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Speech: Maules Creek Coalmine

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (17:04): The world is turning its back on coal. So many communities and so many countries are recognising that renewables are the way of the future, that they are commercially and industrially viable, and they are putting them in place. But in Australia, because of weak planning laws at a state level and weak environment laws at a federal level, it is so hard for communities to be heard.

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Motion: Gardens of Stone

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:40): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Gardens of Stone in New South Wales and adjacent Ben Bullen, Newnes and Wolgan State Forests are spectacular landscapes that are habitats for many plants and wildlife, including national and state-listed threatened species,

(ii) in October 2014 the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission found that the pagoda landforms in that area should be afforded special significance status and the highest possible level of protection, and

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Decision on Coalpac tells mining: stop bullying communities

The rejection of Coalpac's plans for expansion is a fantastic win for the Lithgow community and the environment said NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"I commend those in the community who have been fighting a long battle against this expansion," said Senator Rhiannon.

"This decision leads the way for the protection of the stunning pagoda rock landforms and should be a sign to the mining industry - communities will not be worn down by your persistence.

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Sydney : Senator Rhiannon joins Whitehaven Coal solidarity action

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon will attend the action in Sydney in support of activists who have shut down all four of Whitehaven's open cut coal mines on the Liverpool Plains.

WHEN: 12pm TODAY 29 September
WHERE: Whitehaven Coal office, 259 George St, Sydney

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"I congratulate the protesters who have shut down all four of Whitehaven's open cut coal mines on the Liverpool Plains.

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Liberal, National and Labor parties gut protection for Murray-Darling Basin farmers against subsidence mining

The Australian Greens have condemned the Liberal, National and Labor parties for removing protection for farmers from subsidence mining in the Murray-Darling Basin in the federal Parliament tonight.

“The Liberal, Labor and National parties have deleted the section of the Water Act that requires mining companies to commission an independent expert study of surface water and groundwater impacts when planning mining projects in the Murray-Darling Basin,” Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.

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China’s move away from dirty coal: pressure on for Hunter transition plan

Unless Labor and the Coalition stop canoodling up to coal barons and start pulling together a transition plan, the Hunter Valley community will be facing further job losses, said Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon.

“China’s announcement that it will move away from dirty coal is excellent for the environment and people’s health; however, the impact on the Hunter must be taken very seriously,”  said Senator Rhiannon.

“Australia must plan and participate in China’s move away from dirty coal and towards renewables.

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Sydney Uni reputation damaged by coal mine funding

Sydney University's $1 million investment in the controversial Whitehaven coalmine will mean enormous damage for the institution's reputation unless they move quickly to withdraw the investment and apologise to impacted Aboriginal elders and locals, the Greens have warned.

Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "Sydney University Vice Chancellor Michael Spence has a responsibility to immediately withdraw the investment in Whitehaven to end support for this destructive coalmine and help protect the name of one of Australia's leading education centres.

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Adjournment speech: A tribute to Neville 'Chappy' Williams

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (21:47): I would like to move on to another issue. I would like to take this opportunity in the Australian Senate to pay tribute to Neville 'Chappy' Williams, an Aboriginal elder from western New South Wales. He has made an enormous contribution to Australia. As a former bantamweight boxer, Chappy knows a thing or two about a tough fight. After knocking out the official Australian bantamweight contender, Billy Booth, at the Golden Gloves in New South Wales, he nearly made it to the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

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