"These laws were always about reducing wages and attacking unions."

The Government derided academics and those opposing these laws for criticising its productivity claims and saying the minimum wage would drop - but the Treasury advice confirms both points.

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Government role in AWB scandal will come out...one way or another

I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 March 2006:

The involvement of the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) in the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme between 1999 and 2003, and consequent revelations that such involvement led to payments that were directed towards the Iraqi Government, with particular reference to the conduct of Commonwealth regulators including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Wheat Export Authority and any other relevant agencies.

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Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill

I would like to address the house on the Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005 that we considered last Tuesday. My colleague Senator Milne of the Australian Greens outlined our concerns about the anticompetitive nature of some of the provisions of this bill and the merger provisions but left the collective bargaining elements to me. As I did not get an opportunity to outline the Greens concerns, I would like to take the opportunity to discuss our philosophical approach to that legislation.

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