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Greens committed to reform that gives voters control over preferences

Lee Rhiannon 14 May 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon has today affirmed her party's support for the abolition of group voting tickets in the Senate that allow political parties to control voter's preferences.

"The current Senate voting system does not allow voters to control their preferences - instead it gives that power over entirely to political parties," Senator Rhiannon said.

"This creates an incentive for backroom operators to create ‘front parties' in order to harvest voter's preferences without their knowledge and support.

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Abbott's mining companies win - National Water Commission shut down

Australian Greens water spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon says the Abbott government's friends in the mining industry will be celebrating today's vote in the Senate in favour of shutting down the National Water Commission.

"As a nation, we are facing major challenges to our water supplies. Mining impacted communities are especially at risk as the process uses vast amounts of water. The National Water commission provided crucial oversight of our water policies," said Senator Rhiannon.

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NSW snubbed by Abbott government budget, local communities hit

Lee Rhiannon 13 May 2015

Australian Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon has said the Abbott government has kept many of the harsh and unfair elements of the 2014 budget and has failed to deliver a credible economic plan to create jobs and invest in public services in NSW.

"Cuts of $2 billion to health care will hit NSW hard. Funding cuts will make it harder for our public hospitals to meet increasing demand," said Senator Rhiannon.

"Included in the cuts to health are cuts to preventative health research, chronic disease prevention and rural outreach.

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Speech: National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill 2014

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (10:45): The Greens do not support the amendments in the National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill 2014. The amendments do not improve the situation. We need to remember that this legislation is about removing the National Water Commission and that once the legislation has gone through that body is gone. The amendments that we now have before us to the Productivity Commission are not a saviour in any way at all, and that is what we need to be focusing on in this aspect of the debate.

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Motions: WestConnex

Lee Rhiannon 13 May 2015


Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:51): I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 712 standing in my name for today, relating to the WestConnex motorway project.

Leave granted.

Senator RHIANNON: I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate-

(a) notes:

(i) an independent report commissioned by the City of Sydney analysing the traffic impact of the WestConnex project found that congestion on Parramatta Road would increase following the motorway's construction, and

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Australia’s commitment to alleviating poverty – trashed

Greens spokesperson for international aid Senator Lee Rhiannon has said the Abbott government has trashed our overseas aid program with cuts totalling $11 billion since they came into office, with the bulk of the remaining aid budget directed away from programs targeting poverty alleviation.

"It is shameful that the primary purpose of aid programs under the Liberal/National government must be for Australia's national interest and not poverty reduction," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Pyne's copy and paste budget fails students, staff and the community

Lee Rhiannon 13 May 2015

The Australian Greens have said the Abbott government has learned nothing from its two failed attempts at deregulating Australian universities, slashing billions from higher education and pouring public money into the coffers of private higher education companies, with all these measures back in the 2015 budget.

"Universities are again set to receive a 20 per cent cut while the Abbott government has restated its commitment to handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to private, for-profit education companies," said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Senator Rhiannon stands in solidarity with budget eve student, staff protestors

Lee Rhiannon 12 May 2015

Statement to be read out on behalf of Senator Lee Rhiannon at the ‘Students Strike Back' Education Action Network rally:

Earlier this year, the Chilean Congress introduced free higher education at universities across the country. Chilean students celebrated the end to their battle with an inadequate, inequitable, market-based higher education system.

The education revolution in Chile was powered not by politicians in Congress, but by students in the streets.

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Time for Pyne to breakup with Lomborg

Lee Rhiannon 11 May 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon today said Education Minister Christopher Pyne should give up on trying to find a home for Bjorn Lomborg and spend his time prioritising students and university staff.

"Minister Pyne is desperately running around to find a university to host the Bjorn Lomborg show when he should be focusing on how to use the federal budget to put students, staff and universities first ," said Senator Rhiannon.

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