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Speech: New South Wales Government

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:37): On another matter, the Liberal Premier, Michael Baird, is seen as the fresh face of the can-do leader of Australia's biggest state. But when you look behind the smiles and the spin, this regime is looking more and more like another Liberal government that is rarely talked about in Liberal circles. Usually parties are proud of their history, but there is one part of Liberal party history that has been airbrushed away. The Askin government was in power in New South Wales from 1965 till 1975.

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Increase in political donation threshold to $13,000 spurs call for reform

Lee Rhiannon 17 Jun 2015

With the threshold for the disclosure of political donations set to hit $13,000 from 1 July the Greens plan to step up their campaign for greater transparency for donations to political parties, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"The increase in the disclosure threshold to $13,000 makes a farce of the Abbott government's stated commitment to transparency," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The Prime Minister's 2013 election platform commited to ‘restore accountability and improve transparency measures to be more accountable to you'.

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Christopher Pyne delivers another win for private education sector

Lee Rhiannon 17 Jun 2015

Responding to the Abbott government's changes to student visa applications, Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"The only winners under this new scheme will be the private colleges who can again tap into a stream of international students.

"International student numbers are growing strongly under the existing regime - up more than 11 per cent compared to 2014.

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Speech: Housing Affordability

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:37): It is a week since Treasurer Joe Hockey said: 'If housing was unaffordable in Sydney nobody would be buying it.' This disastrous bit of ad libbing from the Treasurer gives us a useful insight into exactly how out of touch with reality he is. The latest Fairfax Ipsos poll, released a few days ago, shows that 80 per cent of Sydneysiders believe that housing in Sydney is unaffordable-80 per cent!-and just three per cent believe that local housing in Sydney is 'very affordable'.

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40 years of Animal Liberation

"All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering, the animals are our equals."

 It is 40 years since Australian philosopher Peter Singer wrote this truth in book that shook our understanding of animals and continues to shape the way we treat them.

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Senate report: Coalition backs Ag-Gag bill designed to shut down exposure of animal cruelty

Tony Abbott's Liberal-National government has thrown its weight behind Senator Chris Back's bill to prosecute whistle blowers and investigators who expose animal cruelty, said Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon.

The six member Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, which has three Government Senators has recommended Senator Back's Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill be passed with a minor change.

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Speech: Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015 Second Reading

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (20:41): This bill, known by many as the 'dead koala power bill', should not pass. What the government calls the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill is shameful. This is a saga that highlights how far the Abbot government will go to deliver for its corporate constituency. In this case, the Liberal-National corporate constituency is the fossil fuel industry and those companies that want to continue logging native forests.

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Greens launch Western Sydney 'stop TAFE privatisation' tour

Lee Rhiannon 12 Jun 2015

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW MP John Kaye will be visiting Western Sydney TAFE campuses today to call on local state and federal MPs, both Labor and Liberal, to stop their parties' push to privatise TAFE.

The Greens will meet with students, staff, teachers and community members to discuss how the competitive funding reforms are decimating TAFE in Western Sydney.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "Despite the critical importance of TAFE to Western Sydney, its future is now in question.

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