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What Did The Greens Get Up To In The First Two Weeks Of Parliament In 2017

As the Australian Greens Whip I give a regular insight into what’s happening in Parliament with the top pieces of legislation, amendments, motions, questions, and matters of public importance that the Australian Greens work on each sitting week/fortnight. In a tough 24 hour media cycle, often work done in the run of a sitting fortnight doesn’t make it to the media. The intention of this summary is to keep you informed on the work we do. The first two weeks were packed with exciting work that spans across campaigns and issues.

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Lights out for South Australians to protect profits for big power companies

SA Power Networks has admitted to staying quiet for a week and a half on a software glitch that saw an additional 60,000 South Australian homes out of power during load shedding this month, following intense questioning from Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young at today’s ‘Senate Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World’ hearing in Adelaide.

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Greens' response to overdoses at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl

“The drug overdoses that occurred last night are another reminder that both state and federal governments are failing young Australians. We need politicians to do what they’re paid to do - make laws that put people’s safety first," Senator Richard Di Natale, leader of the Australian Greens said today.
 
“We know that young people will continue to try drugs. We can’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not going to happen. What we need to do is give them the tools they need to make educated choices. 
 

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Senate orders snap inquiry into Roe 8 breaches

The Senate will conduct a snap inquiry into the repeated, unforgivable breaches of environmental conditions at the Beeliar wetlands, after a Greens motion today was supported by the Senate.

"We've seen evidence of dozens of breaches of environmental conditions for the project, which may mean that the project is proceeding illegally. The destruction at the Beeliar wetlands should cease," Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader and Senator for WA Ludlam said.

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Senate calls for a UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in Myanmar

Today, the Senate invited the Australian Government to consider calling for a UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in Myanmar.  The Senate motion was in response to the atrocities being committed against the Rohingya people in Rakhine State. 

The Senate also urged the Government to call on Myanmar to assert religious and ethnic equality of all people.

Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam moved the motion. 

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Government must face facts: South Australian schools will lose $335 million

The Senate has called on Federal Education Minister to explain which South Australian schools are set to suffer as a result of the 2018 Gonski funding cliff, following an Australian Greens motion passing this afternoon.

“Schools across South Australia set to lose out on $335 million in funding as the Government carelessly heads toward the Gonski funding cliff next year. Education Minister Simon Birmingham needs to face up to the fact that schools in his state will face losing teachers and programs,” Australian Greens education spokesperson Senator Hanson-Young said.

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Way forward for marriage equality in this Parliament

Janet Rice 15 Feb 2017

The Senate has delivered a consensus report on the government’s draft exposure marriage equality Bill, providing a path for marriage equality to happen in this Parliament.

“This unprecedented show of collaboration, negotiation and consensus has given us a way forward to achieve marriage equality in this Parliament,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson and member of the Committee.

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