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Williamtown pollution payout insult – Defence Dept knew pollution on base in 2003

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that the small offer of financial assistance by the RAAF to fishers who stand to lose their business due to toxic run off from Williamtown Base is totally inadequate and an insult as the Defence Department have known about the contamination since 2003.

“The RAAF so called assistance package for fishers impacted by the Williamtown toxic contamination is an insult and will do nothing to compensate for lost business or ensure their survival,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Qld Government tries to continue on with 50 year old Great Barrier Reef shark control program unchanged

The Greens are urging the Palaszczuk Government to update its Great Barrier Reef shark control program, which is now open for public consultation, with non-lethal methods.

Qld Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said:

"The Palaszczuk Government is trying to continue on without changes to this 53 year old program, which has killed 85 000 marine animals, including sharks, turtles and dolphins.

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Minister Payne and Defence fail, prawn trawlers give leadership on Williamtown clean-up

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has called upon Minister Marise Payne and the Department of Defence to immediately release plans for containment of the toxic material from the Williamtown airbase and details of compensation for local residents and businesses.

“Prawn trawlers in the Hunter region have decided to delay the fishing season until results from tests along the Hunter River are delivered,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Williamtown)

Through extensive questioning, Lee has ascertained that from 2003 to 2011 the Defence Department failed to inform Williamtown residents of the dangers posed by contaminants used at the airforce base. The contaminants found in run off from the Williamtown Base are perfluorinated compounds, including the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS.

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Turnbull Government defending Abbott plan to stop community from enforcing environment law

The Attorney-General last night in Senate Estimates confirmed the Turnbull Government was still pushing Abbott's plan to remove community rights to protect the environment.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said:

"Trying to silence communities, farmers and everyone who cares about the environment is an atrocious idea and, if the Turnbull Government brings this on in the Senate, it will be defeated.

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Still no action on clean-up of Shen Neng ship wreck in the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian Greens are calling of the state and federal governments to urgently start cleaning up the Shen Neng contamination in the Great Barrier Reef and then recoup the cost from the ship's owners.

Questioning by Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, in Senate Estimates today revealed clean-up work has not begun.

"It's now more than five years since the disaster, but the federal government is waiting on the outcome of lengthy court case against the ship owner's insurance company which has already dragged on for two years. 

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Estimates: Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (Parramatta Female Factory Precinct)

Lee grills The Australian Heritage Council on proposed developments near the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct that would nullify its heritage status and environmental protections. She queries why the National Heritage List, which the Precinct may or may not be on, will not be released until June 2017. 

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Abbott-era coal obsession lives on in Turnbull Government's approval Adani Carmichael mine

The Australian Greens condemn the Turnbull Government's re-approval today of the Adani Carmichael mine to export coal through the Great Barrier Reef.

"The Coalition Government's coal obsession is clearly continuing under Malcolm Turnbull," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson, said.

"The world is desperately trying to avert catastrophic global warming, and yet the Turnbull Government has gone ahead and ticked off on what would become Australia's largest coal mine.

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Eve Paris Climate Conference - new coal loader set to make Australia laughing stock

The Greens have strongly criticised the decision to approve a fourth coal loader at Port Newcastle as an irresponsible act that will impose a massive health burden on people of the Hunter, damage local wildlife habitat and cause more extreme weather events.

On the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference this decision to expand coal exports will make Australia an international laughing stock.

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