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Speech: National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Governance and Other Matters) Bill 2020

I rise to make a contribution to the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Governance and Other Matters) Bill 2020. The bill makes substantial changes to the Australian Skills Quality Authority's governance structure, establishes the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Advisory Council and revises arrangements for data sharing and access pertaining to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. The Greens will not oppose this bill, but we are not without concern.

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Speech: Paid Pandemic Leave

I rise to speak to the Australian Greens Fair Work Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020 that I introduced in the Senate during the last sitting. This bill will protect all workers during the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are living through unprecedented times—I don't know how many people have said that or how many times, but it is true: COVID-19 is drastically changing our way of life. This is a global health crisis with no-one left untouched by its impacts. This is a difficult time for all of us, there's no doubt. This is a strange time. This is not a normal time.

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Environment minister should not put marginal mining project ahead of Tasmanian interests

Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson today calls on the federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley not to weaken environmental conditions that protect Tasmanian devils for the benefit of mining company Venture Minerals. This comes as peaceful protesters disrupt mining activities at the controversial re-opening of the Riley Creek Mine in the Tarkine. 

“I have formally written to Sussan Ley to ask why she is considering weakening federal environmental protections at the request of a mining company. 

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Punitive Approach For Struggling Students Will Cause Harm

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said the federal government’s move to punish students who struggle to find their feet at university is all about saving money, and nothing to do with ‘putting students’ interests first’.

Senator Faruqi said:

“There’s no doubt some students struggle at university, but choosing to punish rather than support them makes no sense.

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Major parties reject the need for parliamentary standards

Despite the conduct of politicians having declined year on year and public confidence in democracy bottoming out, both major parties have rejected the need for binding, independently enforced parliamentary standards proposed by the Greens.
 
Responding to today’s bipartisan recommendation of the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee to oppose the Greens Parliamentary Standards Bill introduced in October 2019, Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson on democracy, Senator Larissa Waters said:
 

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INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY: 2020 IS THE YEAR TO LISTEN TO YOUNG PEOPLE

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Australian Greens Youth spokesperson, and Australia's youngest Senator, Jordon Steele-John has called for greater engagement with young people to help shape our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today is International Youth Day and the theme for 2020 is Youth Engagement for Global Action, which seeks to highlight the need for greater engagement with young people to enhance formal institutional politics and process at the local, national and global level.

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Government laziness is impeding the important work of the Disability Royal Commission

Wednesday 12 August

The second progress report of the Royal Commission into the Violence, Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect of People with Disability makes it clear that the limitations of confidentiality provisions are impeding on people's willingness to speak with the Commission and affecting the scope of the Commission's work, Australian Greens Disability Rights and Services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said.

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