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Minister Payne and Defence fail, prawn trawlers give leadership on Williamtown clean-up

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has called upon Minister Marise Payne and the Department of Defence to immediately release plans for containment of the toxic material from the Williamtown airbase and details of compensation for local residents and businesses.

“Prawn trawlers in the Hunter region have decided to delay the fishing season until results from tests along the Hunter River are delivered,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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

Through extensive questioning, Lee has ascertained that from 2003 to 2011 the Defence Department failed to inform Williamtown residents of the dangers posed by contaminants used at the airforce base. The contaminants found in run off from the Williamtown Base are perfluorinated compounds, including the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS. It is 2015, and toxic chemicals have leeched into water beyond the site. Residents of Williamtown deserve immediate answers. 

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Estimates: Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (Parramatta Female Factory Precinct)

Lee grills The Australian Heritage Council on proposed developments near the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct that would nullify its heritage status and environmental protections. She queries why the National Heritage List, which the Precinct may or may not be on, will not be released until June 2017. 

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Eve Paris Climate Conference - new coal loader set to make Australia laughing stock

The Greens have strongly criticised the decision to approve a fourth coal loader at Port Newcastle as an irresponsible act that will impose a massive health burden on people of the Hunter, damage local wildlife habitat and cause more extreme weather events.

On the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference this decision to expand coal exports will make Australia an international laughing stock.

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Letter: to Californian Lawmakers on the Kangaroo Trade

Below is my letter that was hand-delivered to each Californian Senator deliberating over whether to allow a vote on a bill that would allow unchecked import on products made from kangaroos. I was also one of 75 scientists, academics and public figures who signed an open letter to Californian lawmakers listing the growing concerns about the sustainability, cruelty and contamination risks this industrial-scale slaughter of our native wildlife presents.

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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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Australian Greens comment on Senator Leyonhjelm's Parliamentary speech about keeping native animals as pets

Australian Greens comment on Senator Leyonhjelm's Parliamentary speech about keeping native animals as pets

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said:

"Senator Leyonhjelm's speech was an attack on our national parks, which are obviously essential to both fauna and flora conservation, and must be preserved for future generations.

"Suggesting that we can stop the our extinction crisis by keeping native animals as pets, while dismissing national parks flies in the face of the scientific evidence.

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