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Speech: Higher Education Support Amendment (New Zealand Citizens) Bill 2015 second reading

Lee Rhiannon 17 Sep 2015

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (10:08): The Greens support the Higher Education Support Amendment (New Zealand Citizens) Bill 2015. It brings some equity to the loan scheme, which is obviously problematic in itself, but fairness always needs to be striven for. It removes the unfair treatment of long-term residents of Australia who, just because of where they were born-in New Zealand-are New Zealand citizens.

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Regional and rural NSW big losers in Turnbull-Nationals deal

Lee Rhiannon 16 Sep 2015

Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon says the Turnbull-Nationals deal is not in the best interests of regional and rural NSW.

"This deal has been struck to protect the new Prime Minister's leadership not to assist rural communities," said Senator Rhiannon.

"Prime Minister Turnbull's plan to put the Nationals in control of water policy, to keep young people off income support for four weeks at a time and to not change Abbott's minimalist approach on climate change will make life tougher for regional and rural communities.

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Abbott govt threatens unis with further research cuts

Lee Rhiannon 11 Sep 2015

The Australian Greens are calling on the Abbott government to stop jeopardising the future of public education after reports that universities are bracing for a further 10 percent cut to research funding.

Greens spokesperson for tertiary, technical and further education said: "Yesterday's news was that the Abbott government may go ahead with its 20 per cent cut to university funding despite the legislation being blocked, and today it's the 10 per cent cut to the Research Training Scheme.

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Senate backs motion to save Port Kembla steel industry

Lee Rhiannon 10 Sep 2015

The Abbott government failed in their attempt to defeat a Senate motion to save the steel industry.

The motion was passed with the combined support of the Greens, Labor and crossbenchers.

"The save the steel industry motion, passed 34 to 28 votes, calls on the government to immediately refer matters related to dumped sub-cost steel to the Anti-Dumping Commission and to consider the use of World Trade Organisation emergency safeguards," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Senate backs motion to save Port Kembla steel industry

Lee Rhiannon 10 Sep 2015

The Abbott government failed in their attempt to defeat a Senate motion to save the steel industry.

The motion was passed with the combined support of the Greens, Labor and crossbenchers.

"The save the steel industry motion, passed 34 to 28 votes, calls on the government to immediately refer matters related to dumped sub-cost steel to the Anti-Dumping Commission and to consider the use of World Trade Organisation emergency safeguards," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Government should rule out enforcing uni cuts that have failed to pass the Senate

Lee Rhiannon 10 Sep 2015

Commenting on news reports that the Education Department has advised at least one university that the Abbott government's 20 per cent cut to universities will go ahead in 2016, despite legislation failing to pass the Senate, Greens spokesperson for Tertiary, technical and further education said:

"The Abbott government should immediately rule out cutting funding to universities given the legislation has failed to pass Parliament twice.

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Labor and Coalition join forces to kneecap Murray Darling Basin Plan

The Australian Greens expressed disappointment that the Water Amendment Bill 2015 will now pass the Senate with the combined support of Labor and the Coalition.

The Bill sets an arbitrary cap 1,500 gigalitres of water the government can buy back from irrigators in order to ensure environmental flows.

"This Bill is all about Environment Minister Greg Hunt caving in to hardline Nationals. It's a bill all about politics, not good policy," Australian Greens spokesperson for water, Senator Rhiannon said.

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Labor Senators refuse to support Newcastle City Council's push for environmentally responsible investments

The Greens have expressed dismay that their Senate motion in support of Newcastle City Council's Environmentally and Socially Responsible Investment policy was voted down today by the Coalition and Labor.

Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said: "It's a shame that federal Labor have failed to back their colleagues on Newcastle City Council in their moves to update the Council's Environmentally and Socially Responsible Investment policy.

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