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Coalition and Labor push on with cashless welfare card

The Coalition and the Labor party have voted down a Greens disallowance motion that would have stopped the cashless welfare card trial extensions.   

“When the yearlong trials of the cashless welfare card were passed into legislation with the help of Labor, we feared that this would lead to an extended rollout. Unfortunately this has happened. 

“I am disappointed that the Labor party have continuously backed the Government on the cashless welfare card trials. They claim to care for vulnerable people but actions speak louder than words.

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Senate unites to compel Pyne to come clean on Saudi arms deals

A Greens motion demanding transparency on Minister Christopher Pyne’s arms-dealing tour of Saudi Arabia has sparked a rare moment of unity with the entire senate crossbench and Opposition voting against the Government.

“It takes a lot to unite this crossbench, but the idea of Christopher Pyne selling weapons and defence equipment to Saudi Arabia appears to have done it,” Greens Defence Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

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Abuse of people with disability is not going to stop, we need a Royal Commission

Following the Four Corners report that showed more harrowing footage of people with disability living in group care, both the Coalition and the Labor Party have voted against a Greens senate motion calling on the Government to reconsider its decision and commit to a Royal Commission.

“It is really disappointing that both the old parties voted against the Government instigating a Royal Commission”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Senate demands answers on Navy ships needed in Debbie response

To move—That the Senate—

   a) notes with concern reports that the Royal Australian Navy’s two largest ships, the Canberra Class Amphibious Assault Ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, have engine problems and have been unable to join the emergency response to Cyclone Debbie;

   b) notes that:

      i Canberra Class Amphibious Assault Ships are our key asset for humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations, and

      ii HMAS Canberra was conducting trials with the United States’ Marine Corps as recently as last week; and

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Minister Pyne's visit to Saudi Arabia

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that

The Senate –

   a). Notes :

      i) the Australia Defence Department has approved four military exports to Saudi Arabia in the past year, 

      ii) Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne visited Riyadh in December 2016 to promote Australian defence material to senior Government figures including Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah al-Saud, the head of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard;

   b) Orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister for Defence by no later than 6pm on 30 March 2017:

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MP expense reform needs muscle – penalties essential

Lee Rhiannon 29 Mar 2017
The public will remain sceptical about the Turnbull government’s latest attempt to clean up MPs’ expenses if the measures do not include clear compliance and penalty provisions, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 
 
Senator Rhiannon was commenting on the Parliamentary Business Resources Bill 2017 to be introduced this week by the Special Minister of State Senator Scott Ryan.
 
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