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Labor and Coalition must act to strengthen corruption watchdog

Lee Rhiannon 15 Apr 2015

Commenting on today’s High Court finding that ICAC had no power to investigate Margaret Cunneen, Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

“While this is a setback, the High Court decision should not be used as an excuse by the Coalition and Labor to step away from the fight against corruption,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“ICAC must be allowed to look into the conduct of individuals where it contributes to corruption. 

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Greens call on Pyne to reject further unfair HECS changes in federal Budget

Lee Rhiannon 15 Apr 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon has today called on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to rule out regressive and unfair changes to the HECS repayment system in this year’s federal Budget.

“Suggestions from some economists that the repayment threshold for HECS debt should be decreased from $53,000 to $10,000 (http://bit.ly/1yrYlbb) should be immediately rejected by Minister Pyne,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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OECD anti-bribery report strengthens Greens call for expanded whistleblower protection to private sector

The latest OECD assessment of anti-bribery measures that reveals weak protection for whistleblowers in Australia strengthens the Greens call for employees in the private sector to have the same protection as those in the public sector, Australian Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

“In December last year the Greens called for whistleblower protection to be extended to employees working for private higher education companies in receipt of millions of dollars of government funding,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Helicopter inspection boosts northern railway reopening campaign

When the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line was closed in 2004 by the then Carr Labor government local communities were robbed of an essential transport service. The Greens are passionate about restoring this rail line like we are about expanding public transport services across the country. 

Public transport is a social justice and an environment issue. 

When this rail line was closed Labor attempted to justify their very wrong decision by arguing that it was underutilised and was closed in the name of efficiency. 

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Australia’s great union activist “Pig Iron Bob” campaign remembered

Lee Rhiannon 8 Apr 2015

One of Australia’s great activist union battles came alive in Wollongong Town Hall a few weeks back with the premiere of the film “The Dalfram dispute 1938 – Pig Iron Bob”.

With more than 800 people in attendance including wharfies and other unionists, a large delegation from China, and family members of the main protagonists - wharfies leader Ted Roach and former Prime Minister Bob Menzies - it was a lively night.

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Greens call for immediate review of alternate university entry schemes

Lee Rhiannon 7 Apr 2015

Responding to reports that students at Sydney’s exclusive Scots College were offered guaranteed entry to Sydney University if they completed a $12,000 diploma, Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

“The fact that Scots College, an elite private boys school, was the only school included in this program guaranteeing entry to Sydney University has quite rightly concerned students and parents across NSW.

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"Reset button" should be pressed on Go8 for failure to back increased uni funding

Lee Rhiannon 1 Apr 2015

Responding to the decision of the Group of Eight to end their support for the Abbott government university deregulation plan Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"Having pulled the plug on the Pyne higher education plan the Go8 should now throw their weight behind securing funding for our public universities.

"The Go8 call for the ‘reset button' to be pressed on higher education should apply to these elite universities themselves as their actions have done such a disservice to staff, students and other universities.

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Op ed: Labor's handshake on data retention is bad news for unions

Lee's opinion piece on the the passage of the metadata laws was published today.

Mandatory data retention will not only bring about indiscriminate surveillance of all Australians — it will also enable the Liberal/ National government to supercharge its anti-union attacks.

All this is achieved with the backing of Labor.

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