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United Nations concern over NT Intervention

The Australian Greens today welcomed reports that the United Nations has written to the Australian Government expressing concern over racist elements of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

"This is the slap of realism that this Government desperately needs. The international community are crying out against this blatantly racist intervention, which is serving as a major embarrassment for us on a global stage," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens welcome WA Government’s cooling on truancy trials

The Australian Greens today welcomed signs that the Western Australian Government may not implement a punitive Federal Government truancy trial in Perth schools.
“The program, which has been widely criticised by teacher’s unions and welfare groups, allows Centrelink to halt payments to parents whose children fail to attend school for 13 weeks,” Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“Such a punitive program fails to address the underlying causes of non-attendance and only further undermines families in need of support.

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Women worried about ALP’s IR laws

Today, Senator Siewert told stories of women workers currently finding life very difficult under Work Choices and wondering what their working lives will be like under Forward with Fairness.

The stories were taken from a booklet prepared by Asian Women at Work called ‘Cries from the Workplace: 20 women, 20 stories'. The women outline what they want from fair workplace laws, including broad minimum legal protection, unfair dismissal laws, stronger anti-bullying laws and removal of restrictions in unions' rights of entry.

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Workplace Relations & Women

I would like today to address the issues of what workers are saying they need from Forward with Fairness and the change to the industrial relations laws. I want to tell the stories of workers themselves who are currently finding life very difficult under Work Choices and wondering what their working lives will be like under Forward with Fairness. These stories will illustrate the potential gaps in the Forward with Fairness policy.

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Greens move to restore Racial Discrimination Act in NT

The Australian Greens today tabled a petition of 4156 signatures, expressing concern about the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in the Northern Territory Intervention and calling for its reinstatement.

"This community outcry sends a very clear message to the Government about the treatment of Indigenous Australian through the Northern Territory Intervention," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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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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HREOC strain under Work Choices Lite

During Senate Estimates last night, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission confirmed $1.8 million of funding to support workplace related complaints has been cut by the Rudd Government, placing more stress on the Commission.
HREOC received additional money when Work Choices was introduced, as it was expected that workplace related complaints would increase, given the abolition of unfair dismissal protections. The Government has now cut this funding.

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