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Greens ‘New Century’ Australia Senate Agenda

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

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Greens welcome investigation into ABCC "Star Chamber"

The Australian Greens welcome the appointment of Justice Wilcox to investigate the Government's plans to replace the ABCC.

"We remain convinced there is no need for a separate body to oversee the building and construction industry and hope this investigation will confirm our position that the ABCC's powers, including those limiting the right to silence and legal counsel, are unjustified in a modern industrial relations system," said Rachel Siewert.

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Greens restate opposition to ABCC

The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (OHS) Bill 2007 deals with a very important issue. It deals with safety in the building and construction industry. There is no question that the building and construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in Australia, and this is recognised across the board. When introducing this bill the minister acknowledged that fatalities in this industry make up one-third of all workplace fatalities, and that there are over 30 injuries per day. The Australian Greens will not be opposing this bill.

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Greens: wait and see on ACTU campaign

"The ACTU has the right to campaign in the election to change unfair workplace laws, and the real proof they are running a non-partisan campaign will come when they inform voters who has the best IR policies," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Last October the ACTU Congress was clearly told that the 'Your Rights at Work' campaign would never be a sectarian vote-ALP campaign, and we remain assured that the ACTU will inform their members about where all the parties stand on industrial relations."

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Fairness Test? - What Fairness Test?

The Australian Greens will be moving a series of amendments to put real fairness into the Government's 'fairness test' when the Government's Safety Net Bill is introduced into the Senate next week.

"The Senate committee hearing yesterday served only to confirm that there are so many loopholes in the so-called 'fairness test' you could drive a truck through them," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson, today.

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Exposing the building industry star chamber

I rise today to speak against the passing into law of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Bill 2005 and to recommend that it be thrown out. This legislation is flawed. It is full of unintended consequences and loopholes. It is all bad, and it has no redeeming features. As I said, I do not think we should support it. This legislation fails the government's own test of fairness, simplicity and choice. The bill has unfair consequences for many in our society.

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