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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.

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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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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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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: Mr Varghese, in what countries in Africa is Australia represented by honorary consuls?

Mr Varghese : Could I take that on notice? I do not have that information with me, and I do not think there is anyone in the room who would have it.

Senator RHIANNON: If you do have honorary consuls, could you indicate what their occupations are in the countries that they represent and whether they have any links with mining companies.

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Export Finance and Insurance Corporation)

Senator RHIANNON: Are you monitoring the current developments with the Export-Import Bank of the United States?

Mr Hunter : We are aware of some press and some of the developments there.

Senator RHIANNON: Have you considered the implications for export finance if the US Congress fails to vote to extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank? What do you see those implications as being?

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Australian Skills and Quality Authority)

Lee Rhiannon 3 Jun 2015

Senator RHIANNON: I want to clarify those figures. I am interested in since 25 February; you would obviously remember the date when the minister announced ASQA would undertake an audit of 23 RTOs. Have any audits into other RTOs been launched since then?

Mr Robinson : Yes. In terms of our audits, I will get that information for you.

Senator RHIANNON: Can you tell us which RTOs too, please?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)

Senator RHIANNON: Mr Varghese, I was hoping you would have this information because it would inform our deliberations today-if not, could you take it on notice. Could you provide the committee with a departmental breakdown-a table-of budget estimates for 2014-15 and 2015-16 for ODA eligible expenditure by all government departments?

Mr Varghese : That is probably already covered in what we have either on our website or in the budget document. But the chief financial officer may be able to add.

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