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Speech: Freedom from Religion

Lee Rhiannon 24 Nov 2015

Lee recently launched a book called Freedom From Religion in a Canberra bookshop. The author, Ms Wallace, argues that freedom from religion or belief is the real premise of article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom from suppression or imposition of religious or non-religious doctrines by the state or anyone else.

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (21:53):

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Ferris appointment to Innovation Australia puts spotlight on political donations

Lee Rhiannon 19 Nov 2015

The appointment of Bill Ferris, chair of CHAMP Private Equity, as head of Innovation Australia again puts the spotlight on the need for a ban on for-profit companies donating to political parties, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 

“CHAMP, the company headed by Mr Ferris, has made donations to both the Liberal and Labor parties, including $15,000 to The Wentworth Forum in 2007/08.

“The Wentworth Forum is a fundraising initiative dedicated to ‘(engaging) members of the Wentworth community and other personal supporters of Malcolm Turnbull.

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Government shelves bill to wind back MPs’ Gold Pass travel

Lee Rhiannon 9 Nov 2015

The Turnbull government has shelved a Bill with bipartisan support to end the Gold Pass travel entitlement scheme, Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 

“Last week the bill to amend the Gold Pass travel entitlements scheme was quietly dropped from this year’s work list in the Senate,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

“This Bill has the support of the Greens, Labor and probably most of the crossbench and there is no good reason to delay it. 

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Estimates: Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee (OAIC letter)

Lee Rhiannon 20 Oct 2015

Lee grills Senator Brandis and the Attorney-General's Department on their contradictory statements about the obligation to continue to fund the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) while simultaneously dwindling funding in preparation to abolish the position, a move which is yet to be backed by the Senate. The OAIC oversees privacy and Freedom of Information (FOI) regulation.

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Estimates: Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (AEC Donations and Disclosures)

Lee Rhiannon 20 Oct 2015

Lee questions AEC officials about the stunning inadequacy of our federal disclosure laws around associated entities, highlighting the issues around political donations and associated entities, and the restrictive statute of limitations. It comes to light that there is a 3 year statuatory period, and a "delayed public awareness" in which the AEC is forbidden by law from publishing all donations and findings until the 1st February following a financial year.

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Time for Turnbull to lead on democracy - pass political donation reform before federal election

Lee Rhiannon 12 Oct 2015

The Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has welcomed the decision of the NSW Premier Mike Baird to add his voice to the growing call for national uniform political donation reform.

"Now we have state premiers backing the call for political donation reform, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should ensure the changes are in place before the next federal election," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The High Court case handed down last week cleared the way for the quick passage of reforms.

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