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Senate motion on WTO emergency powers to save Port Kembla steel industry

The Abbott government will be asked to activate World Trade Organisation emergency powers to save the Port Kembla steel industry if a motion before the Australian Senate is passed.

The motion, to be debated on Thursday 10 September, has been moved by Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Victorian independent Senator John Madigan. Full wording of the motion is below.

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "We have introduced this motion as the Abbott government is dragging the chain on dealing with the crisis facing the Illawarra.

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Speech: Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Direct Lending and Other Measures) Bill 2014

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (09:43): The first part of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Direct Lending and Other Measures) Bill 2014 does extend the mandate of Efic's activities from supporting the export of capital goods, to all goods. So we are really going from a situation where so many of Efic's loans went for large mining projects and the infrastructure that supported them, and other related projects, to really being about services, consumer goods and many aspects of what are called SMEs, small and medium sized enterprises.

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

CHAIR: We will now move on to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.

Senator RHIANNON: Mr Hunter, in your letter to the Canberra Times on the ninth of this month you stated:

EFIC's independent directors have additional directorships within the finance community.
I am actually really tight for time; the chair is on my tail. So, if that is not a short answer, can you take this on notice? Can you state what those additional directorships are for your independent directors?

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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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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee: Trade and Foreign Investment (Protecting the Public Interest) Bill 2014

Dr Rimmer : My submission and a number of submissions from particular unions raised concerns about the role of investor-state dispute resolution in relation to matters of industrial relations. From an Australian perspective, it has been bubbling along for a few years. The ACTU raised concerns about investor-state dispute settlement a few years ago.

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Speech: Mining tax repeal

What a week! We have seen the government really deliver in spades, so to speak, to the mining industry. They are right out there, you would have to say—sycophantic, pandering. It is going to be tough, because, when you do not have such a revenue stream coming in, somebody has to pay. What we are seeing here is a very clear reason why the coalition has earnt its name as the party of the one per cent. The government is actually propping up a dying industry, particularly when it comes to the mining of coal and the use of coal.

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