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Senate asks Abbott government to save Port Kembla steel industry

The Senate today has passed a Greens motion calling on the Federal government to intervene in the fate of BlueScope to save the steel industry in Port Kembla and 10 000 jobs.

Greens spokesperson for NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "The Senate's request for the federal government to act is about protecting existing jobs in the Illawarra while building a platform for the next generation of economic growth in the region.

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Senate demands Abbott government stop wasting public money on higher education consultants

Lee Rhiannon 13 Aug 2015

The Senate today has passed a Greens motion calling on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to stop wasting public resources in his attempts to wreck public higher education in Australia.

Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon moved the motion in response to Mr Pyne's recent spend of $150,000 to hire an external negotiator to convince the cross bench to support his twice failed deregulation bill.

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Motion: Education Funding

Lee Rhiannon 13 Aug 2015

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:08): I move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) the Abbott Government's attempts to deregulate university fees and slash public funding to higher education have been defeated twice in the current Parliament,

(ii) the Minister for Education and Training (Mr Pyne) has so far spent $150 000 of public money hiring a private consultant to conduct parliamentary negotiations on his behalf, and

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Speech: Malawi Loses US$43 Million from Mining Company Paladin

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:25): Another matter concerns Malawi, which is also one of the low-income countries of Africa. In fact, it is regarded as the poorest country in the world according to the World Bank development indicators. The former Prime Minister Julia Gillard brought in the Mining for Development initiative, a new approach to overseas development where the mining industry is given aid money supposedly to assist it for its work in low-income countries, the argument being that this will benefit people in those countries.

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Speech: Appalling Conditions for Asylum Seekers at Manus Island

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:25): 'After two years, Australia's experiment in offshore detention has been a disaster. Even the few people provided refugee status have been denied freedom of movement and the right to work. All should be allowed to move on with their lives in dignity and security.' That is a comment from Elaine Pearson. Elaine Pearson recently visited Manus Island in her capacity as the Australian director of Human Rights Watch. She visited Manus Island with Daniel Webb from the Human Rights Law Centre.

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Statement by Senator: BlueScope Steelworks

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:04): The call 'Save our steelworks' is resonating around the Illawarra and today 'Save our steelworks' resonates in this parliament. Members of the South Coast Labour Council, the Illawarra branch of the Australian Workers Union and other unionists have travelled to Canberra to speak to MPs about the future of the Illawarra and the future of the steel industry. Action is needed by the New South Wales and federal governments. Steelmaking is vital for the Illawarra and critical to the economy of the whole country.

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