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Greens announce opposition to backpacker tax

The Australian Greens today confirmed that they oppose the backpacker tax, saying it would unfairly impact on farmers and growers.

"The Government's backpacker tax is a grab for revenue that ignores the impact on growers”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Agriculture Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Growers rely on working holiday makers for key seasonal work, such workers will go elsewhere instead of Australia adversely affecting our farming sector.

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Country of Origin labelling is a step in the right direction but it could be clearer: Greens

Australian Greens spokesperson on Agriculture Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed the roll out of country of origin labelling by the Government today but said the model doesn’t fully deliver for farmers or consumers.   

“The labels revealed today are a step in the right direction but would not give consumers as much information as the approach recommended by the Greens.

“The country of origin labelling bill introduced by the Greens last year was the result of more than a decade of consultations. It is a shame that Bill sitting before Parliament wasn’t used.

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A register of foreign owned farmland is pointless if it is not public: Greens

Moves by the Federal Government to make private a register of foreign agricultural land ownership has been slammed by the Australian Greens as ‘defeating the purpose of transparency and tougher scrutiny for foreign ownership of Australian farmland’.

Australian Greens Agricultural spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today:

“It is extremely disappointing to see the Coalition government back flipping on legislation passed last year. I must ask – what have they got to hide?

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Up to 23 consignments of produce sent overseas from farm linked to salmonella outbreak

Questioning by Senator Rachel Siewert in Senate estimates last night has revealed Australian lettuce linked to an outbreak of salmonella may have been exported overseas.

“Up to 23 consignments of produce from the same establishment linked to the salmonella outbreak have headed to Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

“Australia has a reputation of clean, green fresh export products that help drive our export economy. To hear that products are being exported from a farm that has just had major contamination issues is a concern.

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Boosted oversight of foreign owned land and water a win for WA


The Greens have secured an Australian-first register of foreign owned water entitlements, in agreeing to support government legislation that gives the Foreign Investment Review Board greater scope to check if sales of Australian land to overseas buyers is in the national interest.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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Australian Greens comment on S. KIDMAN & CO. LIMITED sale knockback to foreign purchasers

“The Australian Greens welcome the Treasurer's decision to heed the advice of the Foreign Investment Review Board and refuse authorisation for the foreign acquisition of S. Kidman and Co, which is Australia’s largest private land holding being 2.5 per cent of Australia’s agricultural land”, said Australian Greens spokesperson on Agriculture, Senator Rachel Siewert.

“The Kidman properties are not only iconic, they have high environmental values and are an important part of our agricultural production.

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WA mining and farming land access agreement doesn’t give landholders the right to say no

The Farming Land Access Agreement Template released by the Western Australian Government today does not change the fact that farmers still don’t have legal rights to say no to petroleum activities, including fracking for shale gas, on their land.

“It’s shameful that farmers do not have any legal rights to protect their land, water and the climate from oil and gas when the big petroleum companies come knocking,” Australian Greens Senator for WA, Rachel Siewert, said.

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Steve Marsh appeal loss a blow for non-GMO farmers across the nation

The Court of Appeals’ decision in the Steve Marsh case is a blow to everyone who stands against GM crops and the impact will be disastrous, according to Greens WA Spokesperson for Food and GMOs Lynn MacLaren MLC.

“This most recent decision proves that our State laws don’t protect non-GM farmers or their markets,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The vast majority of farmers are non-GM or organic so the impact on their industry will be incalculable. We need urgent law reform to provide the necessary wide-scale protection.

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