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Productivity Commission VET report: Greens caution against privatisation push

The Gillard government's reform agenda to develop a more skilled workforce and boost the economic outlook by increased participation in higher education and training is not being advanced by its privatisation push, and any efforts to strengthen Vocational Education and Training (VET) outcomes must swing the balance back in TAFE's favour, said Senator Lee Rhiannon today in response to the Productivity Commission's report into the impact of COAG reforms.

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Women and super: Greens call for reform to address inequity

Ensuring women have sufficient superannuation to last them in retirement demands that the government address policy settings around superannuation that negatively impact upon women, says Greens Senator and women's spokesperson Lee Rhiannon ("Money crunch forces women back to work", Sydney Morning Herald today).

"A plan to address the gender gap in retirement income is something the Federal Minister for the Status of Women Julie Collins should put at the top of her 'to do' list," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Greens reintroduce bill to ban live exports

Media release - 21 March 2012

The Australian Greens this afternoon reintroduced a bill into the Senate to ban live animal exports, the Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2012.

"The live animal export trade is cruel, inhuman and immoral and the vast majority of Australians want it shut down.  This Greens bill would put an immediate end to the horrific treatment of Australian livestock in overseas abattoirs", said Greens Senator and animal spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.

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Skills shortage solved by investing in public VET, free education

 Federal Labor's proposed overhaul of skills training provides a great opportunity to boost skills and jobs, but the government must avoid forcing students to pay more, says Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon ("Shortage of skills slowing NSW economy", p 2 Daily Telegraph today).

"The extra 320,000 skilled workers NSW needs has been exacerbated by federal Labor policy which is focused on privatising the VET sector and increasing the amount students pay on fees and charges," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Greens build sustainable steel jobs for Illawarra

On a day of nationwide rallies by steel workers calling on Tony Abbott to back the Steel Transformation Plan, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon says her party's support for the legislation and proposed amendments requiring the government refer to the Green Jobs Illawarra Action plan when allocating the $300 million to the industry was a big step forward for job security in the region.

 "The Greens have taken the Greens Jobs Illawarra Action Plan into federal parliament and held it up as a model for similar steel regions suffering economic hardship," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Jobs Forum no substitute for manufacturing inquiry

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

I was one of about 100 participants at the federal government’s Jobs Forum. If the benchmark of a successful forum was job creation how did it rate?

AMWU and AWU national secretaries, Dave Oliver and Paul Howes, were generous in their praise. Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that companies, which receive more than $20 million in government grants, will be required to fill out and make public Australian Industry Participation forms.

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Jobs forum a start, manufacturing inquiry and industry plans needed

Commenting on today’s Jobs Forum in Canberra, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said the event highlighted the need to develop detailed renewable energy industry plans at both a national and regional level to help stimulate the ailing manufacturing sector and create long-term sustainable employment.

“Today’s ideas swap was welcome, but constructing a workable plan to revive Australia’s manufacturing sector requires a parliamentary inquiry as proposed by the Greens,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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