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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Department of Education and Training)

Senator RHIANNON: This morning when we were trying to explore some of the advertising issues, I asked some questions that I would like to return to. Principle 4 of the department's guidelines for expenditure on advertising states, 'Any campaign must be instigated on the basis of a demonstrated need.' It is a quote you would obviously know well. Other than the government's desperation to pass its legislation, what was the demonstrated need for this advertising campaign?

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Greens will block any moves on minimum wage, penalty rates

Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt says the business and government push on minimum wages and penalty rates is likely to fail in the Senate after the next election.

Responding to reports of a renewed IR push by business leader, Mr Bandt, the Greens spokesperson on industrial relations, said the Greens would block any moves to cut minimum wages or penalty rates before or after the next election.

"The minimum wage should be increased not cut," Mr Bandt said.

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Minimum wage and penalty rates under threat– Greens

Greens Leader Christine Milne says the minimum wage and penalty rates are under threat in Australia.

"It is absolutely clear that regardless of the findings of the Productivity Commission, the Coalition is intent on making life harder for Australian workers," Senator Milne said.

"This is a recipe for growing inequality and is deliberate. It is in the DNA of the Coalition and their backers like Gina Rinehart to reduce the minimum wage and increase the gap between rich and poor.

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Qantas and Liberals Dud Tasmanian Jobseekers

Greens Deputy Leader and Workplace Relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, and Transport spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice, have condemned Qantas and the Liberals for betraying Tasmanian jobseekers.

"Qantas and the Liberals have betrayed jobseekers in Tasmania," said Mr Bandt. "When it was closing its Brisbane and Melbourne call centres, Qantas sought to reassure the public that it would not send its mainland jobs offshore.

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China’s move away from dirty coal: pressure on for Hunter transition plan

Unless Labor and the Coalition stop canoodling up to coal barons and start pulling together a transition plan, the Hunter Valley community will be facing further job losses, said Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon.

“China’s announcement that it will move away from dirty coal is excellent for the environment and people’s health; however, the impact on the Hunter must be taken very seriously,”  said Senator Rhiannon.

“Australia must plan and participate in China’s move away from dirty coal and towards renewables.

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Motion: Creation of a national portable workplace entitlement scheme

Lee moves that the Education and Employment References Committee investigate the creation of a nationwide portable workplace entitlement scheme for long service leave and any other workplace entitlements. 

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:38): I, and also on behalf of Senator Madigan, move:

That the following matter be referred to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 24 November 2014:

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Tony Abbott Undercutting Local Workers Across Country: Bandt

Responding to reports that the Government intends to allow employers to pay skilled migrants less than local workers, Deputy Greens Leader and Workplace Relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, said that Tony Abbott is undercutting local workers.

“That stench coming from Canberra is Work Choices rising from the dead,” said Mr Bandt.

“First the Government cuts part of Australia out of the mainland migration zone and now they’re excising parts of the country from our labour laws.

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Not Too Late for Abbott to Save Qantas

Deputy Greens Leader and Industry spokesperson Adam Bandt MP, and the Greens Transport spokesperson Senator Janet Rice, today condemned Tony Abbott for walking away from Qantas in its hour of need and helping bring about the largest loss in Australia’s aviation history.

The Greens have challenged the Abbott government to act to save Qantas and its local workers, after the national carrier posted a record $2.8 billion loss.

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Abbott Dances to Gina Rinehart’s Tune on Worker Exploitation

“The Government is set to give Gina Rinehart her wish and exclude the Northern Territory from national labour laws that protect people’s rights at work,” said acting Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP.

“Put yourself in the shoes of a young jobseeker in the Northern Territory, where about one in nine are without a job.

“Northern Territory’s young job seekers will be forced to compete with workers bought in from overseas who don’t have to comply with Australian labour laws and who can work for half the wages.

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