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Two years on: Abbott government has failed our Pacific island neighbours on global warming

With the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit on this week, the Australian Greens are urging the Abbott Government to finally show some regional leadership by acting on global warming and reinstating climate adaptation funding cut from aid.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said:

"Our Pacific neighbours know all too well that coal is not good for humanity.

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Australia moves to overturn ban on kangaroo products in US - Greens questions reveal Abbott govt may have broken Californian law

US media reports that Australia may have broken Californian lobbying laws in an attempt to overturn the ban on kangaroo products highlights how far the Abbott government will go to benefit a handful of exporters, Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon.

This story has broken in the US following a response from the Department of Agriculture to a question asked by Senator Rhiannon about lifting California's ban on imported kangaroo products.

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Rewrite of VET funding urgently needed

Lee Rhiannon 28 Aug 2015

Commenting on a new report that funding for VET across all levels of government dropped in 2013/14 by 7 per cent Greens spokesperson for tertiary, technical and further education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"Vocational Education Training is in trouble. State and federal governments urgently need to fix the structural causes.

"The COAG agreement on vocational education and training which allows hundreds of millions of public dollars flow to private, for-profit providers needs to be overhauled.

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Murray Darling Basin - Baldwin plan puts river health, communities at risk

Greens water spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has warned the Abbott-Truss government from using the stocktake of irrigation projects to justify winding up plans for retrieving water to ensure river health across the Murray Darling Basin.

"This stocktake looks like a ploy by Water Minister Bob Baldwin to justify the government's long term aim to allow big irrigators to retain water that should go back to the ailing river system," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Proposed Fairfax job cuts in the Hunter a blow for regional communities

Lee Rhiannon 27 Aug 2015

Commenting on Fairfax's announcement that it is moving to significantly downsize its regional news operations in the Hunter, Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"This decision by Fairfax is another blow to regional news reporting which is already under funded and under resourced.

"My thoughts are with all the staff and their families in the Hunter who were briefed about the threatened job cuts today.

"I fully support industrial action taken by Fairfax staff to protest against job losses and stand in solidarity with staff who have taken strike action today.

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Gas giant AGL outflanks Labor & Coalition on political donations

Lee Rhiannon 27 Aug 2015

Commenting on AGL's decision to end all political donations (http://tinyurl.com/norm5yb), Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "Even if AGL finally understands why corporate political donations are so problematic, what's taking the Coalition and Labor so long?

"In the past five years the minerals industry has donated more than $5 million, the gambling industry $4 million and the property industry more than $9 million to political parties.

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BlueScope's profit result undermines attempts to shut down Port Kembla steelworks

BlueScope's $134 million profit, and the nine per cent increase in revenue from last financial year, undermine the company's claims that it needs "sacrifices from its workforce" at Port Kembla in order to remain profitable, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said.

"BlueScope is threatening to shut down operations in Port Kembla, putting at risk tens of thousands of jobs across the Illawarra and the region's future economic viability," Senator Rhiannon said.

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