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Labor and Liberal leaders sign away basic rights

Labor and Liberal leaders have abjectly failed to make the case for today’s COAG decision to sign away yet another tranche of hard-won rights and freedoms, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Police and security agencies already have abundant powers to do their job and to arrest, interview and charge suspects,” Senator McKim said.

“The rights that the Labor and Liberal parties have eroded today are a crucial part of what set Australia apart from authoritarian regimes."

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States must resist Turnbull’s erosion of civil rights

State and territory governments should push back against Malcolm Turnbull’s latest attack on fundamental rights and liberties, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“The massive expansion of police and detention powers being proposed by the Prime Minister is yet another erosion of Australians’ basic freedoms,” Senator McKim said.

“Detention without charge is completely unjustified and incompatible with the rule of law and basic freedoms.”

“The wider use of facial recognition software will affect every Australian's privacy.”

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Greens announce plans for a Charter of Rights

As Australians, we pride ourselves on enjoying so many freedoms, yet our laws do not adequately reflect, or protect them. Today the Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale and Attorney General Spokesperson, Senator Nick McKim announced their plan to table, debate and vote on Charter of Rights legislation in this term of parliament.  

Australia is the only western democracy that does not protect the basic rights and freedoms of its people in either legislation or the constitution, said Senator Di Natale.

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Dutton's new department an attack on freedom

The creation of a new supersized department of Australia’s security and immigration agencies led by Peter Dutton would move Australia closer to becoming a police state, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Labor and the Liberals have spent the last 15 years trying to frighten Australians to justify eroding our fundamental freedoms and liberties," Senator McKim said.

"This is another step down that terrifying road.”

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Community legal funding backdown a welcome first step

The government's backdown on community legal centre funding should be the first step to properly funding the sector, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Attorney-General George Brandis has finally bowed to community pressure and reinstated the funding to CLCs that his government stripped away," Senator McKim said.

"This is a welcome step that will prevent thousands more people in need of legal assistance from being turned away."

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CLC funding welcome, but NSW should not have to clean up Brandis’ mess

The Greens say the NSW Government rescue package for community legal centres is welcome news, but that the federal government also needs to restore the funding it has stripped from CLCs. 
 
Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “Community legal centres across NSW like the Redfern Legal Centre in Sydney, the Elizabeth Evatt Legal Centre in Katoomba, the Illawarra Legal Centre and Women’s Legal Service NSW have been bracing themselves for the devastating impact of the Turnbull government’s cuts. 
 
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18C retention a great win for multicultural Australia

The Australian Greens congratulate multicultural Australia for uniting and standing strong to defend 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
 
"It was so inspiring to see people from right across multicultural Australia come together and fight to protect their communities from racism," Australian Greens spokesperson for Justice Senator Nick McKim said.
 
"It is thanks to these strong communities that the Senate was able to stand against the governments divisive legislation."
 

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Brandis to face Senate inquiry over WA deal

The Senate has voted to establish an inquiry that will investigate the deal between the Western Australian government and the Commonwealth regarding the Bell Act, and the involvement of Attorney-General George Brandis and former Treasurer Joe Hockey.

"This motion passed today compels Senator Brandis and Senator Mathias Cormann to appear before the inquiry to answer questions about their involvement in this deal," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"The Greens believe that former Treasurer Joe Hockey should also be called to give evidence."

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Greens to push for Senate inquiry into Brandis' deal

The Greens will tomorrow move to refer matters associated with the Bell Group Companies Act (WA) to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

"The allegation that Senator Brandis instructed the Solicitor General to effectively run dead in the High Court are the most serious he has faced in a career that is strewn with misconduct," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"We need to get Senator Brandis out of witness protection and into an inquiry where he can be questioned about these extraordinary allegations."

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Richard Di Natale at the Greens' National Conference

Leader of the Australian Greens Party Dr Richard Di Natale has called on the government to put the interests of farmers ahead of their wealthy mates and support the Greens’ compromise plan on the backpacker tax.

“If this was a tax cut for Gina Rinehart, the National Party would be supporting it.”

“The simple solution here is to tax backpackers like Australian residents so that they are eligible for the tax-free threshold and then pay tax on money they earn after that.”

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