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Speech: AGL and Coal Seam Gas

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:25): Today, 4 February 2016, is a historic day. It is a historic day for climate action; it is a historic day for steering Australia to a fossil fuel free future; it is a historic day for creative and courageous direct action. AGL, the second largest energy retailer in Australia, has pulled out of coal seam gas operations across this country. In one centre, Gloucester, AGL planned 330 wells alone. Now many in the business reports will attribute this to the slump in oil and gas prices.

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Speech: Report on toxic contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:12): I rise to speak on the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee report on contamination caused by firefighting foams at RAAF Base Williamtown and Australian Defence Force facilities. On behalf of the Greens, I moved for this inquiry and was pleased to get the support of the Senate. We moved to do that because of the rising concerns of residents at Williamtown, and many other people as well, that the Department of Defence was not being responsible in how it was responding.

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Speech: War on Trees

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (21:43): The New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, is waging a war on trees-quite literally, a war on trees. It is extremely destructive, occasioning great hurt, and right now he is not stopping. In one suburb, Randwick, along Anzac Parade, 400 trees are being turned into woodchips. These are beautiful trees-trees that are habitat to an amazing array of birds, possums and an incredible number of insects. The biodiversity is considerable. Many of these trees are now being destroyed by 'Mike Baird's chainsaw massacre'.

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National MP dumps on his own community with backing of nuclear dump in NSW

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has rejected plans to build a nuclear waste dump at Sallys Flat in western NSW as irresponsible and dangerous and another attempt to breathe life into the discredited nuclear industry.

“Local National MP John Cobb has shown he does not know what it means to be a local member. He should be standing up for the health and well-being of his constituents not giving quick endorsement to a nuclear dump only 65 kilometres north of Bathurst,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Williamtown pollution payout insult – Defence Dept knew pollution on base in 2003

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that the small offer of financial assistance by the RAAF to fishers who stand to lose their business due to toxic run off from Williamtown Base is totally inadequate and an insult as the Defence Department have known about the contamination since 2003.

“The RAAF so called assistance package for fishers impacted by the Williamtown toxic contamination is an insult and will do nothing to compensate for lost business or ensure their survival,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Minister Payne and Defence fail, prawn trawlers give leadership on Williamtown clean-up

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has called upon Minister Marise Payne and the Department of Defence to immediately release plans for containment of the toxic material from the Williamtown airbase and details of compensation for local residents and businesses.

“Prawn trawlers in the Hunter region have decided to delay the fishing season until results from tests along the Hunter River are delivered,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Williamtown)

Through extensive questioning, Lee has ascertained that from 2003 to 2011 the Defence Department failed to inform Williamtown residents of the dangers posed by contaminants used at the airforce base. The contaminants found in run off from the Williamtown Base are perfluorinated compounds, including the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS. It is 2015, and toxic chemicals have leeched into water beyond the site. Residents of Williamtown deserve immediate answers. 

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