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Energy market review a damp squib on reform: Greens

The Final Report of the Review of Australia’s Energy Market governance has missed an opportunity to press for badly needed reform of our national electricity market, which is holding back the roll out of clean energy, driving up consumer prices and is a barrier to real action on climate change.

The review panel has correctly identified the “strategic policy deficit” in current arrangements and the twin challenges of climate change and the growth in clean and distributed energy, but has backed away from recommending changes to market governance that are needed.

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Greens take Steel Industry Procurement Plan to NSW and federal parliaments

Following the release of the BIS Shrapnel report on a government procurement plan for steel the Greens have renewed their call for the NSW and federal governments to immediately adopt procurement frameworks for all publicly funded projects.

BIS Shrapnel recommends a minimum requirement of 85 to 90 per cent Australian steel use in all government products. Their report shows that a procurement plan would rescue the Port Kembla blast furnace.

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MOTION: Parramatta Female Factory Precinct

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

I move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) the green bans movement led by the New South Wales Builders Labourers' Federation, the forerunner of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), saved key heritage precincts in Sydney, including the Rocks and Victoria Street at Kings Cross,

(ii) the CFMEU New South Wales Branch has placed a ‘green ban' on the iconic Parramatta Female Factory Precinct,

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MOTION: Steel Industry

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:01):

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate-
(a) notes that:

(i) urgent action is needed to ensure that Australia does not lose its steelmaking capacity, in the wake of the global steel industry crisis, and

(ii) steel-producing nations are responding to the oversupply and dumping of sub cost steel with a range of strategies that include increasing public procurement, restructuring and emergency safeguards in the form of temporary targeted tariffs; and

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Abbott’s science and research failure continues: Bandt

Overall science and research funding continues to stagnate under the Abbott government, with further cuts in the Budget and important programs stuck on life support.

While the continuation of the Medical Research Fund is very welcome, despite threats to make it contingent on the GP co-payment, concerns remain on the source of its funding from cuts to the health Budget.

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Budget 2015 must save science and respect research: Greens

Greens Deputy Leader and science and research spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to lift investment in science and research in the upcoming Budget, starting by reversing the over $100 million in cuts to the CSIRO and offering a fair pay deal to CSIRO staff. Staff at the CSIRO have today began industrial action after negotiations over pay and conditions stalled.

“Tony Abbott’s last Budget was a killer for science and research,” Mr Bandt said.

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