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Australian activist arrested at Lynas Malaysia protest - mass blockade

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has congratulated the Australians who are in Malaysia supporting thousands of locals protesting against the construction of an Australian toxic rare earth refinery plant near a city of 600,000 people.

The processing plant being built by Australian miner Lynas Corporation has met with strong resistance from locals with protests as big as 15 000.

"I am concerned about the 16 locals arrested during yesterday's peaceful protests including Australian Natalie Lowrey who has been detained for over 24 hours," said Senator Rhiannon.

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Bishop's corporatised aid plan set to damage communities

The Greens say the Coalition government's plan for overseas aid announced today is reminiscent of the discredited aid policies of the 1980s with Australian companies set to profit at the expense of impoverished communities in the Asia Pacific region.

"Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has corporatised Australia's overseas aid program to such a degree it could cost lives, while opening the door to corrupt practices," said Greens aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Labor refuses to support call to work towards the UN MDG 0.7% target

It’s incredibly disappointing that neither the Labor Party nor the Coalition supported my amendments to a Senate motion today which called for Australia to work towards the UN MDG 0.7% of GNI target.

I moved the following amendment to part (3): calls on the Government to reverse its $4.5 billion in cuts to Australia’s aid program and to work towards 0.7 per cent of GNI allocated to overseas aid by increasing funding to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2017-18.

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