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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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Senate motion on WTO emergency powers to save Port Kembla steel industry

The Abbott government will be asked to activate World Trade Organisation emergency powers to save the Port Kembla steel industry if a motion before the Australian Senate is passed.

The motion, to be debated on Thursday 10 September, has been moved by Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Victorian independent Senator John Madigan. Full wording of the motion is below.

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Speech: Water Amendment Bill 2015 second reading

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (17:44): The Water Amendment Bill is a sloppy piece of legislation. It is very confusing, and when you sit down and read it you really wonder what the purpose of it is. What is the intent? Clearly the government has an aim here. You start to wonder what the driver is. What is the political interest going on here? What was the intent of the Liberal and National Parties when they came up with this?

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Speech: Domestic violence

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (21:06): How wonderful was the news that Rosie Batty was to be the Australian of the Year. It was a most important decision. The Baird Liberal government in New South Wales, however, is not doing enough to protect the women and children fleeing from domestic violence. When you look at what is happening in my home state you really wonder if they have listened to the Australian of the Year.

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Federal government must reject elitist research proposal from Group of Eight universities

Lee Rhiannon 7 Sep 2015

The Australian Greens have called on the federal Minister for Education to immediately rule out any plans to restrict so-called "below standard" universities from accessing research funding.

"High quality, accessible public higher education and research is absolutely vital to ensuring Australia has a secure, jobs-rich economic future," Greens spokesperson for tertiary, technical and further education Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

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Like The Terminator, Christopher Pyne's plan for $100 000 degrees is back

Lee Rhiannon 7 Sep 2015

Commenting on Education Minister Christopher Pyne's comments that he will bring back his Bill to slash university funding and deregulate student fees in the spring sittings, Greens spokesperson for tertiary, technical and further education Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "If Minister Pyne is counting on being third time lucky, he has underestimated the resolve of the Australian people and the Senate to ensure that $100,000+ degrees does not become a reality.

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